Denver police officer suspended for NCIC database misuse
A Denver police officer will serve four days of unpaid suspension for interfering with an investigation by using a police database to share investigative information with the girlfriend of a man suspected of assaulting a public works employee.
The incident is another example of continued misuse of the database by Denver police, as noted by the city’s police monitor in 2016.
Officer Shederick Dobbin used the National Crime Information Center database to look up an investigation into a man the officer knew from his other job working security at a nightclub, according to a Department of Public Safety disciplinary letter obtained by The Denver Post. The man was suspected in a June 11 attack on a city employee and damaging her vehicle before driving away.
The suspect’s girlfriend called Dobbin, whom she knew through the nightclub, after a Denver police detective called her in an attempt to contact the suspect. Dobbin then looked up the suspect’s license plate number in the database and confirmed to the girlfriend that the car was part of an active investigation, according to the letter. Dobbin then read parts of the report on the investigation to the girlfriend, including a physical description of the suspect.
The suspect later used the information about the physical description to deny his involvement in the incident by saying he was wearing something different at the time, the letter stated.
The detective realized that someone had given the suspect information about the investigation and later determined it was Dobbin, who has been with the department since 2006.
Dobbin will serve four days of suspension without pay starting Sunday, and he also will lose two days of paid vacation, the letter stated. He was given a lesser punishment because he was attempting to help the detective and took a course on the databases, according to the letter.
“Officer Dobbin admitted to what he did and expressed regret at having ‘screwed up a police investigation,’ as he put it,” the letter stated. “In his own words, he feels ‘terrible about it.’”
Dobbin was previously reprimanded for failing to secure items found in a towed vehicle, the letter said.
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