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Manitou Springs Police Chief put on leave amid an internal investigation

Brian Churchill

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The City of Manitou Springs announced Monday morning the Chief of Police for the city's Police Department had been placed on administrative leave.

Chief of Police Brian Churchill has been on paid administrative leave since Jan 21., according to the City. The public was not informed until Monday.

So far, the City of Manitou Springs said the situation was related to a "personnel matter" and there is currently an ongoing internal investigation.

"At this time there is nothing more we can say," said Mayor John Graham to KRDO via email."The matter is being handled through our established HR process."

The mayor and city council would not explain further what caused Churchill to be placed on administrative leave, or what called for the investigation.

However, 13 Investigates has learned this isn't the first time Churchill has faced an internal investigation throughout his law enforcement career.

Before becoming Manitou Springs' Police Chief in October 2019, Churchill had spent more than 20 years as an officer with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD).

According to our affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis, back in 2011, a 9-1-1 caller reported seeing Churchill, who was Sergeant with the IMPD at the time, being inappropriate with a female companion.

When IMPD police arrived at the scene, Churchill apparently flashed his gun and his badge at officers. Officers told WTHR they believed Churchill was drunk at the time and drove him home.

IMPD would not confirm anything about the 2011 investigation into Churchill on Monday. It's unclear if he was disciplined after the incident or if the City of Manitou Springs was aware of the 2011 allegations when Churchill was hired.

According to a Manitou Springs spokesperson, a city employee can be placed on administrative leave by the city administrator, city council, or voluntarily. Internal investigations are handled by a third-party or by the city's human resources department.

At this time the city has appointed detective Bill Otto as the acting police chief. Before being appointed, Otto served as a detective for the Manitou Springs Police Department.

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Investigations / Local News

Dan Beedie

Dan is a bureau reporter based out of Pueblo. Learn more about Dan here.

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.



  1. “At this time the city has appointed detective Bill Otto as the acting police chief. Before being appointed, Otto served as a detective for the Manitou Springs Police Department.”
    So the detective served as a detective on the department . . . 🙄

  2. Brilliant.
    Why do cities seem to spend so much effort to hire people from outside to be the new Chief and then hire them from places with ugly crime trends?

  3. You seriously can’t figure that out? You need to change your name to “LackOfReality.”

    It quite simply and clearly states that before he was appointed as Chief, he was a Detective with the Department.

  4. “…being inappropriate with a female companion.”

    That sort of thing goes on in these departments all the time. There was a female deputy at the Sheriff’s Office who was ‘dating’ two male deputies at the same time. She told them both about each other and they both showed up in the Sheriff’s Office parking lot, along with her husband at the time, who also had found out, and there was quite the disturbance. She went on to divorce and then marry another deputy she had been seeing, and he later left and got hired by Manitou Springs PD, as a detective, and is now apparently the acting Chief of Police. Wow… small world, huh Bill? How is Katy these days?

    1. This isn’t even remotely accurate and libelous. I suggest you delete this post or come forward with who you are, coward.

      1. Oh, everyone working at the Sheriff’s Office back then knows it is quite accurate. She was quite popular back then! I remember the disturbance quite well.

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