Police Chief: Don't interfere

Oak Creek Town Board debates new complaint reviews

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Krall leaving

Mayor Pro-Tem Angie Krall on Thursday announced her resignation from the Oak Creek Town Board, effective July 10. Krall, who works for the U.S. Forest Service, has accepted a position as a forest archaeologist on the Rio Grande National Forest, based out of Monte Vista.

Krall was elected to a four-year term on the board in 2006 and was appointed mayor pro-tem later that year.

— With months of back and forth arguing and not a whole lot of ground gained, the Oak Creek Town Board is looking at devising a new complaint-review process for the Oak Creek police and other town departments.

Members of the board expressed frustration during Thursday night's Town Board meeting because their attempts to review complaints and gain information from the police department have been hampered. Police Chief Russ Caterinicchio responded by telling the Town Board not to "micromanage my department."

Police Commissioner Dave Ege, trying to review a complaint received about two weeks ago regarding Caterinicchio and Sgt. Erik

Foster, said information and

video from the traffic stop was denied to him because he's not "authorized" to view it. That complaint still is being reviewed in-house, Caterinicchio said.

Concerning his view of the chain of command for his department, Caterinicchio said he answers to the majority consensus of the Town Board. But he also indicated their influence is limited to broad-scale policy.

"You don't micromanage my department. You're merely an adviser," Caterinicchio said.

Town officials will work with their attorney to determine exactly what information the Town Board and police commissioners have access to and what is limited by applicable state and federal law.

"We need to create a formal complaint process and solidify everything, write it down and have a handout for people," Trustee Josh Voorhis said. "It's a reasonable request, and it needs to be codified."

Oak Creek's current complaint process dictates that complaints should go first to the relevant department head, then to the appointed commissioners who oversee the department, and if necessary, to the Town Board. However, formal and informal complaints about the Oak Creek Police Department have circumvented that process for months - so much so that the former Town Board decided in March they had to ignore any that did not follow proper procedure.

Despite ongoing issues, the board approved a 2 percent merit increase for Caterinicchio based on his six-month performance review.

The Town Board also ap-proved a resolution formally expressing its support of forming a Boys & Girls Club satellite in Oak Creek. The South Routt School District has agreed Soroco Middle School or High School can be used until a permanent facility is built, Caterinicchio said.

Comments

beentheredonethat 5 years, 9 months ago

oak creek residents who complain about their police department are ignorant.

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nmypinon 5 years, 9 months ago

So who will take over in Angie's place? I guess the Chief is showing us who is the BOSS of him.

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aufait 5 years, 9 months ago

Amazing! It says there are 5 comments on here but the only one that shows up is the one talking trash about the residents of Oak Creek! I'm sorry but 500 Indians can't be wrong about one chief!

Where else in the world does one person have no one else to answer to! Run as rough shod over people as you want and no one to answer to. Amazing!

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hulk 5 years, 9 months ago

you tell em chief! Why would the town board want to investigate something they don't know how to handle properly? Do any of the police commissioners have ANY training or live experience in handling internal affairs complaints against police officers? You wouldn't try to tell your doctor how to take out your appendix why would you try to tell a professional police officer how to investigate a complaint. Oak Creek pay attention this kind of stuff happened before with another town board and history is starting to repeat itself when corrupt politicians undermine law enforcement

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uporpeopleu 5 years, 9 months ago

these r extremely psycho-tic excuses 4 officers. answer 2 no 1. judge himself far far less harshly han he judges the residents jokes on oc..bad joke . uporpeople u

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innovated 5 years, 9 months ago

What happened to the concept of 'protect and serve'? As a tax payer, I don't feel like I have been protected, especially when the 'department' goes home early at night and the town runs amok...and served? It appears there is a different set of rules they run by: 'do what I say and not what I do'. Sigh.

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