Thursday, November 29, 2018

UPDATE: Police Chief Pete Carey to retire Feb. 1

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 4:09 PM

click to enlarge Carey: Calling it quits at the city. Does he have a future with the county? - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Carey: Calling it quits at the city. Does he have a future with the county?
UPDATE: Jackie Kirby, Sheriff's Office spokesperson, tells us via email, "There is nothing to comment on. Joe Breister is still the Undersheriff and has not submitted a retirement notice."

-ORIGINAL POST 4:09 P.M. THURS., NOV. 29, 2018—

Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey will retire Feb. 1, the city announced, ending a 35-year run in the Colorado Springs Police Department, eight spent as chief.

While rumors have circulated for months that Carey will be appointed as undersheriff by Sheriff Bill Elder, replacing the soon-to-retire Undersheriff Joe Breister, the Sheriff's Office didn't respond to questions about that. If we hear back, we'll update.

Carey actually served as chief longer than he normally would have after Mayor John Suthers asked him to stay on and special arrangements were made through the retirement plan.

Suthers issued this statement about Carey in a news release:
Chief Pete Carey has provided exceptional leadership and service to the Colorado Springs Police Department, and we are grateful for his tenure. There’s no question that he leaves CSPD in strong standing, and its ongoing CALEA accreditation is tribute to his time at the helm. CSPD has gained a positive local and national reputation, and as such, the City will conduct a national search to ascertain interest in this very important position. That said, we are also mindful of a wealth of talent that exists in the department and we hope there will be several internal candidates for the role of chief. 
Not mentioned,  though certainly worth noting, are the numerous problems that arose under Carey's leadership, including:
• the home addresses and names of officers turning up in the hands of drug dealers,
• the $2.5 million settlement the city paid because of Carey's physical abilities test being deemed discriminatory against women over 40, 
• the department losing track of an M16 rifle,
• and numerous officers being accused of excessive use of force, including an incident several years ago in which an officer slammed a handcuffed woman face-first into the floor at Memorial Hospital's emergency room.

Whether or not he was directly to blame, it's also true that during Carey's time as chief, so many officers retired or left the department that there weren't enough cops to cover beats and crime went up, leading Carey to stand down special units, including the gang unit. And then there was the officer charged with racketeering who was allowed to stay on the force so he could qualify for retirement.

In the city's release, though, Carey looks back on his time with fondness. “I have served the community of Colorado Springs with the support of this amazing police force for 34 years as both an officer and as chief, and every day, it has been my honor to do so,” Carey said in the release. “I am proud of every civilian employee, every CAPS volunteer and every officer, for showing up for each shift with commitment and courage, all while keeping professionalism and excellent customer service top of mind. It has been a pleasure to work with each of these dedicated men and women and I am grateful for the time here and the honor of serving this great city.”

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