Plymouth North resource officer being investigated

Rich Harbert

The student resource officer at Plymouth North High School is on administrative leave as police investigate allegations of misconduct with a female student.

Officer Kenneth Groppi, a five-year veteran of the Police Department, was placed on paid leave by Acting Chief Michael Botieri last Friday, a day after the allegations surfaced.

Police are actively investigating allegations that Groppi had inappropriate communication through text messages with a 16-year-old girl who attends the school, Botieri said.

There have been no allegations of any physical contact between Groppi and the girl, he said. Botieri would not characterize the text messages. He said Groppi will remain on paid leave until the investigation is complete.

Groppi, 36, now in his third year as resource officer for the high school, is popular among students. Last year, students raised funds by selling shirts with his likeness.

School Superintendent Gary Maestas said Groppi had been an asset to the school and an integral part of its program.

Groppi is one of three police officers assigned to work in local high and middle schools and the only officer at Plymouth North. Maestas said the incident should not jeopardize the resource officer program.

“It highlights the extreme importance of boundaries with students,” Maestas said. “It’s one of those situations where this individual crossed the line…Students and families depend on us to hold that very, very close, and he crossed the boundary. It was inappropriate and he’s being addressed for it.”

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