Internal investigation underway in La Crosse Police Department

Allegations made about workplace environment, retaliation

News 8’s Mike Thompson spoke with La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat Wednesday afternoon and he confirmed that Neighborhood Resource Officer Nathan Poke came to him back on Sept. 10th and raised what he calls “serious” allegations about the workplace environment and concerns about retaliation within the department.

The mayor says the next day Officer Poke was put on paid administrative leave so he was separated from the investigation.

La Crosse Police also confirmed with us that Officer Poke’s partner, Officer Dan Ulrich, is on paid administrative leave as well.

According to police, Officer Ulrich’s leave is not directly related to Poke’s allegations, but separate issues were brought up that warranted an internal investigation of Ulrich.

The administrative leave for both officers is non-disciplinary.

Mayor Kabat says the interim Police Chief in Green Bay was called in around Sept. 20th to investigate Officer Poke’s claims.

He’s been doing interviews and gathering evidence for about the past month.

The Mayor says he expects the investigation into Officer Poke’s allegations to be completed and a report available within the next few days.

He says at that time, they’ll go over the recommendations in the report and decide the next steps.

News 8 will continue to follow this story and bring you more information when the report is released.