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Former deputy charged with rape still certified to serve in law enforcement

chad edward jennings.jpg
Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 19:42:16-04

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — The 41 Action News I-Team is learning more about the former Johnson County deputy now charged with rape and aggravated sodomy.

Chad Edward Jennings was charged Thursday for an alleged rape that occurred on May 1, 2020.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office declined an invitation to speak on camera, but Master Deputy Jesse Valdez, a spokesman and professional standards supervisor for the department, was willing to answer some of the I-Team's questions.

Valdez confirmed Jennings was fired on June 26, 2020 for violating professional standards. The spokesman said his termination was related to the rape investigation.

Timeline of the case:

Any time an officer leaves an agency, the department is required to fill out a status change form and send it to the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training. According to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, Jennings' reason for leaving the department was marked on the form as "termination."

However, Jennings' name is nowhere to be found on KSCPOST's online database of actions taken against officers' certification.

According to the commission, Jennings is still full-time certified but currently inactive, meaning he is not working for a law enforcement agency.

CPOST will not comment on individual cases, nor will it confirm or deny the existence of an investigation into an individual.

However, in general, the I-Team learned the commission doesn't usually take action against someone's certification until a criminal case is over and there's a conviction. This is done to preserve due process for the officer.

That means currently, Jennings still has the ability to serve as a law enforcement officer.

He did not return the I-Team's calls, and Jennings didn't answer the door at the address listed for him in court records.

He will appear in court on July 1.

Meanwhile, the woman who alleges she was raped says she continues to deal with lasting trauma, which has had an impact not only on her but also her relationship with her fiancé.

"I have to sleep on the other side of the bed, and I can't sleep close to the door. I don't feel comfortable going to bed without him," she said.

CPOST encourages agencies to check with them before hiring an officer. An agency can request a copy of the status change form to see if an officer was terminated. Then, according to the commission, the hiring agency can ask for an officer's personnel file from the previous department.