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5 Boulder officers disciplined after misconduct investigation

The department found that a detective failed to investigate or fully investigate multiple cases.

BOULDER, Colo. — Five Boulder police officers are facing discipline after the department found that a detective failed to investigate or fully investigate multiple cases, the Boulder Police Department said Tuesday. 

The cases, from 2019 to present, had been assigned to one particular detective, according to a news release

The Boulder County District Attorney's Office said they're conducting an independent audit of the cases in question. The police department did not say how many cases are involved, or what types of cases they are, but did say none of them were homicide investigations. 

"The District Attorney’s Office regards this as a serious matter and will conduct an independent audit of the cases in question," the DA's office said in a statement. "These cases had been assigned to a particular detective and had not been investigated or investigated to completion. Once the independent audit is completed, the case numbers and our findings will be shared with the media and our community."

Police said the investigation started when Chief Maris Herold requested the department review its case management system.

"While upgrading data and transitioning to a new open data portal, department officials became aware of cases assigned to a particular detective that had not been investigated or investigated fully between 2019 and the present," the department said in a news release. 

The department brought allegations of rule/policy violations against five officers: the detective and four others who oversaw his work. 

In the news release, Herold said the detective, Officer Kwame Williams, "apparently became overwhelmed" and has since been reassigned from the Investigations Unit. 

On Nov. 1, the department imposed the following discipline, according to the release: 

  • Commander Thomas Trujillo received an involuntary transfer to a night patrol division and a three-day suspension without pay. He was also placed on a performance improvement plan.
  • Commander Barry Hartkopp was given a one-year letter of reprimand and is receiving additional training.
  • Sgt. David Spraggs retired by resignation. The chief accepted the resignation and ordered that the termination be held “in abeyance.” 
  • Sgt. Brannon Winn was suspended for one day without pay. 
  • Williams was suspended for five days without pay.

A Professional Standards Unit investigation agreed violations had been committed by the five officers, the release says. In August, the results of that investigation were sent to the Office of the Independent Police Monitor and the Police Oversight Panel for review.

Police leadership, the Office of the Independent Police Monitor and the panel all agreed there were rule violations, but disagreed about the appropriate discipline, the release says. The Police Oversight Panel recommended the termination of all five officers.

The department said they've taken steps to prevent the situation from happening again, including:

  • A preliminary and ongoing analysis was conducted of the detective’s caseload.  
  • The department has rewritten its investigations’ case management policy to provide for workload standards, including limiting the number of cases any one detective may handle, ensuring a regular review of open cases by supervisors, and imposing time limits for investigations.
  • The department has launched its new data portal for case management, allowing supervisors and managers real-time access to case status and assignments.


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