Fox31 Arapahoe Sheriff Brings Home Auto Policy History Reporting Inaccuracies

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office is making its objections to a recent Fox31 investigation very public. Late yesterday afternoon, the ACSO shared a lengthy dissection of a May 25 post about vehicle policy on its Facebook page, saying it contained “numerous inaccuracies” and adding that “the sheriff’s office does not tolerate misleading and speculative reporting”.

In response, Fox31 News Director Brian Gregory offers this statement: “We have established a link with the Arapahoe Sheriff’s Office and are having an open dialogue with them regarding their issues with our story.”

“Arapahoe Sheriff changes take-out policy to benefit violators,” reported by Rob Low of Fox31’s problem-solving team, took months to prepare. “Take-along cars are a benefit to many law enforcement agencies, but not the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office,” he begins. But it was the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office that officially changed its policy just weeks after troubleshooters filed a public records request based on a tip from an insider who believed the policy was wrong. ignored by dozens within the department.”

Before March, the article claims, “the sheriff’s office had a twenty-mile rule: Basically, take-out cars were only for employees who lived within twenty miles of their place of work, unless unless the sheriff grants an exception”. However, “an internal report in September found that 31 of the 162 sheriff’s employees assigned to take-out vehicles commuted beyond twenty miles, but still received the free gas and maintenance associated with their vehicles to take away”.

According to Fox31, “One of the biggest beneficiaries is the number two in the department, Under-Sheriff Mark Nicastle. The September report obtained by troubleshooters shows Nicastle traveling 44 miles each way from his home near Brighton to Sheriff’s Headquarters in Centennial.If Nicastle drives 88 miles a day, five days a week for 48 weeks (a conservative estimate based on vacations and holidays), then he should rack up 21,168 miles.Records also show that Nicastle has received $10,772 worth of gas over the past three years, which he hasn’t had to pay. If gas continues to sell at around $4 a gallon, Nicastle could save nearly $6,000 $ of gasoline this year based on past usage.”

Low states that “Problem Solvers requested the department’s take-out policy on February 24” but did not receive a response until March 14, and the information sent “was a new policy that had been revised on March 10. march. “

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post picks up the implications underlying this latest passage in the first of the story’s six “facts”: “Fox31 introduced a third party to ‘speculate’ that the Sheriff’s Office may have changed its take-out policy The Sheriff’s Office had been working on revising its take-out policy since September 2021. It was submitted to our Accreditation Unit for final approval and signature in January 2022, a months BEFORE Fox31 made its request for information on February 24. The final policy was adopted on March 10, 2022. There is no connection between Fox31’s investigation and the policy change.

Here are ACSO’s five additional beefs:

Fox31 suggested that the sheriff’s office policy may have violated federal tax regulations. This is incorrect. Federal tax regulations do not require the use of vehicles that meet the definition of “qualified non-personal use vehicles” to be reported as offset. This includes unmarked vehicles used by law enforcement if the use is officially authorized.

Fox31’s headline, “Arapahoe Sheriff changes take-out policy to benefit violators” is inaccurate. The policy allows the use of a drive-in vehicle for people living more than 20 miles away with the proper authorization. MPs authorized to do so were not “violating” the policy.

ACSO assistants are frequently called upon to respond to emergencies. For example in 2021, our special operations assistants alone answered more than 360 calls. Many deputies with take-out vehicles are members of the SWAT team, Bomb Squad and other special units, as well as investigators and other positions that require them to respond from home. Fox31’s suggestion that it’s ‘rare’ for MPs with takeout cars to respond to emergencies is inaccurate.

Fox31’s calculation of the approximate gas costs incurred by the sheriff’s office is not accurate. The sheriff’s office is not paying $4.00 a gallon for gas, as the reporter implied. Instead, the Sheriff’s Office pays a reduced rate of $2.91 per gallon when deputies fill up their gas tanks at our county facilities.

Finally, the undersheriff drives an emergency vehicle as he is the second highest ranking officer in the agency. His position requires him to be able to respond to incidents of extreme significance, such as shootings involving officers, MPs injured or killed in the line of duty, and incidents of mass violence. The undersheriff also assumes the role and responsibility of the sheriff in his absence and must be available and on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Click to read Fox31’s “Arapahoe Sheriff Changes Take-Away Car Policy to Benefit Violators”.

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