With the decision this week to terminate two more Denver police officers, six have now been fired this year — one more than in the previous three years combined, reports the Denver Post. Authorities said the sudden burst of terminations is largely the result of changes made to disciplinary rules in 2008. The firings have occurred under the watch of a mayor who chose not to seek election to the office, pledged not to let open disciplinary cases linger during his brief term, and is not worried about maintaining political support within the Police Department.
The seeds for the terminations — all of which involved officers failing to tell the truth in reports or during investigations — were sown in 2008 when the new disciplinary rules were designed, said the city’s independent police monitor, Richard Rosenthal. “The disciplinary matrix is fully in place now and is being followed by the department with respect to the commission of deceptive acts or lying to internal affairs,” he said. On Monday, safety manager Charles Garcia terminated officers Ricky Nixon and Kevin Devine, who were accused of excessive force for an incident caught on camera in 2009. The two were dismissed for “commission of a deceptive act.” Garcia found that the reports they filed after the arrests did not match other witness accounts.