Vail wraps up investigation of Frisco cops |

Vail wraps up investigation of Frisco cops

Julie Sutor

FRISCO – More than a month has passed since a family found itself on the uncomfortable end of police officers’ firearms. But the longtime Summit County residents, Lee and Mary Pat Cropper, are cautiously optimistic that such an incident won’t occur again in the community.”The (police) chiefs have been great,” Mary Pat Cropper said. “They have admitted that the situation was handled improperly, that our civil rights were violated, and they are taking steps so this doesn’t happen again.”On the evening of Feb. 9, an auto thief stole a pickup truck from a Frisco home and abandoned the vehicle in the Croppers’ driveway, unbeknownst to the family. Two Frisco police officers, as well as officers from Dillon, Silverthorne and the Colorado State Patrol, arrived at the Croppers’ home shortly after to investigate. Officers cleared the family of any connection with the stolen vehicle, only after the Croppers were and treated in an overly aggressive manner, the family said.All three police departments involved have conducted reviews of the incident. Frisco Police Chief Tom Wickman enlisted Vail Police Department to conduct an independent review and to recommend any changes for his department.”There are a lot of recommendations that are going to be implemented,” said Frisco Town Manager Michael Penny. “We are going to be making changes, and I have a chief who’s leading the charge. We want people to know we’re not about Fourth Amendment violations – we’re about the community.”Among the changes underway:• Wickman will also be making changes to his officers’ uniforms to more clearly identify them as those of law enforcement officers. The Croppers complained that they weren’t sure the armed men on their doorstep were actually police.• Frisco PD will also step up its ongoing officer training, so its staff are prepared to act appropriately and according to department policies in any variety of situations.Next week, Wickman will review the conclusions of the internal affairs investigation with the Frisco Police Citizens Advisory Committee in a closed-door session to solicit feedback on discipline for his officers.”I have full confidence that there will be full and appropriate disciplinary action,” Penny said.Mary Pat Cropper said she thought the changes were reasonable, but that only time will tell if they’ll make a tangible impact.”With something like this, it’s a wait-and-see on whether they’re going to be changing the way they do business. The chiefs have been very attentive and concerned, and I just hope it can trickle down from the chiefs to the officers on the streets,” she said.Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism