Investigation: Longmont Police didn't follow procedure in warrantless searches of affordable housing

They took drug dogs into houses without warrants.

LONGMONT, COLO. - Weld County has completed its independent investigation into Longmont’s warrantless searches of affordable housing units, and found that officers did not follow proper procedure.

Jeff Satur with Longmont Police wouldn’t offer specifics about what the department did wrong at The Suites when Next called to ask for more details. He said he was unsure if the city will ever release that information.

Longmont Police announced they would stop these searches in early June, at the time of Next’s first report, although they initially defended their involvement with the Longmont Housing Authority’s searches.

Tenants told 9NEWS they were not told about their Constitutional right to refuse these searches. They were sent letters saying landlords, officers and drug dogs would be coming around to their units. One woman told Next her apartment had been searched, despite her refusal. Longmont Police said at the time that they did not search any units without consent, and there was "never any intent to violate constitutional rights."

RELATED: Longmont Police Chief says Housing Authority is to blame for search confusion

According to Longmont Housing Authority, this practice was good practice for the drug dogs, and the searches had been done once prior to our coverage.

The department had been saying since June that they’d done nothing wrong, until now. Sixteen minutes before close of business on Friday, when the city’s likely counting on this information going unnoticed by the public, Longmont announced Weld County concluded its report -- which the city says it received on Monday.

Longmont City leaders have been critical of the light Next has shined on these warrantless searches, but they have not pointed out any inaccuracies with the reporting.

Longmont Police say they’re conducting their own internal investigation.

Police say they didn't confiscate any property in their searches.

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