NEW: Cadets come forward accusing Chattanooga Police officer of Sexual Harassment


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) –  Cadets come forward accusing Chattanooga Police officer and police academy instructor of Sexual Harassment.

Officer Ricky Ballard was been suspended on February 1st without pay.

- Advertisement -

Officials say Officer Ballard’s suspension is a result of the disposition reached after an administrative investigation and disciplinary review hearing.

The investigative report says that the sexual harassment allegations against Ballard were sustained.

The conclusion of the investigation found that there was extensive evidence that revealed a pattern of sexual harassment of female cadets by Instructor Ballard.

The report states that the harassment spanned multiple academies and impacted multiple cadets. The cadets that came forward stated that they did not want future cadets to experience this.

The complaints that were made included:

  • treating females differently than males,
  • being flirtatious with female cadets,
  • “shirts off” comments,
  • feelings uncomfortable around officer Ballard,
  • afraid to be alone with Ofc. Ballard,
  • and receiving unwanted physical advances from Ballard.

Ballard was suspected for 160 hours. Instructor Ballard was also provided with a last chance agreement that addresses sexually harassing behavior toward female colleagues.

Ballard is required to attend sexual harassment training.

In the report, there were also some other recommendations listed for the department.

It was suggested that CPD includes questions about harassment and bullying on their anonymous and optional evaluations about academy instructors.

Another recommendation is that they add a female instructor to all future academy classes as well as provide sexual harassment training for all instructors and to the cadets at the end of the academy.

Text messages were released with our request as well.

It appears that one officer felt that there was a threat of retaliation after coming forward with this complaint. The Chattanooga Police Department has a no retaliation policy and they made everyone who came forward aware of that. They also gave them the steps to report suspect retaliation.

This is the discipline matrix used to determine the 160 hour suspension.