By Ben Warwick

LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The independent assessment of the Loveland Police Department ordered by the city in the wake of the Karen Garner arrest is complete. The assessment firm will release their findings to a City Council session next week.

A national law enforcement and public safety consulting firm completed the assessment and identified 13 key findings and 42 recommendations for the department. The findings and recommendations cover five main areas, including operational procedures, processes and protocols regarding complaints against the department, community engagement, supervision and leadership, and citizen advice and oversight.

(credit: CBS)

“The LPD and its officers have historically earned a lot of respect from the Loveland community; however, recent events have raised concerns from many community members about the department’s oversight and accountability,” a summary of the report released Wednesday says. “The LPD should review its policing philosophy and put a renewed emphasis on community policing and internal and external communications.”

City Manager Steve Adams, in a news release, thanked the firm for their work.

“I want to thank Jensen Hughes for the important work they have done to support us in identifying improvements for police services in Loveland,”  Adams said in a release. “The detailed feedback and recommendations identified through this process will help us further our goal of increased transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement.”

(credit: The Life & Liberty Law Office)

The report finds LPD successes in adopting standards for policies and training, their commitment to developing a Crisis Intervention Team, and day-to-day public interactions with Loveland Police officers.

Areas the firm found need improvement include internal and external communication, the increase of community engagement, the investigation of internal complaints, and the expediting of internal review times.

The review was prompted from an incident where Garner, a 73-year-old woman with dementia, was accused of taking a few small items worth less than $14 from a Loveland Walmart was approached and brutally arrested and injured.

(credit: CBS)

Two officers – Austin Hopp and Daria Jalali – turned themselves in after the incident and currently have cases making their way through the legal system.

Ben Warwick