A Gurnee Police Department community service officer has been fired and charged with possessing child pornography of juveniles on the department’s explorer’s post, authorities said.
Mitchell S. Rowan, 23, of Beach Park, was charged with three counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 3 felony.
On March 6, a Gurnee Police Explorer told the Explorer Post Operations Advisor that Rowan, who was a Gurnee Police Explorer Associate Advisor and a Community Service Officer, had been inappropriately communicating with minors through text messages and social media.
The Operations Advisor immediately reported it to police administration and a criminal investigation was initiated, the Gurnee Police Department said.
Rowan was terminated from his position with the police department following the allegations. Gurnee Police Chief Brian Smith also met with the members of the Gurnee Police Explorer Post and their parents to advise them of the situation.
Numerous search warrants and subpoenas were obtained in March for Rowan’s electronic device and social media accounts, police said.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office Cyber/White Collar Division assisted with the recovery and investigation of approximately one terabyte of data from the electronic device and social media accounts examined.
Gurnee police detectives began a thorough investigation into the documents and conducted additional follow-up as more evidence was discovered, the department said.
The victims, whose names are being withheld, were 16 years old and members of the Gurnee Police Explorer Post.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office approved the charges against Rowan and an arrest warrant was issued.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Gurnee Police Department took Rowan into custody Tuesday morning. He remains held in the Lake County Jail on a $100,000 bond.