NewsDenver7 | Investigates


Mom says Broomfield driving school falsely claimed to use police instructors

Top Cops driving school
Posted at 9:45 PM, Jan 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-16 00:23:36-05

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A Denver mother reached out to Denver7 Investigates after she hired a driving school for her daughter but said she didn’t get what she paid for.

The owners describe TopCops Driving School as a “premier driving school.” The company has an A+ rating by the BBB.

“At the top of the website, it says, 'TopCops. Learn to drive from a cop.' Right? And so we believe that they're telling the truth,” Jessica Peck said.

When Peck signed her daughter up for a lesson in early December, the website said, “Every classroom and driving instructor at TopCops Driving School is a police officer.”

“Immediately after the lesson, the instructor or the officer — I then believed she to be — ran up to the car and said, 'It went great. Your daughter went into a ditch, but it was fine.' And I thought she was kidding,” Peck said.

During the driving lesson, an emergency vehicle approached with lights and sirens on. Peck said the instructor told her daughter to move to the right, and they ended up stuck in a muddy ditch on the side of the highway. Good Samaritans pushed the vehicle back onto the road.

Peck said the incident raised alarm bells and she wanted to know if the instructor was really a police officer. She said at first, the driving school told her the instructor is a police officer but her profile wasn’t featured on their website because of privacy.

Peck continued to probe for answers in an email exchange with the company.

“We went back and forth three or four times, and I kept asking, 'Is she a police officer?' I was told that this person was a police officer. And it wasn't until, finally, they had run out of excuses that they admitted that this person was not a police officer,” Peck said.

Peck told Denver7 Investigates she also noticed changes to the TopCops website since she originally hired them. Using an internet archive, Denver7 Investigates confirmed the section titled “Officers” was changed to “Staff."

Changes were also made to the fine print. The webpage that said “Learn to Drive from Police Officers” now says “Learn to Drive From Off-Duty or Retired Police Officers, First Responders, or Police-Trained Certified Drive Instructors”

The owner of TopCops, Thornton Police Officer Matt Cabot, did not want to speak on camera. In a phone conversation, he did admit to making changes to the website after Peck started asking questions because the website “fell short” and “someone could get the wrong impression.”

Cabot said after the pandemic, they had to hire some instructors who were not police officers. He said they are trained above and beyond state requirements. Under Colorado law, driving instructors must be at least 21 years old and have a clean driving record.

“I think the most important thing is that parents out there know what they're dealing with here,” Peck said.

TopCops did not offer Peck a refund but Cabot said he would give her daughter a personal driving lesson.

Got a tip? Send it to the Denver7 Investigates team
Use the form below to send us a comment or story idea you'd like the Denver7 Investigates team to check out. You can also email or call our newsroom at 303-832-0200.