Craig Police Department officer arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, harassment

Eight-year veteran Frank Schmedeke released on bond, suspended with pay

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Frank Schmedeke

A Craig Police Department officer has been released from Moffat County Jail following his arrest Sunday night for an alleged domestic violence incident.

Frank Schmedeke, 37, an eight-year police department veteran, was arrested at 9:41 p.m. at his home in the 1100 block of Legion Street on suspicion of harassment and domestic violence against his wife.

Schmedeke posted a $750 personal recognizance bond Monday, according to court records. He has no prior convictions in Moffat or Routt counties, according to records.

Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said Schmedeke has been suspended.

“It’s standard practice if we have an officer that gets arrested, they go on administrative suspension until the case is investigated and he is either cleared or some other action is taken,” Vanatta said.

Vanatta said an administrative suspension is paid.

In addition to a criminal investigation currently underway by the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Vanatta said the police department is conducting an internal investigation.

“We will do our own internal investigation for policy and procedure violations that is separate from the criminal investigation,” Vanatta said. “When you suspend someone, particularly from a patrol standpoint, it creates scheduling issues. I want to get our internal investigation completed as quickly as possible because I frankly don’t like suspending people with pay any longer than is necessary.”

Schmedeke’s ability to return to the department also hangs on the outcome of any potential court proceedings.

“It kind of depends on what the DA’s office decides to do,” Vanatta aid. “If they file criminal charges, it’s going to depend on what the charge is. Hopefully they will have a resolution on what they are going to do fairly quickly.”

Jon Pfeifer, chief deputy district attorney in the Moffat County office, said his office has the warrant-less arrest affidavit, but had not received official reports from the sheriff’s office as of Tuesday afternoon.

The decision on whether to file formal criminal charges in Moffat County Court will be made before Schmedeke’s first court appearance, slated for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 6 before Judge Sandra Gardner, Pfeifer said.

Police officials said Monday that police officers were first on the scene when the domestic violence call came in Sunday night.

Once police officers identified who was involved, it was decided to bring in sheriff’s deputies to conduct an impartial investigation.

“That is specifically why we called in an independent agency to do the investigation and why we have also asked the district attorney’s office to assist with the investigation,” Vanatta said.

Sheriff’s deputy Clay Caldwell conducted an on-scene investigation Sunday night in which the victim alleged said she had been harassed throughout the course of the night.

Caldwell determined there was enough probable cause to arrest Schmedeke on suspicion of harassment and domestic violence.

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said suspicion of domestic violence was added given Schmedeke’s relationship with the alleged victim.

“A classic misnomer with domestic violence charges is that something physical transpired during the course of the incident,” Jantz said. “That’s not always the case.”

Jantz refrained from further comment until the district attorney’s office decides whether to file formal charges.

“There’s no cover up going on,” Jantz said. “There are a lot more legal avenues we need to pay attention to when an officer is involved and we’re just trying to be careful to get it right.”

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Comments

Cory561156 2 years, 4 months ago

It will ether be a nother cover up or plea deal by the great D.A Office of Craig CO witch will try to put a kid in jail and ruin his life but pleaing out drugies and the last cop did not get much when he was in there and another one seemed not to know his wife was getting paid by SS to watch kids that she said was there and wernt now's the time for a house cleaning for both the Police Dept and D.A Office not all the cops in Craig are bad people I know a few that are good but it is time for a change to get trust back in the city

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cmawest 2 years, 4 months ago

oh my ! here we go again ! let a cop do something and out of the woodwork come the cover up folks. what a shame that cops cannot be looked at as people instead of robots that are somehow broken. you weren't there to see what actually happened, and take it from someone who used to consider tim jantz a friend, he will not cover something up. if the incident requires an arrest, one will be made. if it rates conviction, he will see to it.

damn guys, every time a cop is involved don't make it a sure thing that he is wrong. he may be, but until you are willing to walk in his shoes, don't try and convict him and the entire system before you hear the whole story.

jantz may not be much af a friend to folks, but he is a good cop who won't cover anything up.

after all, you elected all of them.

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Becky Plummer 2 years, 4 months ago

"Victim alledged she had been harassed throughout the night" and that made it domestic violence given the relationship with the alledged victim. So argue with your spouse and you too could go to jail. This could happen to anyone of us, the police department made a correct decison to call in the Sheriff dept. to assist in this case, and yet you are already calling cover up and foul play. Its not over yet so how can you call it anything but what it is so far, a couple got into an extended argument and the husband went to jail. What you would want to end a life long career over an argument? And as far as Tim Jantz goes he is a fair and honest man in and out of the office and I am proud to call him a true friend.. And no I do not know the officer involved in this incident so you can't call me on that..

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Colette Erickson 2 years, 4 months ago

Family situation there very sad. I do believe, however, that one of the kids was a "go getter" last month, so kudos for that. Hang in there, kid.

Heh, Cory: "witch" and "which" are two different words. Just sayin'..............

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 4 months ago

Cory561156:

Spellcheck. Punctuation. Basic, 5th-grade level grammar. Ye gods.

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trout2k 2 years, 4 months ago

If it were a true "cover up" you folks would not be hearing of it. Give our local law enforcement some credit!

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bout2bubble 2 years, 4 months ago

i remember when an officer got in trouble for the same thing back when they made the law which made it illegal to own or posses a fire arm for that crime .well any way evrey one was worried this officer would lose their employment with our fine local law en forcement.forget the girls black eye and split lip.i saw it i worked with her.but this officer accused of this crime got no charges and later returned to work.but hey his girl got the black eye and split lip so its all good/

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Andrew Russo 2 years, 4 months ago

"after all, you elected all of them."

Not Frank Schmedeke, or any other police officer......

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