Recent scandals in the Denver Police Department

DENVER - Recently, Denver Police Departments officers have been accused of soliciting prostitution, owning child porn, storing nude pictures on a work phone and getting into a drunken fight.

In the last few months, it seems Denver Police have been in the news a lot, accused of behaving badly.

In March, a long-time spokesman John White was suspended and transferred to a different job after nude and partially nude photos of women were found on his department-issued cell phone.

In April, Detective Michael Ryan who specialized in investigating prostitution was allegedly caught soliciting.

In May, Officer Tim Kelley resigned, after being accused of having more than 20 child porn videos.

Thursday, Officer Jeremy Ownbey and wife Jamie were charged in connection to a drunken fight at another officer's home. They were said to have had a swinger relationship with the host - Detective Steve Sloan. Sloan is accused of brandishing a gun during that fight.

"There'd been some actions and some behaviors that have been embarrassing to our department, embarrassing to our community, embarrassing to the administration," Denver Police Chief Robert White said. "But that, by no stretch of the imagination, reflects on the great majority of men and women that come to this job every single day to do the right thing."

White says he understands what the public could be thinking and how this looks.

"I want to assure the public that I don't believe it's a systemic problem," White said. "But I do believe it is a problem. I want to assure the public we're going to address it and aggressively take the appropriate action."

Some cases have to go through the criminal-court process first.

"It's a challenge. It's a concern for us," White said. "But when we see five or six incidents, they're happening in close proximity to each other. I think we have a responsibility to not only take appropriate administrative action, but look to see if there is something else that we can do internally, as it relates to preventing those things from occurring in the future."

With about 1,400 officers on the force, White says officers are and should be held to a higher standard and he will work to find a way to prevent such incidents in the future.

None of the officers accused of criminal activity have been convicted yet. Those who haven't resigned have been or will be administratively disciplined.

Denver Police say the department overall has made strides when it comes to crime prevention and the community relationship, citing the 10-year average of community complaints has dropped from 611 per year to 550 last year.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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