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Berthoud Holds Emergency Meeting Over Police Department Investigation

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

BERTHOUD, Colo. (AP/CBS4) — Officials in the small town of Berthoud will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday after the seven-member police department was taken over by the sheriff’s office.

The Larimer County district attorney is investigating the department, and Police Chief Glenn Johnson and one other unidentified officer were placed on administrative leave. No charges have been filed, and it’s not clear what the investigation encompasses.

The town board is expected to discuss any arrangements that need to be made during the interim at the meeting, although officials said they expect no impact on police operations because of the takeover.

The town, about 46 miles northwest of Denver, issued a statement on its website, saying that it was appropriate to bring the police department under outside supervision “in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety.” Board members said they don’t know details about the allegations.

CBS4 has learned the investigation began after an email was sent to numerous town officials from what sources say is the girlfriend of the officer in question. CBS4 isn’t naming the officer because no criminal charges have been filed. The investigation into the officer and the chief is ongoing by Loveland police.

The email to town officials included a video that shows a man yelling and kicking what appears to be a child. The man isn’t identifiable but the email that accompanies it says it’s a Berthoud police officer hitting his child for eating carrots.

Loveland police officers executed a search warrant of Johnson’s office Oct. 3 as part of a criminal investigation but spokesman Justin Chase said Tuesday he couldn’t discuss the probe.

“The Loveland Police Department is the one that started the investigation on the officer,” Berthoud City Manager Mike Hart said. “It appears to involve a domestic situation.”

Loveland police are involved because the accuser says that’s where the video was taken. The accuser says she sent the video to Berthoud’s police chief last April but nothing was done.

Johnson would not comment to CBS4 Tuesday as he drove off in his truck, but Berthoud officials say the chief is on leave until the investigation by Loveland police is resolved.

In the meantime, Larimer County sheriff’s Sgt. John Feyen is running the department, sheriff’s spokesman John Schulz said Tuesday.

Schulz said state statutes allow the sheriff’s department to take over while Loveland police conduct an independent investigation.

Berthoud is a town of roughly 5,300 people that straddles the boundaries of southern Larimer County and Weld County.

LINK: Berthoud Website

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) 

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