“For those who have assumed that the controversy about a case at a local Hooter’s restaurant was responsible for my retirement, I can easily dismiss that one,” the chief wrote in his final Facebook post as head honcho at the Colorado Springs Police Department.
“Day in and day out, the Office of the Chief deals with so many sensitive issues, whether personnel related, crimes, public policy, fiscal….this one doesn’t even register on the Richter scale,” he wrote.
Here is the full text of the chief’s post:
Mark Twain once observed, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.” Such has certainly been the case surrounding many of the events at CSPD. As we’ve written about here before, as a responsible public agency, we work within both legal and self-imposed constraints that serve to ensure we are accurate, factual, and relevant with the information we share. Often, that leads to some delays so that we can be sure our information IS factual and not conjecture, or that a family is notified before we release sensitive information, or that what may seem like related incidents are, in fact, unrelated. And, sometimes we believe in preserving the privacy rights of citizens, employees, victims, etc and do not release some information. Whenever there is a vacuum, it is natural that some will try to fill it in. Unfortunately, that only adds to “misinformation.”
As I write my final Facebook article, I want to at least correct a couple of misinformation things that keep lingering. First, for those who have assumed that the controversy about a case at a local Hooter’s restaurant was responsible for my retirement, I can easily dismiss that one. Day in and day out, the Office of the Chief deals with so many sensitive issues, whether personnel related, crimes, public policy, fiscal….this one doesn’t even register on the Richter scale. Any CEO who would change leadership every time there is a little controversy would burn through a whole lot of police chiefs…..
Secondly, those who promoted an image of drunken cops gone wild at Hooters are simply using this to play out their own bias against the police. Was anyone else disappointed about the repeated attacks on undercover cops and alcohol without any attempt to study and learn what the actual policy is, what major city police agencies across the country do, what our own state liquor enforcement unit does, and if the officers being discredited in this matter were within or outside of said policy? Alas, sometimes the facts just get in the way of a good story. I wish the one, lone CSPD officer and the single El Paso County deputy who together are responsible for all liquor code enforcement for the over 800 licensed premises throughout Colorado Springs and El Paso County much luck as they try to carry out an impossible mission while having to justify their necessity.
There is and always will be a tension between police and the people who report the news. Most of my professional experience as a chief in four states since 1984 has included healthy, respectful, and mutually beneficial dialogue between the media and the police. I have made transparency a key priority for CSPD in my time here. I’m grateful that the majority of our media counterparts have recognized and appreciated our increased efforts, and I’m also very impressed with the response from you all, our Facebook community, in your hunger for information directly from us. Help support the CSPD Facebook page with your questions, your ideas, and especially your presence.
Finally, thank you for the honor and privilege of serving as your police chief.