Interim chief to brief council on changes at police department | CraigDailyPress.com

Interim chief to brief council on changes at police department

Matt Stensland

— Changes are in the works at the Steamboat Springs Police Department.

Interim Steamboat Springs Police Chief Jerry DeLong on Tuesday will outline those changes for members of the city council and deliver a timeline.

“It’s going to be a time-related implementation,” DeLong said. “I can’t get them all implemented tomorrow.”

The changes are a response to a report prepared by Katherine Nuanes, an independent investigator hired to look into allegations related to conduct by Police Chief Joel Rae and Deputy Chief Bob DelValle. Both men earlier this month tendered their resignations. With 30 years of employment at the police department, DelValle was able to retire.

The changes DeLong is proposing essentially mirror the 18 recommendations from Nuanes.

Immediate changes DeLong plans to implement include sexual harassment and harassment training from a qualified trainer within the next six months and annually thereafter.

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Also top priorities for DeLong are to establish a policy for introducing, welcoming and mentoring new officers; create a mechanism for employees to make suggestions for the process of department improvements; and end any attempt to filter employee comments on annual evaluations.

Included in the 45-day timeline is to revise the grievance process for promotional processes and define a fixed window of opportunity to grieve; implement a safe reporting option for employees through the city’s human resources department within the next six months; and formalize a policy for awards and medals.

If the interim chief is still working for the department after 90 days, DeLong plans to complete a staff study on arrest control and defensive tactics to give the department administration a platform for decision making.

In eight months to one year, DeLong’s plan is to get all officers certified in Crisis Intervention Training and review and analyze lawsuits to determine if there are other issues that need to be addressed.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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