You are a sergeant with the local police department’s patrol division. During your shift a female officer asks if she can speak in private with you about a sensitive subject. You reply yes, and then go into your office, where the female officer begins to relay to you the results of a recent conversation that she had recently with another fellow female officer regarding inappropriate sexual advances that a male police officer had made to her while in the roll call area. You learn that this is not the first time that this male officer has made sexual comments to this same female officer. You also discover that this comment was possibly overheard by several other officers who were in attendance in the roll call room. You also are advised by the female officer who came to you with this information that she is fairly sure that the female officer that was the target of this unwarranted comment was afraid to complain to you, as she was afraid of retaliation by other officers on the shift for being a “tattletale”. Supported by outside literature research and your text readings, would this situation constitute a case of sexual harassment? As a supervisor in this situation what should your response be after hearing of this reported case of sexual harassment? In the past, under what situations have the courts given guidelines as to what must occur before an individual can prove a sexual harassment case? If the case is not investigated can the supervisor also be charged for failure to take action by the courts? What specific federal laws or guidelines apply in sexual harassment cases?
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