Gainesville Police Captain Retires In Wake of Harassment Investigation

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Gainesville Police Department Capt. Brian Helmerson faced termination in November after an internal investigation found he had violated the city’s rule against sexual harassment.

Instead, he submitted his resignation yesterday to Police Chief Tony Jones.

GPD spokesman Ben Tobias confirmed Helmerson’s retirement today at a press conference.

Jones also announced a reorganization of the police force and mandated sexual harassment training for all officers.

Helmerson’s retirement comes after four of his colleagues — all fellow lieutenants — made complaints of sexual harassment and general harassment leading to a hostile work environment.

“Helmerson filed paperwork with the City of Gainesville’s risk management to exit the DROP program and terminate his employment with the City of Gainesville by retirement,” Tobias said. “None of the allegations in the investigations resulted in any criminal activity.”

The investigation also suggested a deeper problem within GPD:

GPD investigation conclusion

Helmerson’s resignation comes less than a month after former GPD officer and police union head Jeffery McAdams was charged with stealing more than $56,000 from the union. McAdams retired Oct. 1, 2015.

By resigning prior to termination, Helmerson and McAdams were able to keep their pensions, according to Florida state law:

Any public officer or employee who is convicted of a specified offense committed prior to retirement, or whose office or employment is terminated by reason of his or her admitted commission, aid, or abetment of a specified offense, shall forfeit all rights and benefits under any public retirement system of which he or she is a member, except for the return of his or her accumulated contributions as of the date of termination.

About Emily Braun

Emily is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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