Craig Police investigate charges of unlawful force


— Craig Police Department Chief Walt Vanatta has asked the Steamboat Springs Police Department to lead a criminal investigation into allegations a Craig police officer assaulted a local woman.

Two Craig women have accused officer Doug Kaiser of unlawful use of force after a July 25 incident and two parallel investigations will be launched in response to the allegations.

Kaiser remains on active duty while both investigations are in progress.

A criminal investigation of a police officer's conduct is routinely coordinated by an outside agency.

"The normal procedure for criminal investigation of a police officer is to ask the district attorney to do an independent investigation," said Vanatta.

Because of staff constraints, the 14th Judicial District Attorney office in Craig declined to conduct the investigation. The Moffat County Sheriff's Department also declinded because of the close connections between the two departments, according to Vanatta.

Vanatta asked the Steamboat Springs Police Department for assistance and Capt. Rick Crotz will conduct the criminal investigation. Crotz said he expects to begin the investigation next week.

Vanatta said there will also be an adminstrative investigation by the Craig Police Department to determine if Kaiser violated any internal policies or procedures.

Vanatta is unsure how long both investigations will take.

"The length of the investigation is contingent on scheduling interviews with all the witnesses," Vanatta said. "I have asked that the investigations start as quickly as possible."

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