SANTA CLARA — A former St. George police school resource officer, Brandon Haws, appeared before the Utah Peace Officers Standards and Training Council in Santa Clara on Thursday to ask for leniency at a disciplinary hearing. Haws sent inappropriate photographs of himself to a teenage boy, resulting in a unanimous decision by the council to revoke his police certification for life.
As reported by the Deseret News, Lindsay Jarvis, an attorney representing Haws at the hearing, told the council that Haws’s involvement with the 17 year old boy was an attempt to act as a big brother or mentor to him. Haws lost his father when he was 4 years old and the student had lost his father in a car accident.
It was reported that Haws and the teen began exchanging text messages, photos and communicating through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Jarvis reportedly told the council that an internal affairs investigation revealed that Haws was not trying to have a sexual relationship with the teen and instead Haws made a mistake and “began acting like a teenager.”
Haws admitted to the council that he had sent lewd pictures of himself to the boy, but he told the council his actions did not warrant revocation of his certification.”I have lived my entire life to be a police officer, I am not here to have a pity party,” Haws said.
Not long after the admission, the council voted unanimously to revoke Haws’s certification for life preventing him from ever again working in law enforcement.
Fox13 News reported that the number of officers being investigated for misconduct has been increasing so much that POST has hired a fifth investigator.
POST received 176 complaints in 2013 resulting in 108 investigations with DUI, domestic violence and lying being the most prevalent offenses.
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