Eagle puzzled by probe of police
EAGLE ” “Very heavy handed,” is how Eagle leaders are describing an investigation by the District Attorney’s Office into the certification of two of the town’s police officers.
Officials are puzzled by the decision to execute a search warrant and seize a variety of records at Town Hall last week, they said in a press release.
“The information could have easily been obtained by a records request or a phone call,” the release said.
District Attorney Mark Hurlbert is investigating Eagle police officers Steve Delaney, a 23-year police officer from Michigan, and Robert Regan, who has been a cop in New Jersey and New Mexico for 21 years.
The two officers were hired by the Eagle Police Department over the summer. Delaney quit the force last week shortly after the investigation began, and Regan is “performing office duties, not on patrol” until this matter is settled, Chief Gary Ward said.
The District Attorney’s Office says the grounds for the charges is that the officers are not properly certified and are “impersonating a police officer.”
“I am troubled that the D.A. is giving the impression that we are handing out badges on the street in Eagle, which is far from accurate,” Eagle Mayor Jon Stavney said.
Ed Sands, town attorney, said DeLaney and Regan are trained officers with years of experience.
“The question of whether Delaney and Regan have completed all of the Peace Officer Standards and Training certification requirements which are required within six months of hire is a technical matter handled by a state agency,” Sands said. “The procedure followed by the department is common practice across the state.”
The police department was short-staffed following the unexpected resignation of Police Chief Rick Sliger at the start of summer. Two other officers left to take jobs with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
“The town was short handed, and hired the two senior officers for immediate patrol duty,” Powell said in the news release.
The town submitted certification applications to the training agency in Denver upon hire of each officer, Powell said.
Police officers from other states hired in Colorado can receive provisional certification before passing the training agency’s written exams. The applicants then have up to six months to pass the written exam and complete the skills requirement.
“Why the D.A. chose to take such a strident and action toward a fellow law enforcement agency is disturbing,” Stavney said. “The office has besmirched the reputations of two veteran police officers who have dedicated their professional careers to public service.”
Eagle, meanwhile, also is searching for a new police chief.
This article first appeared in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.
Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado
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