La Vergne officer fired over alleged sexual harassment
Officer Mareno Smith
LA VERGNE, TN (WSMV) -
A Midstate police officer who was training to work with school children has been fired for what the chief calls gross misconduct and sexual harassment.
The Channel 4 I-Team has learned patrol Officer Mareno Smith was kicked out of D.A.R.E. training school last week and fired from the La Vergne police force in what police Chief Mike Walker says is not only an embarrassment to the department but something that could result in criminal charges if the alleged victims decide to prosecute.
Smith was in D.A.R.E. training school in West Tennessee when he allegedly sexually harassed or groped as many as four women, including other officers in the program and a maid.
Smith had only been on the force about 1 1/2 years, but Walker said he will do everything he can to make sure Smith never works in law enforcement again.
"Someone like that doesn't need to be in law enforcement at all," Walker said.
The chief said it will be up to the alleged victims whether or not the former officer will be prosecuted.
"From what I've been told, yes, there were criminal offenses there," Walker said.
The chief added there are no indications that Smith crossed the line while on patrol duty, but he's asking anyone who may have information otherwise to call La Vergne police.
The Channel 4 I-Team attempted to contact Smith for an on-camera interview, but he has not returned our calls.
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