Department of Justice agrees to review Commerce City Police Department after misconduct cases

Posted at 7:54 AM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 19:36:23-04

DENVER -- Justice Department officials say they have agreed to review the Commerce City Police Department after a series of misconduct cases.

Officials on Wednesday will announce plans for the review by the agency's Office of Community Policing Services. Officials in Commerce City requested the study in July, saying incidents involving several officers had undermined public trust.

One officer staged his own shooting last year. Another was charged with unlawful sexual contact after being accused of touching three women during early morning traffic stops.

Such voluntary reviews are considered less of a stigma for a troubled department than patterns and practices investigations undertaken by civil rights investigators, which can lead to an overhaul in policies and protocols as well as court-enforceable agreements between the police force and the federal government.

The city said it wants to earn back the public's trust and is asking for assistance from the DOJ.

"They're going to be looking at our policies, our management, how we work with the public," said city spokeswoman Jodi Hardee.

In the request to the Department of Justice, officials in Commerce City said the police department has experienced some success with its reform efforts but, "serious internal issues and officer misconduct have been all too prevalent in the department over a prolonged period of time.


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