Jan. 4, 2013 - Chief of Police letter to public regarding Mapleton elk
Dear Members of the Public,
We share your concern regarding the elk that was killed in the Mapleton Hill neighborhood on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. We take the situation very seriously and would like you to know that there are two separate investigations underway to determine the facts and details of this incident.
Two Boulder police officers were involved; one was on duty and the other was off duty. According to the on-duty officer, he was patrolling the Mapleton Hill area when he saw the elk. He said the elk was limping and that it appeared to be injured. In his judgment, he believed the elk needed to be humanely euthanized. The officer dispatched the elk with one shot from his shotgun and called another off-duty officer to come pick up the elk carcass. The off-duty officer took the elk in his own vehicle to process the meat for personal use.
The first investigation is a criminal investigation which is being conducted by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife (CDPW). The CDPW’s investigation will focus on whether a crime was committed by the officers. The Boulder Police Department is cooperating fully with wildlife officials and cannot comment on the agency’s investigation. Questions should be directed to CDPW.
The second investigation is an internal personnel investigation being conducted by the Boulder Police Department’s Professional Standards Unit (internal affairs). This type of investigation is standard procedure when an officer is accused of wrongdoing or of not following policies. In this case it appears that the officers involved did not follow standard procedures in alerting police dispatch, contacting a supervisor about how to deal with the injured elk or following up with a written incident report. We will also be awaiting the outcome of the criminal investigation before reaching any conclusions. This could take several weeks to complete.
Both officers are entitled to due process in the course of the investigation, which is required by contract and policy. Once the internal investigation is completed, the information is forwarded to the employee’s chain of command for review and recommendations to the Chief of Police. After this review, the report is reviewed by a panel made up of both citizens and sworn officers who also make recommendations to the Chief. The Chief of Police will make the final decision as to the disposition of the case and whether disciplinary measures may be appropriate.
The Boulder Police Department conducts thorough personnel investigations, and they can take several weeks to complete.
We appreciate your concern about this matter and can assure you that it is receiving serious attention and investigation as outlined above.
Mark Beckner, Chief of Police
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 13:32