Loveland Moves Forward with Independent Police Reviews After Garner Arrest

North Forty News file photo.

The City of Loveland is moving forward with several independent police department reviews as part of the City’s ongoing accountability efforts following the June 2020 arrest of Karen Garner.

Hillard Heintze, one of the nation’s leading law enforcement and public safety consulting firms, has been hired to conduct an independent professional standards investigation regarding Garner’s arrest and to assess Loveland Police Department policies, practices, and procedures.

“Engaging in an independent review of this incident is an important step to ensure trust and credibility in our police practices,” said Loveland City Manager Steve Adams. “Accountability is essential and we feel the urgency to move forward with this experienced consulting firm to better understand how to move forward.”

Hillard Heintze is a national-level strategy and research leader on police department operations and brings a proven approach grounded in best practices. The firm was chosen by the Louisville Metro Police Department in the wake of the death of Breonna Taylor and conducted the assessment of the City of Minneapolis’ response to civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd. The group provides assessments to dozens of other cities, institutions, and police departments throughout the country, including Denver and Boulder.

The consulting firm was awarded a contract of up to $152,500 for both the assessment and investigation and is already at work to deliver a factual, independent, administrative investigation into the excessive force complaint of Karen Garner. This process includes interviewing identified parties with information relevant to the arrest and evaluation of involved officers’ actions in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Loveland Police Department. This investigation will take approximately two months to complete.

Once the internal investigation has concluded, Hillard Heintze will work with the City and the police department to assess its current strategies and practices and develop a roadmap for LPD’s future. This process includes confidential interviews with City Council, key City stakeholders and Loveland Police Department staff, and community members. The independent assessment will take three to four months to complete.

Chief Bob Ticer, who has led the Loveland Police Department since 2016, today said, “This independent assessment offers the men and women of the LPD a chance to highlight our strengths and learn more about our opportunities for growth. I fully support this process and have pledged to cooperate with the City in any way necessary to ensure the assessment team has access and insight into what’s needed to thoroughly satisfy the objectives of this endeavor.”

Multiple community forums are planned for later this summer as part of this effort, which the City of Loveland will be supporting. Additional proactive actions, such as continuing mental health training for police officers and the creation of the Community Trust Commission, continue. Details are forthcoming.

Members of the public are encouraged to stay up-to-date on this process through the City’s dedicated Garner webpage.

 

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