CSPD hands a records headache to District Attorney's Office

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Police Chief Pete Carey has a new problem on his hands. This time, it deals with reports that went poof in the electronic records system. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Police Chief Pete Carey has a new problem on his hands. This time, it deals with reports that went poof in the electronic records system.
Springs police popped out a news release at 6:33 p.m. on Thursday that isn't your run-of-the-mill notice.

The release, issued 6.5 hours after the Independent submitted a lengthy request for information regarding the issue, downplays a records management lapse involving approximately 3,000 police reports.

The Indy's sources suggest it's much wider in scope, and the fallout could send ripples through the criminal justice system. Read more about all that at csindy.com on Wednesday or pick up our print edition.

For now, here's the CSPD news release.
The Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Division (MVNI) is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force consisting of law enforcement officers from the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD), the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office, the Fountain Police Department, and the Woodland Park Police Department. MVNI operates under the policies and procedures of the Colorado Springs Police Department.

In early February, the CSPD discovered discrepancies in the case filing procedures utilized by MVNI while conducting an internal audit. It has been determined that some electronic case report documents were not consistently being transferred to the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office (DA). This process of transferring case documentation is commonly referred to as “discovery” in cases where criminal charges are pending against a defendant.

Changes to MVNI’s current case filing process were promptly implemented to remedy this issue. After preliminary research to determine the scope of the problem, the CSPD notified the DA’s Office on February 8th.

Through our initial review of affected cases, the information that was not provided to the District Attorney’s Office appears to be primarily administrative in nature. In an abundance of caution, the CSPD and the DA’s Office are evaluating all filed MVNI cases from 2013 forward and resubmitting the entire case files to the DA’s Office to ensure all of the information is provided to the defendants.

After evaluating our investigative case files throughout the department, we have determined that this issue appears to be isolated within the Metro VNI Division. We identified approximately 3,000 case filings, primarily narcotics-related investigations, over a four-year period that may have been impacted; however, that number may turn out to
be significantly smaller once we complete our review.

This review is ongoing. Additional information will be released at the end of our review.
CSPD spokesman Lt. Howard Black also notes in a separate email to the Indy: "Once the audit is complete, a press conference will follow."

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