Fort Collins cop resigns after series of faulty arrests
CBS COLORADO - On the cusp of being fired, Fort Collins police officer Jason Haferman resigned this week after an internal police investigation verified what extensive media reports had already shown- that Haferman repeatedly stopped motorists and arrested them for suspected DUI or driving under the influence of drugs but later testing showed no such drugs or alcohol in the drivers' systems.
Fort Collins Police Chief Jeff Swoboda acknowledged his department's internal investigation showed that for nine of Haferman's DUI arrests within a year, none of the drivers had drugs or alcohol onboard.
"We don't have anything that suggests there was intent or malintent," said Swoboda during an interview with CBS News Colorado. Rather, he said Haferman showed "poor decision-making." Swoboda said he planned to meet with Haferman Tuesday to fire him, but the officer resigned Monday night.
Asked how the same thing kept happening in case after case over the course of a year, Swoboda said his department will review what happened to determine if they could have caught the pattern earlier.
Sarah Schielke, an attorney representing some of the wrongfully arrested drivers, said she planned to file lawsuits against Fort Collins police.
"This is some supervisory failures, some systemic failures," said Schielke. "Justice is going to be served."
Matthew Haltzman, another northern Colorado attorney who has represented one of the wrongfully arrested drivers, said Haferman's resignation is "too little too late." He said "Fort Collins should have been on top of this" and faulted the agency for not unearthing the string of questionable arrests earlier.
Kate Kimble, Public Relations Manager for Fort Collins Police Services, said the internal investigation into Haferman "revealed a pattern of performance that did not meet the training and standards we require for all officers." She said some of Haferman's infractions included submission of inaccurate or incomplete written reports and documents, failure to take DUI field notes and poor decision-making at multiple stages of the DUI investigation process. Kimble went on to say that none of the infractions in the internal affairs investigation are incidents that would disqualify Haferman from being a Colorado police officer but that state authorities are being informed that Haferman resigned while under investigation.
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