There is no doubt that the men and women of the Denver Police Department put their safety on the line to serve and protect the citizens of our city. But like everyone else, police officers must deal with difficulties in life. In fact, a series of DUI arrests and alcohol-related incidents among members of the department has compelled Denver’s police chief to order a review of alcohol abuse among city cops.
Police Chief Robert White says the incidents show there’s a need for the department to foster an environment in which officers feel comfortable reporting to the department any problems they might be having with alcohol abuse, or telling supervisors about alcohol abuse by a fellow officer.
You might recall reports of the DPD officer who was arrested late last year for DUI; he’s scheduled for trial on the charge later in June.
He was found in his Jeep, apparently passed out, by Jefferson County deputies. As he was being arrested, he pleaded for leniency. “Bro, I’m a cop,” he told an arresting officer. He argued that he should be allowed to have a friend or family member come and pick him up so that he could avoid the arrest.
He was fired two months ago; the department cited his drunk driving charge, his solicitation of preferential treatment and other violations.
A more recent case involved an off-duty DPD officer arrested in January. He and his defense attorney recently reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, enabling him to plead guilty to the reduced charge of driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
It will be interesting to see how the department assesses the struggles with alcohol among some of its officers and what further steps it takes.
Source: CBS Denver, “More Denver Police Department Alcohol Problems,” Brian Maass, June 16, 2014