PULLMAN, Wash. — A Washington State University police sergeant who engaged in sexual activity while on duty has resigned from the university. The individual, who had been on home assignment while the allegations were investigated, submitted his resignation effective Tuesday, Nov. 1.
A university investigation concluded that former WSU Police Sgt. Matt Kuhrt violated WSU policies regarding sexual harassment, and that he improperly used university resources as well as violated provisions of the department’s policy manual.
The university investigation found that the sergeant engaged in predatory grooming behavior while in a supervisory role, made sexually explicit comments to coworkers, subjected coworkers to nonconsensual physical contact, and engaged in sexual activities while on duty and on university property.
He is the fourth member of the campus police force to leave the department in connection with the disciplinary case. In August, all three members of the department’s command staff retired from WSU before they could be disciplined for their mishandling of claims involving the sergeant when the allegations first surfaced in December 2020.
The university has notified the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission, which oversees the licensing of law enforcement officers statewide, of the findings related to all four officers.
A new command staff was installed at the WSU Pullman Police Department in August. The department is led by former City of Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins and aided by Assistant Chief Dawn Daniels.
“Under Jenkins’s and Daniel’s leadership, we’re seeing a renewed commitment throughout the department to professionalism and strong efforts to improve and rebuild community trust,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “I want to thank the members of the WSU Pullman Police Department for working together to help ensure the safety and security of the Pullman campus.”
University leaders had been unaware of the December 2020 allegations involving the sergeant until March 2022 when a concerned member of the campus police force contacted them.
The prior police command staff had conducted an internal investigation in 2020 when the allegations first surfaced but failed to provide required notification to university leaders or Human Resource Services of the allegations, the internal investigation, or the outcome.
Full investigations were initiated in March 2022 by WSU’s Human Resource Services department and the university’s Office of Compliance and Civil Rights.