DENVER (KDVR) — A recommendation to suspend a Denver Police Department officer for 18 days has been overturned by the Denver Department of Public Safety.
The decision follows a Dec. 28, 2020 incident where Bohm’s department issued 2015 Jeep Patriot was stolen from his garage with his AR-15 inside of it.
A written command letter determined Bohm violated two department polices. One for failing to secure “a department-issued utility rifle,” the other violation was for leaving the keys to his DPD vehicle in his garage allowing the Jeep and items of DPD property inside the vehicle to be stolen.
The recommendation from Internal Affairs was an 18-day suspension for the stolen AR-15 and a three-day suspension for the careless handling of his car keys but the three-day suspension was to be served concurrently with the first violation, resulting in a total suspension of 18 days.
FOX31 has obtained an Order of Disciplinary Action through a public records request that reveals why Mary Dulacki, the Chief Deputy Executive Director for the Department of Safety overturned Police Chief Paul Pazen’s recommendation to suspend Bohm.
On Dec. 28, 2020, Bohm reported to Arvada Police that his police Jeep had been stolen early that morning. Bohm told Arvada investigators that his department issued AR-15 was hidden under some blankets and backpacks in the rear of the Jeep.
Bohm said on Dec. 23, 2020 he backed his police Jeep into the right side of his garage, next to his wife’s car which was also backed into the garage. Bohm then said he parked his personal vehicle in the driveway in front of the police vehicle “nose to nose” outside the garage door. Bohm remembered that he removed his keys and left them in his jacket on a refrigerator next to the door inside the garage before entering his home.
On Dec. 28, 2020 just after 5 a.m., Bohm reported that he “heard two vehicles leaving at a fast rate of speed in front of his residence” and when he went into his garage he discovered his garage door was open and his police vehicle was missing and his wife’s vehicle had front-end damage because the thieves sideswiped it to drive out of the garage without hitting Bohm’s personal vehicle parked in the driveway.
In addition to the AR-15, the stolen Jeep contained three loaded AR-15 magazines, a tactical vest, two plates, a tactical helmet and a flip down visor light and a high-tech radio.
It turns out the thieves had found Bohm’s garage door opener in his personal vehicle in the driveway that Bohm’s wife said she had left unlocked after driving her husband’s car the day before.
On Jan. 11, the AR-15 with one fully loaded magazine was recovered in Douglas County during the arrest of an individual on drug and weapons charges.
The police vehicle was recovered Feb. 4, in Denver but investigators found no fingerprints and said it appeared the vehicle had been sprayed down with a solvent and then wiped.
At the chief’s hearing on May 26, Bohm explained that on Dec. 25, 2020 he began his rotation as the on-call detective for the District 2 Narcotics Unit which required him to have his vehicle packed with all his necessary equipment if he needed to respond at a moment’s notice.
An internal affairs investigator determined that Bohm failed to secure his AR-15 to prevent it from being stolen and was careless with his car keys.
But Dulacki wrote in her discipline order that because the vehicle assigned to Bohm did not have a locked rack or a trunk for him to lock the AR-15 inside of, he could not be held accountable when he made a good faith effort to hide the rifle under blankets in the back of his Jeep.
In addition, Dulacki found that because his police vehicle and keys were inside a locked attached garage it would be “unreasonable to fail to consider those steps as the functional equivalent of a ‘locked storage device.’”
As a result, Dulacki wrote the “Chief of Police’s Written Command ordering disciplinary action against Detective Bohm is disapproved and findings of Exonerated shall be entered for each violation.”