City of Steamboat Springs releases ‘Report 6’ police investigation summary
July 25, 2015
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs City Manager Deb Hinsvark on Friday released the summary of “Report 6,” one of six reports prepared as part of the police department investigation.
According to the summary, “portions of Report 6 focused on policy and procedure changes that could be made in the police department based upon the complaints investigation to improve its functionality and incorporate progressive policing techniques.
The suggestions are the result of a three-month investigation by Kathy Nuanes, who was hired by the city to look into allegations lodged against the Steamboat Springs Police Department by former detective Dave Kleiber.
According to the summary, Report 1 was related to allegations that the city’s police pension plan was being financially mismanaged. Nuanes determined those allegation were unfounded.
According to the Report 6 summary, reports two through six were not summarized “because the contained personnel information.
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“Reports 3-6 constituted reports regarding internal affairs investigations conducted on behalf of the Steamboat Springs Police Department subject to its applicable policies,” the summary states.
Reports two through five were about specific employees.
The Report 6 summary includes the following policy and practice changes that Nuanes said the police department should consider:
• Detailing police policy for promotional processes and for other assignment processes setting minimum requirements and using best practices to facilitate these processes.
• Revising the grievance process for promotional processes and defining a fixed window of opportunity to grieve.
• Using the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) guidelines, create a recruitment plan and a hiring process policy. This includes working in collaboration with the city's human resource department and the Steamboat Springs community, to establish methods to attract qualified employees more closely resembling the demographics of the city. Incorporate the city's human resource department more predominately in the hiring process.
• Conducting sexual harassment and harassment training from a qualified trainer within the next six months and every other year thereafter.
• Implementing a safe reporting option for employees through the city's human resources department within the next six months.
• Completing a staff study on arrest control and defensive tactics to give the department administration a platform for decision making.
• Adding verbal communication training to department annual training. Each officer should be sent to crisis intervention training to become CIT certified.
• Formalizing a policy for awards with medals and implement the policy.
• Establishing a policy for introducing, welcoming and mentoring new employees into the department to set them up for success.
• Creating a mechanism for employees to make suggestions for process or department improvements.
• Collaborating with staff and administration on work schedules.
• Changing policies related to discipline so that any suspension without pay is considered serious and a grievance process exists for this discipline assuming to do so would not conflict with other department and city policies.
• Entering into a strategic planning process to become a more inclusionary department.
• Ending any attempt to filter employee comments on annual evaluations.
• Adopting the Lexipol policy platform as a priority project.
• Adding a position to the department, through restructure, that will oversee Lexipol, policy review, policy training, police-coordinated training and other administrative tasks, thereby enabling sergeants to mentor and coach new officers in the field.
• Developing and implementing action steps that outline how SSPD will reconnect and build trust within the community.
• Reviewing and analyzing lawsuits to determine if there are other issues needing addressed.
• Hanging a pension board in the break room for plan documents, board meetings and advisor contact information for both civilian and sworn employee plans.
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