GJ police chief asks for, gets internal affairs audit

Officers from outside the Grand Junction Police Department will look at the agency’s internal affairs investigation process, interim Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper said Friday.

Camper said the board of directors of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police accepted his request for the review by senior law enforcement officers with experience in internal affairs matters. Dates for the review haven’t been nailed down.

Camper has said he has been pleased with the way complaints and allegations have been handled by the department.

“I want to look at the details of our process,” he said. “I also want to see if there are modern, progressive steps out there used by other departments that we should be using.”

As a paying member of the statewide police organization, the department will incur no extra costs for the work, Camper said.

The review comes as Camper, who has been on the job just more than a month, lost two officers in 16 days after their arrests and after they were investigated internally.

Camper has said he believes the department took a thorough look at allegations of misconduct involving former Grand Junction officer Glenn Coyne and a woman in December 2008.

After the District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the case because of a lack of evidence, an internal investigation found Coyne had violated department policy. Coyne in March was placed on probationary employment status, and his pay was cut.

Coyne, 35, was found dead Tuesday in an apparent suicide after he bonded out of the Mesa County Jail. He was arrested Oct. 1 on allegations of sexual assault involving a different woman, and the Police Department fired him later that day.

The Police Department also conducted two internal investigations involving Courtney Crooks, 24, who resigned from the department on Sept. 16 and had been on unpaid leave following his Aug. 28 arrest on allegations of misdemeanor harassment of his wife.

The city of Grand Junction denied a Colorado Open Records Act request by The Daily Sentinel to review documents related to the investigation of Crooks. In the city’s response, officials said disclosure was “contrary to the public interest,” and it would violate the department’s policies for internal affairs investigations.


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