Denver Chief Reviewing Alcohol Abuse Among Officers After Incidents


Amid a rash of officer arrests, Denver Police Chief Robert White ordered a review of how his department handles reports of alcohol abuse among its nearly 1,400 officers, the Denver Post reports. White spoke about the seven officers accused of crimes this year, saying six of them involved alcohol and calling the incidents “frustrating.” By comparison, there were only four officer arrests in 2013.

White expects to present an revamped substance-abuse policy by the end of July. Change may not come easy as White battles a culture where officers may be reluctant to jeopardize their careers — or those of their peers — by reporting alcohol abuse. Incidents involving officers this year have included a veteran detective arrested on a child-pornography; another detective arrested on nine charges, including child abuse and domestic violence; and two officers accused, along with their wives, of getting into a drunken brawl. Substance abuse was the major topic at a police chiefs conference in San Diego in February, White said. Chiefs from other major departments spoke about their evolving policies on the problem.

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