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Results of Independent Investigation
The Weld County Sheriff's Office has completed its independent investigation into the actions of the Longmont Police Department (LPD) and the Longmont Housing Authority (LHA) at The Suites, a property managed by the LHA. This included completing interviews with residents, witnesses, LHA staff and police officers, and a review of LPD policies and procedures.
The Weld County investigators were deliberate in their process. After reviewing the report, it was determined that the procedures used to establish consent were not consistent with LPD standards.
As stated in earlier public statements, Longmont Pubic Safety Chief Mike Butler has already said, "We regret what happened at The Suites and have already taken corrective actions to ensure that this never happens again.” Our actions included:
- Reiterate and continue to clarify how and when our canines are used.
- Reinforce and continue the process for documenting how and when consent is obtained.
- Reinforce and continue the need for communication with supervisors as outlined in our procedure
The Weld County independent investigation showed that policies, procedures, training, and practices are all in place and appropriate. It has always been the LPD’s policy and practice, which has been supported with yearly training, that all our officers understand search and seizure, and as an agency, we would never condone a search without consent, a search warrant or an authorized exception to the warrant requirements. As an agency we are always evaluating and looking for opportunities to improve.
In addition, the Longmont Department of Public Safety has initiated an internal administrative review. There are legal constraints on what we can say and release about this administrative review. This internal administrative review will be examined by a panel of Longmont residents on Longmont's citizens' review panel, among others. After we have completed our process, we will take any additional corrective actions, if necessary, in whatever form most appropriate.
Our motto “Policing in Partnership with the People” continues to resonate within our department. We know this motto applies to all our residents. As an agency, we value our relationships, and we will do whatever is necessary to rebuild and sustain good relationships with the residents of The Suites and with our community.
The City of Longmont and all our staff also remain committed to supporting the residents at The Suites and addressing their concerns about drug activity and other quality of life issues. The City of Longmont will continue to ensure, notwithstanding anyone’s social or economic status, that we will support and protect their constitutional rights.
The City of Longmont would like to thank the Weld County Sheriff's Office for its assistance.
Public Safety Chief Mike Butler has videotaped a message for the Longmont community explaining the results of the independent investigation. Here is the direct link to view the video on Youtube https://youtu.be/dsPJB_YzyiY