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Kent officer fired for allegedly stealing from inmates

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Feb. 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
February 28, 2011 3:27 pm

A Kent corrections officer has been fired after an investigation determined he was stealing money from inmate property lockers, according to the Kent Police Department.

Detectives identified Michael Pickens, 42, who has worked for the Kent City Jail for 3 ½ years, as a suspect after allegations surfaced in September that someone was taking cash from lockers used to store personal belongings for inmates while they are incarcerated.

Video surveillance footage shows Pickens opening inmate lockers and removing cash, according to the department.

Tukwila police conducted a criminal investigation after Kent police finished their internal investigation. The criminal investigation wrapped up last week and a charging decision is expected in the future.

Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas said the background check and polygraph exams that come before hiring corrections officers showed no indication of Pickens’ behavior.

“It is an affront to the men and women of this profession that conduct themselves with dignity and respect every day,” Thomas said in a statement.

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