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LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — In a new report, a consulting firm found that the Loveland Police Department should increase transparency, enhance the citizen complaint process and update its use-of-force policies to “prioritize and honor the sanctity of human life,” among other recommendations.

The law enforcement consulting firm Jensen Hughes began its assessment in June 2021, a year after the controversial arrest of Karen Garner put a spotlight on the department and its practices. A separate internal affairs investigation into Garner’s arrest, which led to criminal charges against the officers involved, is still ongoing.

“After reviewing the assessment, it’s important for the public to know it reflects opportunities for our police department to build upon successes and improve in other areas,” Loveland Police Chief Bob Ticer said in a statement. “Of the recommendations where we can make immediate and impactful change, we will.”

The completed report found 13 findings and 42 recommendations in five areas:

  • operational practices;
  • supervision, leadership and professionalism;
  • processes and protocols for complaints against Loveland police personnel;
  • community engagement;
  • and citizen advice and oversight.

Among its findings, the firm found that the department recently enhanced its use-of-force reports “to provide greater oversight and accountability” after a number of officer-involved incidents. But it also found that staff shortages “are contributing to officer fatigue and frustration.”

Ticer said the report covers some of the department’s “pre-existing plans for improvement,” including:

  • emphasizing de-escalation in our training,
  • doubling the co-responder program,
  • and reaching 100% Crisis Intervention Training for the department.

Ticer said the department “is committed to taking positive steps forward to enhance trust and expand upon our community relationships within Loveland.” He said he’s establishing working groups in the department to figure out how to put the recommendations into action.

The report will be presented at a Loveland City Council study session on Jan. 11.

Read the full report here.