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Portage detective accused of inappropriate texts to 17-year-old

The sign of Portage's city hall. (WWMT/File)
The sign of Portage's city hall. (WWMT/File)
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A Portage police detective is under investigation for allegedly sending inappropriate pictures to a 17-year-old former student at Vicksburg Community Schools.

The detective, whose name has not been released, is on paid administrative leave as Michigan State Police investigates, said Portage Acting City Manager Adam Herringa in a statement.

Michigan State Police informed the city of Portage on Nov. 17 that it launched an investigation. The detective was off duty when he allegedly sent inappropriate pictures to a 17-year-old girl, who he met while he was working as a coach at Vicksburg Community Schools, Herringa said. The girl later told authorities about the text messages.

The Vicksburg Community Schools Superintendent Keevin O'Neill told the Michigan State Police about the texts after an anonymous tip about the texts.

“Safety of our students is our first priority, and we are working closely with local authorities to make sure they have everything they need to investigate these allegations thoroughly,” Vicksburg Assistant Superintendent Steve Goss said.

Vicksburg Community Schools said in a news release that the inappropriate texts were allegedly sent over the summer, when the girl was no longer a student. The district said the detective has not been on any campuses this school year. He has been suspended and is banned from all campuses until the district learns the outcome of the investigation.

"Portage public safety officers honorably serve our community day in and day out, often putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. This alleged incident does not reflect the values of our city employees or our community," Herringa said in a statement.

Public Safety Director Nicholas Armold and city administration are cooperating with Michigan State Police during this investigation, Herringa said.

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The investigation is still in the early stages as evidence is being collected, said Michigan State Police Lt. DuWayne Robinson. Investigators will then forward their findings to the prosecutor's office to determine if charges would be filed.

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