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UWPD gag order: Interim chief prohibits employees from talking to press

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UWPD employees are currently operating under a strict gag order issued by Interim Chief Randy West. The internal memo, sent out Sept. 13, prohibits employees from communicating to “the media regarding any UWPD related business or issue.” 

The memo seems to be a reaction to The Daily’s unearthing of a scandal involving the arrest of two UWPD employees for domestic battery. That article was published earlier the same day.

The two officers implicated in the scandal, Dahmar Smiles and Kendra Borzio, are currently on paid leave while an independent investigation is underway. Although both Smiles’ and Borzio’s charges were dropped, the investigation seeks to determine if the employees violated UWPD policy.

The memo says that Major Steve Rittereiser, UWPD’s public information officer, is the only employee who is authorized to speak to the media. This gag order also comes after a comprehensive review which found the department to have a culture of distrust, fear, and retaliation.

Reach News Editor Claudia Yaw at news@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @YawClaudia

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