The purpose of this policy is to establish policy and procedures for the investigation of an incident in which a person is injured or dies, or is gravely injured, as the result of an officer-involved shooting or dies as a result of other action of an officer. In other incidents not covered by this policy, the chief of police may decide that the investigation will follow the process provided in this policy.
The policy of the University of Colorado Boulder Police Department is to ensure that officer-involved shootings and deaths, or officer-involved incidents when persons are gravely injured, are investigated in a thorough, fair and impartial manner. In cases involving officers using deadly force or for other incidents involving in-custody deaths, the Boulder County chief executive officers developed the Boulder County investigation team as a resource available to all Boulder County law enforcement agencies. The investigative team consists of a collection of skilled investigators from county agencies and serves as a resource to conduct unbiased, objective investigations in cases where officers use deadly force, or for other incidents involving in#custody deaths. The team is made available to conduct an investigation at the request of the chief of police. In instances when grave injury occurs but does not involve shooting or use of deadly force, the chief of police generally will assign the investigation of the officer's actions through the professional standards bureau. This does not preclude the chief from requesting additional outside resources to aid or assume an investigation as deemed appropriate.
The chief of police determines if the incident will be investigated by the Boulder County investigative team, internal personnel in accord with this policy manual, or by outside resources. If the Boulder County investigative team conducts the investigation, the on-scene CUPD supervisor maintains control of the scene until responsibility is formally accepted by a lead investigator from the team. Use of the Boulder County investigative team does not preclude responding officers and detectives from taking preliminary steps to gather initial witness statements, collect or protect any perishable evidence, and preserving the scene. If the Boulder County investigative team is not utilized, the supervisor maintains control of the scene until relieved by a department investigative supervisor and/or at at the direction of a command staff officer.
The chief of police or assigned designee will maintain a current copy of the Boulder County investigative team procedures and make it available to all command personnel.
Jurisdiction is determined by the location of the shooting or death or grave injury incident and the agency employing the involved officer.
The following procedures are guidelines used in the investigation of an officer-involved shooting or death, or officer-related incident resulting in grave injury.
305.5.1 Uninvolved Officer Responsibilities
Upon arrival at the scene of an officer-involved shooting or death, the first uninvolved CUPD officer will be the officer-in-charge and will assume the responsibilities of a supervisor until properly relieved. This officer should, as appropriate:
305.5.2 Supervisor Responsibilities
Upon arrival at the scene, the first uninvolved CUPD supervisor should ensure completion of the duties as outlined above, plus:
The following persons shall be notified as soon as practicable:
Upon directive of the Chief of Police or designee, the following notifications may be made:
305.5.4 Involved Officers
The following shall be considered for the involved officer:
Care should be taken to preserve the integrity of any physical evidence present on the involved officer's equipment or clothing, such as blood or fingerprints, until investigators or lab personnel can properly retrieve it. Each involved CUPD officer shall be given reasonable paid administrative leave following an officer-involved shooting or death. It shall be the responsibility of the shift supervisor to make schedule adjustments to accommodate such leave.
305.5.5 Officer Directly Involved - Initial Responsibilities
Any officer involved in a shooting or incident resulting in grave injury must immediately notify a supervisory officer of the incident and location. This notification should be done through communications. A delay in the required notification is allowed, if necessary, to render first aid, maintain an arrest or prevent an escape of a subject, protect a crime scene or when the officer is incapacitated
Until relieved by the next arriving officer, the involved member will remain responsible for protecting the crime scene, rendering first aid and requesting necessary emergency medical aid. An exception will be made if the officer is physically unable to fulfill these duties.
The officer involved is required to protect their weapon(s) for examination. At the direction of the on-scene supervisor or investigator, the weapon will be turned over as evidence either at the scene or at another location as appropriate.
The district attorney's office is responsible for the criminal investigation into the circumstances of any officer-involved shooting or death.
If available, investigative personnel from this department may be assigned to partner with investigators from outside agencies or the District Attorney's Office to avoid duplicating efforts in related criminal investigations.
Once public safety issues have been addressed, criminal investigators should be given the opportunity to obtain a voluntary statement from involved officers and to complete their interviews. The following shall be considered for the involved officer:
305.6.1 Reports by Involved CUPD Officers
In the event that suspects remain outstanding or subject to prosecution for related offenses, this department shall retain the authority to require involved CUPD officers to provide sufficient information for related criminal reports to facilitate the apprehension and prosecution of those individuals.
While the involved CUPD officer may write the report, it is generally recommended that such reports be completed by assigned investigators, who should interview all involved officers as victims/witnesses. Since the purpose of these reports will be to facilitate criminal prosecution, statements of involved officers should focus on evidence to establish the elements of criminal activities by suspects. Care should be taken not to duplicate information provided by involved officers in other reports.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to deprive an involved CUPD officer of the right to consult with legal counsel prior to completing any such criminal report.
Reports related to the prosecution of criminal suspects will be processed according to normal procedures but should also be included for reference in the investigation of the officer-involved shooting or death.
305.6.2 Multi-Agency Investigation - Boulder County Investigation Team
Officer-involved shootings that result in injury or death shall be investigated by a multi-agency team, the Boulder County investigation team (BCIT) at the direction of the chief of police or designee.
The operations support division commander shall ensure this protocol is posted on the University of Colorado Boulder Police Department website and is available to the public upon request (CRS §16-2.5-301).
In addition to all other investigations associated with an officer-involved shooting or death, this department will conduct an internal administrative investigation of involved CUPD officers to determine conformance with department policy. This investigation will be conducted under the supervision of the professional standards unit and will be considered a confidential officer personnel file.
Interviews of members shall be subject to department policies (see the personnel complaints policy) and applicable laws.
A member of this department may be assigned to work exclusively under the direction of the legal counsel for the department to assist in the preparation of materials deemed necessary in anticipation of potential civil litigation.
All materials generated in this capacity shall be considered attorney work product and may not be used for any other purpose. The civil liability response is not intended to interfere with any other investigation but shall be given reasonable access to all other investigations.
Any officer involved in a shooting or death may be permitted to review available Mobile Audio/Video (MAV), body-worn video, or other video or audio recordings prior to providing a recorded statement or completing reports. Upon request, non-law enforcement witnesses who are able to verify their presence and their ability to contemporaneously perceive events at the scene of an incident may also be permitted to review available MAV, body-worn video, or other video or audio recordings with the approval of assigned investigators with the approval of a command staff officer.
Any MAV, body-worn and other known video or audio recordings of an incident should not be publicly released during an ongoing investigation without consulting the prosecuting attorney or university counsel’s office, as appropriate.
Following an officer-involved shooting or death, the University of Colorado Boulder Police Department should conduct both a critical incident/stress debriefing and a tactical debriefing. Additionally, the chief of police or designee will brief department members concerning the incident so that rumors are kept to a minimum. Department members are reminded that any information regarding the incident is released to the public only by the chief of police, chief's designee, or designated PIO.
305.10.1 Critical Incident/Stress Debriefing
A critical incident/stress debriefing should occur as soon as practicable. The support services division commander is responsible for organizing the debriefing. Notes and recorded statements should not be taken because the sole purpose of the debriefing is to help mitigate the stress-related effects of a traumatic event. The debriefing is not part of any investigative process. Care should be taken not to release or repeat any communication made during a debriefing unless otherwise authorized by policy, law or a valid court order.
Attendance at the debriefing shall only include those members of the department directly involved in the incident, which can include support personnel (e.g., dispatchers, other non-sworn). Family or other support personnel may attend with the concurrence of those involved in the incident. The debriefing shall be closed to the public and should be closed to all other members of the department, including supervisory and professional standards unit personnel.
305.10.2 TACTICAL DEBRIEFING
A tactical debriefing should take place to identify any training or areas of policy that need improvement. The chief of police should identify the appropriate participants. This debriefing should not be conducted until all involved members have provided recorded or formal statements to criminal and/or administrative investigators.
In such situations as listed in this policy, the chief of police designates a PIO who typically will act as a single source of public or media information. The chief of police or designee approves all public and media releases about the incident. Officer involved names will not be released for at least 24 hours after a police shooting or incustody death incident, unless approved by the chief of police, deputy chief of police, or division commander and the involved officers.
No involved CUPD officer shall make any comment to the media unless he/she is authorized by the chief of police or a division commander.
Department members receiving inquiries regarding officer-involved shootings or deaths occurring in other jurisdictions shall refrain from public comment and will direct those inquiries to the agency having jurisdiction and primary responsibility for the investigation.
The records manager, with the assistance of the investigations supervisor and/or the support services division chief of police, shall report the data required by CRS § 24-33.5-517 regarding officer-involved shootings to the Colorado Department of Public Safety by September 1 each year.