Boulderite irked by policy allowing cops to enter unlocked residences

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BOULDER, Colo. — A Boulder woman who had her residence breached by a police officer when she was out for a walk with her dog is speaking out against the policy that permitted the officer to do so.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Chrissy Smiley returned home to her Boulder condo on June 6 to find a note on her dining room table from a Boulder police officer, alerting her to the fact he had entered her residence while she was away.

She called the officer to find out why the search was necessary. And although she called the officer “very nice,” she was disturbed by what he had to say.

“He said he had come back to follow up on another officer who had been there for something and he felt he had probable cause to make sure that I was safe,” Smiley told the Camera. “It’s just creepy that someone would come in when I am not there.

“Maybe it is uncommon to leave your door open, but whatever, it doesn’t invite them in.”

Boulder police Sgt. Michael Everett disagreed, telling the Camera that entering unsecured residences is standard practice for law enforcement agencies and unlikely to stop in Boulder.

“There are many reasons for checking residences that are left open,” Everett told the newspaper. “They include in-progress crimes and injured parties inside. There are situations which create a duty for officers to enter and check residences. Failure to do so creates liability for that officer and agency.”

Smiley said that while eliminating an officer’s ability to enter her unlocked residence may put her in harms way, that’s a risk she’s willing to take. She also said she will be pursuing legal action if an officer enters her residence without her consent in the future.

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