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Loveland names interim police chief

Deputy Police Chief Eric Stewart takes over April 1 but a national search for the permanent replacement is expected, the city said.

LOVELAND, Colo. — Loveland's current Deputy Police Chief Eric Stewart will assume the role of interim police chief on April 2 following the departure of current chief Bob Ticer.

Ticer announced late last month that he was leaving to become the new chief for the Prescott Valley Police Department. He'll start there on April 11.

Under his watch, the Loveland Police Department (LPD) gained national attention in April 2021, when body camera footage was released showing the 2020 arrest of Karen Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia.

Garner suffered shoulder and arm injuries and was held for five hours without treatment. The incident prompted some Loveland residents to call for Ticer's resignation. At the time, he said he did plan to do that.

Stewart will assume responsibilities, including leading the department and overseeing day-to-day operations, as well as driving forward the LPD Accountability process that began in January following the LPD assessment by Jensen Hughes. 

RELATED: Independent review of Loveland Police Department after arrest of Karen Garner complete

As part of this effort, LPD has formulated five working groups comprised of LPD officers, City staff and key community members who are working to formalize an implementation plan following the assessment recommendations.

“I am humbled to be selected to bridge the gap between outgoing Chief Bob Ticer and the next chief of the Loveland Police Department. It’s not lost on me that this department has critical work to do in order to strengthen public trust and to better communicate about the professional service the overwhelming majority of our police officers and professional staff provide in Loveland,” said Stewart. 

“Accountability and transparency are priorities for me as I step into this important role. Building trust within the community will be at the top of my list.”

Stewart was hired as LPD deputy chief in March 2017. His 37-year career began with the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department and includes serving in several leadership roles with the Aurora Police Department including commander.

The City and the LPD are looking to hire a third-party recruiting firm to conduct a nationwide search for the new permanent chief.

Garner's family filed a federal lawsuit over the arrest, which the city and the family settled for $3 million in September.

One of the officers involved in her arrest pleaded guilty to an assault charged on March 2. Austin Hopp is scheduled to be sentenced on May 5.

Credit: Loveland Reporter Herald
FORT COLLINS, CO - MARCH 2, 2022: Former Loveland police officer Austin Hopp walks to the podium before pleading guilty to felony assault Wednesday, March 2, 2022, for his connection to the 2020 arrest of Karen Garner during a hearing at the Larimer County Justice Center in Fort Collins. It is a lesser charge than he originally faced with a less severe sentence. (Jenny Sparks/Loveland Reporter-Herald)

RELATED: Former Loveland officer pleads guilty to assault related to Karen Garner's arrest

Former officer Daria Jalali faces the following charges in the case.

  • Peace officer: Failure to report use of force
  • Peace officer: Failure to intervene
  • Official misconduct

She's due in court in late April.


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