The FBI has arrested a Platteville Police Officer, charging her with smoking crack cocaine.
The news came as a shock to the small police department. Monday afternoon Platteville Police Chief Doug McKinley got a visit from the FBI. "They let us know that they'd had an ongoing investigation concerning a member of our department."
Officer Michelle Salentine was arrested without incident when she reported for duty. She appeared in federal court Tuesday, accused of smoking crack cocaine.
Salentine joined the Platteville Police Department in September of 2004. "Been a very good officer, but apparently had some things going on that we were unaware of," says McKinley.
According to court documents, Salentine says she's been smoking crack 4 to 6 times a week for the past year.
A confidential witness tipped off the FBI in February. Chief McKinley says Salentine is a patrol officer for the night shift. "She was working predominantly 7pm to 7am."
According to the witness, Salentine has smoked crack while on duty. On March 4th, the witness texted a law enforcement officer at 1:35 am, saying, "your girl is here smoking she has a stem and a bag, getting f***ed up here and in the squad, she's getting to go back on duty."
"People are pretty shocked and disappointed," says McKinley. "It's a violation of the public trust. From top to bottom we're all very, very disappointed."
What makes it even more shocking is the Platteville P.D. is so small. "With only 20 people you get to know everybody very well. You'd like to think that you have a good handle on what everybody is capable of and that everybody is an honorable person."
Officer Salentine has been placed on paid administrative leave.
She was detained after her court appearance and is being held in the Dane County Jail.
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