Was Sex on the Job Acceptable at the Anchorage Police Department?
Rollins case raises questions about what was tolerated at APD
ANCHORAGE - With convicted serial rapist and former Anchorage Police officer Anthony Rollins waiting to find out how much time he will spend in prison, new details on his behavior and how it was dealt with raise the question of whether sex on the job is part of the department's culture.
This all comes from summaries that an attorney for five of Rollins’ victims acquired as part of a lawsuit against the city, which say he was kept on the job even though APD knew he was having sex on duty.
If you read the partial reports or even listened to the Rollins trial, you have to decide for yourself if what Rollins was doing was being ignored. With a bold claim that other officers were having sex on the job just like him, for the former officer – convicted of serial rape in February of 2011 – it turns out sexual misconduct was happening long before he was caught.
“This pattern of conduct was going on before we got the complaint that opened up the investigation,“ said Chief Mark Mew on February 23, 2011. “But once we got that complaint, I think we pulled out all the stops.” It was already too late for five of the women, who are now suing the city. They cite APD's Internal Affairs reports in saying the city and the department knew about Rollins' behavior for years, and turned a blind eye.
“The Internal Affairs Department is directly answerable to the chief of police,” said APD spokesman Lieutenant Dave Parker. “Certainly any discipline that comes out, the chief has to sign off on every disciplinary matter.” According to the latest court documents on the Internal Affairs report, mayoral candidate Paul Honeman, who was a police lieutenant at the time, believed Rollins having sex while on duty back in August of 2005, four years before he was arrested for sexual assault.
"Contrary to what was reported, I did not walk away,” said Honeman. “I would never walk away." "I reported my discovery to my direct report boss, Deputy Chief Rob Heun, at the time. He was unavailable; I left a message for an urgent response.”
"I'm personally proud to wear this uniform, and I’m appalled that this officer might have dishonored it," say Heun on July 15, 2009, the day that Rollins was arrested for multiple sexual assaults while on the job. Heun is now Alaska's U.S Marshal. KTVA called Heun multiple times to ask about his knowledge of Rollins or any other officers having sex on the job. He did not return any of our calls.
But current Chief Mark Mew said last year it has happened a few times. “There have been employees who have had consensual sex with each other while on duty,” said Mew. “These people have been disciplined. There have been a few employees who have had on duty consensual sex with members of the public. The few who didn’t lose their jobs outright were punished severely.”
Now, APD has a policy. “It says that you are not to have sexual relations while on duty,” said Parker.
But does that policy change a culture within three years?
“People understand because it’s clearly enunciated that that will not be tolerated on duty,” said Parker. They're now asking the public to trust that policy is being observed. There are a total of nine civil lawsuits against Rollins and the city. One was already settled though with a payout of $52,500.