Waco Independent School District Police Chief Ken Boatman is on paid administrative leave as of Friday as district officials investigate allegations involving an inappropriate work environment, Waco ISD spokesman Kyle DeBeer announced late Friday afternoon.
The allegations involve Boatman but are not criminal in nature, DeBeer said. No other officials have been put on leave in the investigation. DeBeer offered no other details. He said Boatman has been with the Waco ISD police department since December 1999 and police chief since October 2011.
“It’s important to note the investigation has not reached any conclusions, and to allow for a careful review of the facts, the district will not be commenting on the investigation until it is complete,” DeBeer said. “As this demonstrates, we take concerns about the work environment seriously. If an employee reports they feel uncomfortable, their concerns will be thoroughly investigated.”
It’s unclear when the investigation could wrap up, but DeBeer said the district moves quickly to investigate any concerns about an uncomfortable or inappropriate work environment. He declined to say when district officials received a report or complaint involving the unclear allegation, but noted employees have several ways they can report an uncomfortable situation to district administrators.
They can reach out to a supervisor, the head of human resources or even submit a report to Waco ISD’s Lighthouse Reporting System, which allows employees to report unethical behavior anonymously. DeBeer would not say how the complaint was made.
With Boatman on leave, his second in command, Lt. David Williams, will serve as acting chief, DeBeer said. Williams has 15 years of law enforcement experience, eight of which have been with Waco ISD, he said.
A local TV station, quoting anonymous sources, has reported the allegations involve sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. Responding to that report, DeBeer said the most accurate description is an “inappropriate work environment.”
“Any supervisor is responsible for the work environment in their department,” DeBeer said.
Attempts to reach Boatman were unsuccessful Friday.