Police reform report presented to Loveland City Council

Local News

LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — Members of the Loveland City Council heard the results of an independent investigation into their police department on Tuesday. The department has been under scrutiny since the violent arrest of 73-year-old Karen Garner who suffers from dementia.

The report— more than 50 pages long— examines the department as a whole and says change is needed.

“From most of the people we heard from, it’s very positive,” said one of the consultants in referencing resident interaction with Loveland police officers.

Elected officials heard the recommendations from a third-party firm on how the entire department can improve. The report points out issues of too much focus on a data-driven approach— measuring success with citations— instead of quality community policing.

“Not just how many arrests, how many tickets, how many warnings … But how many problems did you help solve in the community,” the consultant asked. “How many contacts did you have with kids in the park?”

There are also staffing shortages and a feeling among rank and file that communication problems have created a level of mistrust between patrol officers and leadership, the report noted.

“They feel that there’s a lack of leadership … lack of ability to communicate with leadership and therefore not always clear on what their mission and priorities are,” said Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh after reviewing the report.

One of the most alarming findings for Garner’s attorney, Sarah Schielke, is that the firm highlights the need for the department to focus on the sanctity of life.

“You would think— after reading that kind of insane and terrifying finding— that the police need more training on the sanctity of human life— that the chief who just presided over creating that kind of environment would have to be fired immediately,” Schielke said. “Instead they hired him a PR consultant.”

The chief initially responded to the report after its release earlier this month.

“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,” said Chief Bob Ticer in a previously released statement. “Of the recommendations where we can make immediate and impactful change, we will.”

Ticer also said: “We appreciate that some of our preexisting plans for improvement are highlighted in the report, such as emphasizing de-escalation in our training, doubling our co-responder program, and reaching 100% Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for our department. The Loveland Police Department is committed to taking positive steps forward to enhance trust and expand upon our community relationships within Loveland.

“To do this, I am establishing working groups across the department to examine these recommendations and provide additional actionable steps we can take to enhance the work we do for all who live, work and visit Loveland.”

The two officers at the center of the arrest are no longer employed by Loveland PD. Their sergeant has since resigned. Chief Ticer is still on the job.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Read

Top Stories