Records show East Ridge officer fired after sexual relationship with high school senior

Former East Ridge Officer Adam Rose was interviewed by East Ridge detectives regarding his relationship with an 18 year old senior at East Ridge High School. Though the investigation determined he did nothing illegal, the city fired Rose, saying his conduct did not align with the community's standards of being a police officer. (Image East Ridge Police Department)

Public documents show an East Ridge police officer lost his job after a high school student says they had sex. NewsChannel 9 learned this after looking at Adam Rose's personnel file following his termination last week.

At the tail end of November, East Ridge assistant city manager Kenny Custer confirmed to News Channel Adam Rose was fired from the police department. Then, Custer said Rose "engaged in conduct contrary to the community standards of honesty, justice and/or good moral values," going against his sworn oath as a police officer.

We wanted to know what exactly that meant. NewsChannel 9 asked to review Custer's personnel file right after learning of his termination. The ERPD granted that request Thursday, a week later. Among the files requested, was a CD with audio and video clips of interviews throughout the internal investigation conducted by East Ridge detective Johnny Massengale.

"At what point did the relationship begin between you two?" asked Massengale to Rose.

"At the beginning of summer time," answered Rose. During that interview, Rose, 29 and married, admits he'd been hanging out with an 18 year old student at East Ridge High School. However, they met, before she turned 18.

Police were made aware of the relationship after a teacher from East Ridge High reported it. According to a report filed with Tennessee Department of Children's Services, the 18 year old asked her teacher for advice about young girls dating older men. Once that teacher learned she was involved with Rose, he reported it to the principal, who then reported it to DCS.

Several records in Rose's personnel file, like Rose's termination letter, say the two had sex. It also says Rose sent friend requests to underage girls via social media, all while he had a profile picture of himself in an ERPD uniform.

That's also revealed in an interview between the 18 year old and detective Massengale.

"Was there a sexual relationship or were y'all just friends?" asked the detective.

"There was a sexual relationship," said the 18 year old. She urges that didn't happen until after she turned 18. Nonetheless, East Ridge residents say they're not happy to hear about that kind of relationship.

"I'm glad they fired him," said resident Jonathan Worley. "I think he needs more than just fired."

According to the conclusion of the criminal investigation, found in Rose's personnel file, the police department found no evidence that Rose violated any policies or laws, since the girl was 18 years old. However, Custer sent Rose a termination letter, saying his conduct is contrary to the community standards of honesty, justice, and/or good moral values.

"I'm glad to see it's looked into and he had been let go and somebody's digging deeper into this," said Worley. "It's kinda reassuring to see it come out. I think in some smaller communities you might not hear about it."

Documents in the personnel file also reveled other officers in the department knew about the relationship but didn't think much about since the girl was 18. News Channel 9 reached out to Mayor Brent Lambert and acting police chief Stan Allen for comment but have not yet heard back.

Around the same time, News Channel 9 learned the police department launched an internal investigation in chief JR Reed. He was on paid administrative leave, but city officials would not share much information. We looked through his personnel file as well, you can see what we found here.

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