FIRESTONE, Colo. (KDVR) — The Town of Firestone’s chief executive is responding after an audit discovered the town’s police department failed to submit at least 14 rape kits for DNA testing.
The audit discovery occurred in March. The rape kits were not submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation within 21 days as demanded by state law.
“That is absolutely crucial to prosecuting these cases,” Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said as the information first became public knowledge earlier in the week.
Rourke said he was shocked, frustrated and disappointed to learn the kits were not submitted. On Monday, FOX31’s request to speak with town manager AJ Krieger was denied. However, Krieger eventually spoke with FOX31 following a regularly scheduled town council meeting Wednesday evening.
“What we did was self-initiate a process to look at everything related to our police department,” Krieger said. “Ultimately the effort is going to lead to a department-wide strategic plan.”
Firestone’s police chief is currently on administrative leave amid an ongoing investigation. Town officials won’t give details as to why the chief is on leave.
“The strategic plan effort is not about the chief,” Krieger said.
A man named Mark Campbell was hired as safety services director to help the chief update department policies prior to the chief’s leave. Council members on Wednesday approved an audit to Campbell’s audit by a third independent party. Council members chose former Lakewood police chief Allen C. Youngs to serve as that independent party.
Meanwhile, the police department is working to determine if the remaining rape kits can still qualify to be submitted to the CBI for processing.
The audit also found that Firestone officers were not entering firearm data into the Colorado Crime Information Center Database and were not participating in the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. The network helps departments nationwide cross reference shell casing information to help solve crimes.