MANCHESTER — A Manchester School Resource Officer has been fired following allegations of inappropriate communication with students.
Travis Francis, 25, of Windsor, was fired as the school resource officer at Illing Middle School in Manchester.
“They could have even removed him from the school system if they wanted to but not fire him from the police department. I don’t understand that,” said Linda Tomlinson of Manchester, who supports Francis.
FOX61 obtained the internal report from the Manchester Police Department that claimed Francis crossed boundaries.
It said he carried on late night texting conversations using phrases like, “I love you,” and “I miss you so much,” and hosting sleepovers with students. But particular a text, where Travis tells a boy to ask a girl for “nudes.”
“If he said that, that was obviously inappropriate,” said Tomlinson.
But Linda and Logan Tomlinson, who know Francis well, paint a different picture of the man.
“From how I know him, he’s a great guy. He’s been trying to help me get into college. He’s helped me out with basketball and college and talking to college coaches,” said Logan.
They willingly scrolled through their text conversations with Francis — showing how he was offering help Logan. Linda said Travis would always be texting her, and her sons and would never come over unannounced.
“He comes here. He’s in or social environment. He’s hanging out by the pool. Never anything inappropriate,” Linda said.
Francis was a Manchester Police Officer for two years.
His lawyer, Elliot Spector sent the following statement to FOX61:
“His fault is that he cares so much about helping young people make better life decisions that he extends himself by frequent communications at all times of the day."
Spector said they will fight his termination through the union. He said they are confident Francis will back at work.
Superintendent Matt Geary sent the following statement to FOX61 News:
"Counselors and other staff are being especially vigilant to ensure that returning students who knew the previous officer receive appropriate support.”
The Superintendent went on to said Francis exercised exceedingly poor judgement and said they have a new School Resource Officer at Illing.
The 69 page internal report details how Francis allegedly tried to delete text messages once he knew he was being internally investigated. Francis’ lawyer said he believes Francis was a victim of “political correctness.”
He said he was only trying to mentor troubled kids.