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Friday, October 9, 2009

[CO] Officer Coyne killed himself while his department was still publicly questioning why testing gave no warning of his alleged crimes.

...[Grand Junction Police Officer Glenn] Coyne was fired by the department Thursday night in a face-to-face meeting at the jail with Deputy Chief John Zen... on suspicion he sexually assaulted a woman in her home earlier this week... Coyne, 35, said little before he was ordered held on $250,000 bond in a brief hearing Friday before County Court Judge Bruce Raaum, who advised Coyne of possible penalties, including lifetime supervision or prison, if convicted of first-degree sexual assault and first-degree burglary... Former Grand Junction Police Officer Glenn Coyne was found dead Tuesday in a Jefferson County hotel room, authorities said Wednesday. His body was found about 1:35 p.m. Tuesday by a staff member of the Days Inn hotel in the 15000 block of West Colfax Avenue... Coyne worked for the Santa Rosa County, Fla., Sheriff’s Department from November 2002 to February 2006, when he resigned... Coyne was the subject of extensive checks by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, where he worked before he joined the Grand Junction Police Department...

FORMER GJ POLICE OFFICER FOUND DEAD
Grand Junction Free Press
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
[Excerpts] Former Grand Junction Police Officer Glenn Coyne was found dead Tuesday in a Jefferson County hotel room, authorities said Wednesday. His body was found about 1:35 p.m. Tuesday by a staff member of the Days Inn hotel in the 15000 block of West Colfax Avenue... "We were deeply troubled to hear about Glenn's death," said interim Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper. "Right now our thoughts are focused on his family, especially his wife and children. Our deepest condolences and prayers are with them"... [Full article here]

EX-GRAND JUNCTION COP DEAD IN APPARENT SUICIDE
Officer had faced sex-assault allegation
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
Paul Shockley
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
[Excerpts] A "stressed" Glenn Coyne on Saturday had little to say but was eager to defend himself against sexual assault allegations that ended his 10-year career in law enforcement, according to a Montrose bail bondsman... Two days after being fired following his arrest on sexual assault and burglary allegations, Coyne paid a premium of just over $25,000 on a credit card to get out of jail... Coyne, 35, was found dead Tuesday around 1:35 p.m. by staff doing routine housekeeping at the Days Inn hotel, 15059 W. Colfax Ave, in Golden. A preliminary investigation shows Coyne shot himself in the head... Grand Junction Police Department spokeswoman Kate Porras said her department retrieved Coyne’s service weapon, badge and other police property on the night of Oct. 1 when they fired him. Coyne was married with two children; the family has a home on Orchard Mesa. "This entire incident has been very difficult for everyone involved, and these latest developments only make the situation more tragic," interim Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper said. Coyne had been scheduled to return to court in Mesa County for formal filing of charges next Tuesday. He was arrested Oct. 1 on suspicion of first-degree burglary and first-degree sexual assault... Coyne was working under probationary status, which was punishment handed down after an internal investigation found that he had violated department policy during another incident involving a separate woman that Coyne encountered while off duty in December 2008. The District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the case criminally, citing a lack of evidence... [Full article here]

EXCERPTS FROM NEWS IN THE DAYS JUST PRECEDING COYNE'S SUICIDE:

GRAND JUNCTION COP ACCUSED IN SEX ASSAULT
Officer fired, had been disciplined over policy violation in 2008
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
By Paul Shockley Paul.Shockley@gjsentinel.com
Thursday, October 01, 2009
[Excerpts] A Grand Junction Police Department officer was arrested Thursday on suspicion he sexually assaulted a local woman at her home earlier this week. Officer Glenn Coyne, 35, was booked into the Mesa County Jail on Thursday night on suspicion of first-degree burglary and sexual assault, related to an incident in the predawn hours of Tuesday that was investigated by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, according to interim Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper. Coyne was fired by the department Thursday night in a face-to-face meeting at the jail with Deputy Chief John Zen, according to Camper... Coyne’s arrest was the second in five weeks involving a Grand Junction Police Department officer accused of criminal activity while off duty. "We find this to be embarrassing, tragic and alarming," Camper told The Daily Sentinel on Thursday night. "We recognize how much it negatively impacts the reputation we work so hard to build in this community, and we’re going to do everything we can to regain the community’s trust. I accept full responsibility for what happens under my command." At the time of Coyne’s arrest, his employment status was considered probationary. His salary had been cut earlier this year as a disciplinary action after an internal investigation found he had violated department policy during an off-duty incident involving another woman... Camper said he had not seen Coyne’s arrest affidavit, which he said has been filed under seal. According to events described by Camper, Coyne was among a group of officers who were dispatched to a Grand Junction home on Sunday night. Coyne’s alleged victim had called for assistance on a family matter, Camper said. Camper said the woman called Coyne and asked him for additional assistance on Monday; Coyne had left a contact phone number behind after handling the call Sunday. After Coyne’s regular shift ended around 1 a.m. Tuesday, he allegedly went to the home again and sexually assaulted her... When asked why he moved so fast to fire the officer, Camper said Coyne had been on notice. "There was no doubt in my mind the officer had really violated the terms for which he was put on probation initially"... Camper said the department has "made every effort to extend our concern and apologies to the alleged victim in this case"... Camper did not provide specifics about Coyne’s 2008 investigation. The matter has been opened again because of the similar nature of the allegations in Tuesday’s incident... With Coyne’s firing Thursday, the department has lost two officers in as many weeks who were snared in criminal investigations. Former officer Courtney Crooks, 24, resigned Sept. 16 and is scheduled to return to court later this month on misdemeanor physical harassment allegations involving his wife. Camper on Thursday said the arrests shouldn’t reflect on the department as a whole, but changes may be in order. "I have nothing but respect for the fine men and women I’ve met here since I’ve become chief," said Camper, who has been on the job four weeks as of today. "I’m not necessarily concerned with standards here, but I envision we’ll look at the entire process for hiring all the way through. Clearly there’s something we need to look into." Coyne was hired as a patrol officer in January 2007. He previously worked for the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department from February 2006 to January 2007. Coyne arrived in the Grand Valley from a law enforcement agency in Florida. [Full article here]

FORMER CHIEF DEFENDS DEPARTMENT
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
By Paul Shockley
Friday, October 02, 2009
[Excerpts] Former Grand Junction Police Chief Bill Gardner on Friday said the department remains a "model" Colorado law enforcement agency, despite the arrest over five weeks of two police officers who were hired under his leadership. "I think any attempt to see a pattern or link is flawed," Gardner said. "Unfortunately, in police work we are dealing with human beings, and certainly on my watch we did every conceivable background check in hiring those two men and a complete psychological evaluation. "In spite of all that, and horribly so, we have two individuals who really let us down." At the same time, Gardner said he believed his longtime friend and successor, interim Police Chief John Camper, was "on the right track" when he expressed Thursday a need to re-evaluate the department’s hiring and officer-development process. "When you go through incidents like this, you have to examine your practices," Gardner said. Officer Glenn Coyne, 35, was fired after his arrest Thursday on suspicion he sexually assaulted a woman in her home earlier this week. The arrest was just more than two weeks after Courtney Crooks, 24, resigned. Crooks was arrested in late August on allegations of domestic violence involving his wife... [Full article here]

DISTRICT ATTORNEY: OLD CASE AGAINST OFFICER COYNE WAS UNPROVABLE
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
By Paul Shockley Paul.Shockley@gjsentinel.com
Friday, October 02, 2009
[Excerpts] District Attorney Pete Hautzinger defended his office’s decision not to pursue criminal charges last year against a police officer who was fired Thursday after being freshly accused of sexual assault. Hautzinger called the old matter "unprovable." - "As with any case, we have to consider whether we can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury," Hautzinger said, minutes after arguing bond Friday in a new case involving former Grand Junction Police Department officer Glenn Coyne. "That’s significantly different than saying he didn’t do anything wrong," Hautzinger said of a December 2008 incident involving Coyne and a local woman. The incident was investigated criminally by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, and internally by the Grand Junction Police Department. ... [Full article here]

GRAND JUNCTION OFFICER JAILED FOR ALLEGED SEXUAL ASSAULT
KRDO
October 2, 2009
[Excerpts] Grand Junction Police Officer Glenn Coyne was arrested over night for an alleged burglary and sexual assault. We have learned Coyne was fired and has been charged with 1st degree burglary and sexual assault... In addressing questions about this incident, Interim Chief John Camper said, "On behalf of the entire Grand Junction Police Department, I want to pass along my sincere and heartfelt apologies to the citizen involved in this case. Deputy Chief John Zen has been in contact with her in order to apologize, and I too have asked if I may meet with her personally in order to express my apologies and concerns" We've also learned this is not the first issue Coyne had with the department... In December of 2008, a citizen, whom Coyne had dealt with on a call, alleged that while off duty Coyne came to her residence at her invitation. She later alleged criminal conduct by Coyne. That case was also investigated criminally, but ultimately, and after review by the District Attorney's Office, there was insufficient probable cause to charge the officer criminally, and the case had to be closed. Internally, the department says it also investigated the matter and found Coyne committed a number of department violations, and he was placed back on non-proficient/probationary status, to include a reduction in pay. Due in part to the similarities that exist with this latest case, as well as the officer's failure to comply with the terms of his probation, Chief Camper terminated Coyne. The chief is quoted in the news release as saying, "When something like this happens, it negatively impacts the trust that we have developed with you and with this community, and rightfully so," Chief Camper added. "Each day I see and hear about the incredible things our officers do to provide outstanding service to our citizens, so I am particularly angered when something like this happens. It sets our reputation back years, and it trivializes that great work. You have my pledge that in the remaining time that I have here, we will do everything in our power to investigate how this incident occurred, to find out if we could have done anything to prevent it, and to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. We will do everything possible to regain the trust of this community; you have my word. I accept full responsibility for what happens under my command, and I am fully capable of implementing any solutions that are necessary." [Full article here]

GLENN COYNE POSTS BOND
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
By Emily Anderson Emily.Anderson@gjsentinel.com
Saturday, October 03, 2009
[Excerpts] Former Grand Junction police officer Glenn Coyne walked out of Mesa County Jail on Saturday evening after putting up more than $25,000 in cash or credit... [Full article here]

EX-COP CLAIMS HE IS INNOCENT
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
By Paul Shockley Paul.Shockley@gjsentinel.com
Saturday, October 03, 2009
[Excerpts] During a brief conversation in a holding cell at the Mesa County Jail late Thursday, Glenn Coyne proclaimed his innocence after he was told he’d been fired from the Grand Junction Police Department, according to Deputy Chief John Zen. Coyne, 35, said little before he was ordered held on $250,000 bond in a brief hearing Friday before County Court Judge Bruce Raaum, who advised Coyne of possible penalties, including lifetime supervision or prison, if convicted of first-degree sexual assault and first-degree burglary. Coyne will be formally charged Oct. 8 before District Court Judge Richard Gurley. Raaum’s high bond was set just after District Attorney Pete Hautzinger had argued for a $100,000 bond. Hautzinger called Coyne’s case "extraordinarily aggravated." Coyne’s arrest affidavit has been filed under seal... Prior to his employment with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department between February 2006 and January 2007, Coyne worked for the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Department in Florida just under four years. According to the agency’s human resources department, he was hired in November 2002 before resigning in February 2006... "He seemed professional in his job and a fine officer when he was with this agency," Santa Rosa Sgt. Scott Haynes said. Haynes said he didn’t know why Coyne left Florida. [Full article here]

FIRED COP SHOWED NO RED FLAGS DURING HIRING PROCESS
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
Gary Harmon Gary.Harmon@gjsentinel.com
Saturday, October 03, 2009
[Excerpts] The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department invests about $40,000 into every deputy it hires, from the day an applicant fills out a form to the day the new deputy is allowed to drive the road alone. One of those who twice survived extensive background, psychological and other tests, Glenn Coyne, is now awaiting charges after he was arrested on suspicion of burglary and sexual assault. Coyne was the subject of extensive checks by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, where he worked before he joined the Grand Junction Police Department... Officials with both departments on Friday said they were disturbed that Coyne had survived extensive testing and background checks without his superiors recognizing any signs of looming trouble. "We are going to do a review," interim Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper said. As with any similar instance, "We’re going to re-evaluate if there were any red flags" that went unrecognized when the Sheriff’s Department hired him in February 2006. Coyne stayed with the Sheriff’s Department less than a year. He took a job as a police patrol officer in January 2007. Coyne worked for the Santa Rosa County, Fla., Sheriff’s Department from November 2002 to February 2006, when he resigned, according to human resources officials there... Officials in Mesa County said their evaluation systems are tailored to root out applicants with tendencies to be unstable or violent. "We have a pretty darned stringent process," Undersheriff Rebecca Spiess said. Nonetheless, the department likely will go back to psychologist Dr. Chris Young, who evaluates prospective deputies, to study what might have happened in Coyne’s case... The evaluation process Coyne survived with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department began with an extensive application... After that hurdle, Coyne was given an "integrity interview" that "covers their whole life since they were born"... Applicants are required to sign blanket releases clearing people to speak about them openly... At the time Coyne was going through the process, candidates who cleared the integrity interview then underwent a second interview with a polygraph, or so-called lie detector... Candidates must pass physical and medical tests, as well as survive the background and psychological examination... The Police Department process is similar to that used by the Sheriff’s Department, except the police now use voice-stress analysis instead of a polygraph, department spokeswoman Kate Porras said. Police candidates undergo a 17-week training period they must complete before they’re allowed alone on patrol. In all, a successful applicant will spend at least six months and as long as a year before becoming a full-time officer... [Full article here]

ACCUSED EX-COP WARNED AFTER 2003 ACCIDENT WITH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
By Paul Shockley Paul.Shockley@gjsentinel.com
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
[Excerpts] While working as a sheriff’s deputy in Florida in 2004, Glenn Coyne was given a verbal warning after causing a traffic accident while on the job... Coyne was hired part-time by Santa Rosa County in 1999. He had served in the Marine Corps from 1992 to 1996. He resigned in October 2001 for a new law enforcement position with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection... Coyne was hired again as a deputy by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Department after spending just one month in the new job. He resigned again in February 2006 to take a position the next month with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. Coyne left the Sheriff’s Department in January 2007 for his post with the Grand Junction Police Department... Coyne is free after posting $250,000 bond at the Mesa County Jail... He’s scheduled to return to court Thursday for formal filing of charges. [Full article here] [Full article here]
[police officer, officer-involved, perpetrated, domestic violence, law enforcement, fatality, fatalities, colorado, state, policy, state]

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