MOUNTAIN VIEW - A week after exposing the town of Mountain View's aggressive ticketing practices, 9Wants to Know has obtained a police assessment report that repeatedly raised ethical concerns about the Jefferson County town's effort to generate revenue through citations. One of the main recommendations – shut down the police department.
"We believe that lying in wait to write traffic citations to generate revenue is not serving the best ethical foundations of professional law enforcement," the report by KRW Associates said. "Enforcement activity should, and needs to, occur to further the goals of traffic and Town safety….not as a source of revenue."
KRW Associates, a consulting group made up of former chiefs of police from Colorado Springs, Aurora and Arvada, submitted the report to Mountain View's town council two years ago. Mountain View hired KRW to assess its police department.
The report apparently didn't change the town council's direction.
Earlier this month, 9Wants to Know exposed Mountain View's addiction to tickets and how the department writes more "obstructed view" citations than Denver, Aurora and Boulder combined.
The investigation also revealed the troubled histories of most of the police officers on the force.
At the time of the KRW report submission to council, the town was generating around $300,000 in court fees. Mountain View is expected $575,000 will be generated in court fees this year.
One of the report's recommendations was the "elimination of the MVPD [Mountain View Police Department]" and the establishment of a contract with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement services.
The report highlighted other concerns:
-Some residents feel the police department has "power and control" over the town because of the "money generated"
-Some Mountain View employees feel "psychological pressure" to write tickets so the officers can get paid
-Some residents fear "retaliation and/or threats of arrest when they interact with officers."
-Some residents are concerned about the town's public image because of media attention on the police department
Fifth officer with a troubled past
9Wants to Know has learned a fifth Mountain View police officer was hired with a troubled past.
Officer Darrel Lee Smith was fired from the Commerce City Police Department for an "untruthfulness," according to public documents and audio obtained by 9NEWS.
During a DUI case, Smith admitted he was terminated from Commerce City for making a comment to a recruit. Smith denied he made the comment, but claimed he was fired anyway.
During the initial two-part investigation into Mountain View, 9Wants to Know revealed four other officers were either fired, once under indictment, or left prior police jobs under a cloud of controversy.
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