Jason Helkenberg had dreamed of being a police officer. When he got the opportunity, it took him less than a year to flush it all away.
It began with a relationship Helkenberg was having with a man he met via the social app Grindr. In and of itself, there would have been nothing wrong. However, the officer and the man began hooking up while Helkenberg was on duty and in his patrol vehicle, no less. The LaVergne, Tennessee Police Department was tipped off to this activity and began an investigation into the officer. This is where things get worse.
During its investigation, the department determined that even though Jason Helkenberg had been frequenting and posting pictures to adult and social media sites while on duty, his other online activities were of a far greater concern. Helkenberg inappropriately searched for information on a man tied to a drug suspect he arrested. Later, over Facebook Messenger, Helkenberg shared confidential information on this case with the man he had been meeting for sex.
Helkenberg was fired and, in a parting email, stated:
“This is my private downfall…I have let my private life interfere with work.”