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Officer probed for harassment resigns

Jody Petersen, the North Plains police officer and part-time Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was twice under investigation last year — once in Washington state and once in Washington County — has left the department for a new career.

North Plains Police Chief Bill Snyder confirmed earlier this month that Petersen resigned and took a job in the nursing field in Tacoma, Wash., not far from her home.

Petersen was investigated by the Woodland Police Department last fall for allegations of harassment and malicious mischief connected to her personal life. In January, a Cowlitz County prosecutor declined to charge Petersen, then 37, with any crime.

Petersen was placed on administrative leave by the North Plains Police Department Oct. 6, 2014, and returned to duty Dec. 17, 2014. Woodland city prosecutor Fred Johnson decided not to charge Petersen on allegations of third-degree malicious mischief and telephonic harassment.

The NPPD subsequently conducted an internal investigation into potential policy violations late last year and Petersen “was cleared on everything” in January, according to Snyder, who added her departure “had nothing to do” with either inquiry.

“She had gotten a nursing degree a while back,” Snyder said. “We’re very happy for her that she got that job.”