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El Paso County preparing for changes with police reform bill

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A sweeping police reform bill for Colorado now awaits final approval from the Governor and an El Paso County commissioner says there is no way the county can get around it.

County Commissioner Mark Waller says Senate Bill 217 which would prevent officers from using chokeholds and get rid of qualified immunity would be, "incredibly horrible for us."

Waller says he has spoken to county law enforcement agencies about the bill and even with the changes, they are not for it.

While El Paso County can't put forth a variance to not implement the legislation, Waller did say that following the new regulations isn't up to law enforcement agencies, themselves, like in the case of the state's Red Flag law.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the bill Monday, saying that it still needed to examine the final text before weighing in. Sheriff Bill Elder has expressed support for more accountability in the past. The sheriff's office clarified Tuesday that Elder never intended to not enforce the police accountability bill when it's signed into law.

But there is one thing the county cannot control and that's lawsuits filed against officers for using excessive force as outlined in the reform bill.

"There's nothing that can be done about it," Waller says.

Waller says he and other commissioners may write a letter or a resolution to Governor Jared Polis before he signs the bill that will express the county's concerns. However, Waller doesn't believe it will have any impact on the bill, "Will [Polis] listen to us? Of course not,  he never does."

Gov. Jared Polis briefly addressed the bill during his press conference on Monday, saying, "Republicans and Democrats responded to the call of the moment to reform policing in our communities and help rebuild the trust between law enforcement and our communities."

Polis is expected to sign the bill.

Colorado Springs / Local News / Politics

Chase Golightly

Chase is a reporter and an anchor for our weekend evening newscasts. Learn more about Chase here.

Comments

56 Comments

      1. Haven’t seen anything reported out the Seattle that would indicate it’s falling apart, yet. Lots of allegations but no proof of anything.

    1. Really? So if we don’t need police I guess we don’t need laws too! I mean if I decide to go rob a store who’s coming after me? If I decide to break into your home and beat and Rob you who’s coming after me. You?

    2. Wait until your family is a victim…..then you can say FTP at the funeral.
      People are arming up, guns and ammo are flying off the shelves. You want to get rid of the police fine. But I hope to expect a lot more de ad criminals and rightly so.

  1. Had The Chance to RECALL Polis, but not enough people could behoove themselves to find a Petition and Sign, so we all all stuck with his Leftist-I-Listen-To-Only-To-MY-Ideas.

  2. This was a bipartisan bill which got final approval in the State Senate with a 32-2 vote, and the house members had passed the bill Friday with a 52-13 vote. It’s hard to argue against it on political grounds.

  3. Maybe El Paso County cannot opt out but the city should be able to. A few years ago Denver went to court and argued that as a home-rule city they did not have to follow some of the state’s gun control laws and the court agreed. As a home rule city Colorado Springs ahould be able to opt out of this law.

  4. Cops SHOULD be ACCOUNTABLE for their actions, no more lying in court, no more falsifying paperwork, no more shooting people just for running away, NOW they have to work and do it without the terror tactics they have been using. Just like the officers in london have been doing.

    1. How about reaching for a gun while running away? What about firing a taser at police while running away? Sounds like you have some experience in handcuffs. Maybe you should move to England if they are more lenient on criminal activity.

  5. Why is it that Colorado springs is always trying to get outta doing what the people want and law enforcement just wants it there way without any questions there response should have been what can we do to make this work for the community and it’s people not how can we get outta this that kind of thinking is what crimanls and children think like.

  6. Time for the police to go on strike, leaving the streets empty. So the gang bangers and protesters can run the place…

    1. Thumbs Up. Give them a month without police and see how quickly they beg for them to come back at full capacity!!

    2. They already do not answer property crimes, takes upwards of 3-6 hours just to get an officer to respond…meanwhile you see 2 and 3 cars sitting in a parking lot next to each other looks like they are having a grand ole time…..on our dime….They use scare tactics to make people who do not know their rights afraid, The officers lie on paperwork as well as in court to cover their rear ends. they conduct illegal “searches” during a routine traffic stop. These are all things that need to stop. Look this is simple…..they are cops they SHOULD NOT be breaking the very laws they enforce…and they do they need to be charged to the highest letter of a the law. PERIOD!!!

      1. You should do a ride along for a day and you would understand why they are sitting in parking lots together. Your ignorance is revealing.

  7. Hey Mc Fly, why would we have a bill you don’t need to follow? Do you think yourself above the law? This is the very reason we are in the mess we are in now. I warned everyone this was coming if you let police keep getting away with this and not punish the ones that stepped over the line this is the result. Live with it. We have to.

    1. So Alexi when do we punish attorneys who shoot at people? When do we protest doctors who overstep their lines, I don’t see anyone burning down hospitals ya snowflake…. You only want to go after one area of society why not reform all of society?

      1. Attorneys and doctors are not protected from lawsuits by immunity. Attorneys and doctors that “overstep” can be sued or prosecuted; police can’t. That’s what’s being looked at.

        1. Do a Google search for “Police Officer sued for…” and see what pops up. Cops have never been immune to lawsuits for violating people’s rights.

        2. WRONG….you don’t know much do ya????? doctors can be sued but the state caps what the amount they can be sued for is…..so in a way that is protection.

    2. I’ve been called a lot of things but never a snowflake. Just because a officer has a legal right to do something does not make it right. There is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. They have been following the letter and not the spirit. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

  8. The CSPD, as I believe I remember, lost Military grade weaponry and can no longer participate in receiving more from the Gov’t. That, and the fact that they no longer list meth lab locations, endangering public health, does not install confidence.
    The Laws pertain to all citizens. The police are not above it’s citizens. Accountability pertains to all or none.

  9. It’s time for the various government agencies to find out how to protect their officers from frivolous lawsuits and hold the bad ones responsible.
    They’ll have to pay for personal insurance for the officers (just like a hospital pays for their staff’s insurance, in some facilities, in others the staff pays) and the bad officers will drive up their rates. Nothing like a monetary incentive to flush out the turds.
    Once the unions get over their whining, this will be a good thing for the good officers.

    1. Exactly. End the blue wall of silence and complicity.
      Isn’t it bizarre that Colorado Springs “leadership” thinks it should be exempted from a law that applies to the entire state – for the well-being of the entire state?
      As if our police can’t do their jobs without choke holds or immunity from prosecution? What does that say about our city?

  10. They don’t need to opt out. They need to stop treating people they way they do. The police chief needs to go. Time for some new blood with fresh ideas.

  11. What a sad sad time now to defund our great police force. Now we will see 10 times the amount of crime and can not call the police for help. well no wonder the gun sales are sky rocketing .well if the thugs and drug dealers want my store or home or hurt my family they have to talk to smith and Wesson first

    1. They didnt “help” in the first place…..no loss that I can see other than loosing a few city tax collectors…..

  12. Anyone figure out how much this bill is going to cost jurisdictions in frivolous law suits? For example, an armed robbery suspect points a gun at police and he is shot. A grand jury is shown the evidence and says that the shooting was justified. With the passing of this bill, now the criminal can sue the individual officer. Since the shooting was justified and the officer’s are still employed by the city, the city attorney will have to defend the officer. How much do you think this will cost the tax payers to defend a justified shooting? Frivolous.

    1. Anyone could sue anyone at any time for any reason. If they leave their camera’s on at all times then it can be played for anyone to see. How many times have we heard, “I forgot to turn it on” maybe this will remind them to keep it on all the time.

      1. Yes, anyone can be sued at anytime. My point is that LEO will not have to hire personal attorneys, taxpayer money will be used to defend LEO in frivolous lawsuits.

          1. You are wrong again. The city and county attorney’s will be defending frivolous lawsuits. T

    2. Problem is everyone is running around about the “feels” and not many of them are actually thinking.

  13. Floyd died from the stress of being arrested for being a criminal while having a pre existing condition and drugs in his system.
    ……
    Filthy violent BLM’ers and pANTIFA reacted by nationally violently rioting, killing, injuring, burning business’s and general violence. The communist democrap controlled MSM fanned the flames of violence and white hating racism.
    …..
    The conclusion that ALL police are the problem was as wrong as wrong can get….Politicians, who have no clue what it is like for police on the streets daily are forcing reforms that will hurt police and help criminals.
    …….
    BLM’ers and pANTIFA want the privilege to be able to commit crimes with no consequences….NOT GOING TO HAPPEN….BLM’ers and pANTIFA you have zero support from good law abiding Americans…..ZERO
    …..
    ALL LIFES MATTER!!

      1. If that’s being part of the problem, I’m proud to be part of that “problem.” Also proud of our country, and sick and tired of all you “better” liberals telling us how to think. Try thinking for yourself. It’s quite rewarding.

        1. Oh poor snowflake did you get Triggered? Not everyone that thinks the police need to change are liberals. Follow your own advice buttercup, Try thinking for yourself instead of others.

          1. Not triggered at all. The “people” aren’t the ones who use individual bad cop behavior as a trigger to promote anarchy and lawlessness. Snowflakes melt when things get hot. I’m glad you agree individual thinking is good. If more people thought that way, mob rule by a tiny minority would be meaningless.

    1. @NoShillZone No he died from having oxygen cut off. you know the cops in america have the highest bodycount and the lowest time in training in the world!! people that drive trucks for a living go thru more training than a cop does. something like 28 weeks for police training.

  14. Law enforcement officers are paid, public servants. We assume they can be trusted to run the department with integrity. Chokeholds, shooting people in the back ARE NOT means of law enforcement we ever expected or requested to be paid for.
    The police cannot police themselves-its obvious. Police Unions should be a mix of the citizenry as well as seasoned and newer officers. After all, we are paying for all of it through tax revenue.

    1. Police unions are just like any other union. They are paid for by the employees themselves, not with tax revenue.

  15. The Police Union needs to go. They are the ones who have dad officers put back on the job and bully the city. The union has its favorites and its lawyers. So where someone should be fired for bad behavior the union places them back in their job.
    The city has great benefits and there is no need for the union. All they do is keep bad cops and take money from all officers to make some others wealthy.

    1. Please share with us what you know about the colorado springs “police union”, and how they have protected bad officers.

  16. Most “people” don’t want lawlessness. It’s the criminals who don’t want to do what the “people” want. Locked and loaded here.

  17. EPSO need to look into some of their cold murder cases. There are a few that have never been solved.

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