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Colorado police officers lose certification under new law

December 12, 2020 GMT

DENVER (AP) — Six law enforcement officers in Colorado lost their certification Friday for lying during criminal investigations or internal affairs investigations, marking the first time police have been decertified under a state law passed in 2019.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said during a meeting of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board that the revocations were “historic” and commended those who pushed for the change, The Denver Post reported.

“Public trust is achieved when law enforcement officers act with honesty and accountability,” he said in a news release Friday. “While the vast majority of peace officers honor this trust each and every day they put on their badge, unfortunately, there are some officers that do not belong in this profession.”

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Before the law was passed, agencies could fire officers for lying, but those officers could still move to a different agency and the POST Board could only revoke officers’ certifications for criminal conduct. Now, the officers can no longer work in Colorado law enforcement.

None of the six officers contested the punishment. They had worked at the Lone Tree, Pueblo and Delta police departments, as well as the Bayfield Marshal’s Office, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

At least three of the decertified officers lied during internal investigations, one lied while testifying under oath and two lied on “official criminal justice records,” according to the minutes of the POST Board meeting.

Additional details about each officer’s lies were not discussed or disclosed in the meeting minutes.