Idaho Springs to purchase new Tasers

The Idaho Springs City Council was expected to approve purchasing new Tasers for the police department. The cost is about $32,000 over five annual installments.

City Council was scheduled to meet Jan. 24, but an internet outage forced officials to reschedule for Jan. 31.

According to Police Chief Nate Buseck, Idaho Springs’ current Tasers are at the end of their five-year life cycle. The department purchased them in 2016, and the warranty is about to expire, he said at a Jan. 18 City Council work session.

The newer Tasers’ probes fly better and pierce clothing and skin better, which is necessary as people often wear heavy sweaters and coats in the mountains, he said.

Tasers overall help reduce injuries for officers and civilians, and result in more compliance from suspects, he said, referring to several national and international studies.

According to Buseck, the Idaho Springs Police Department had:

• Three Taser deployments in 2021;

• One deployment in 2020, and four pointed but not used because police gained compliance; and

• One deployment in 2019, and eight pointed but not used.

Based on police records, one of the 2021 Taser deployments was against then-75-year-old Michael Clark, who was unarmed. The one deployment in 2019 was against Brady Mistic, a deaf man who also was unarmed.

Former ISPD officer Nicholas Hanning pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault against Clark and, on Jan. 27, was sentenced to four months of electronic home monitoring and two years of supervised probation.

Along with annual Taser training, Buseck explained that any time a Taser is deployed or officers use force beyond standard handcuffing, a supervisor must be notified. Officers must also submit a use-of-force report, which includes examining body camera footage.

“If there’s an issue, if it’s not within policy or the law, (we ensure) that it’s addressed and we’re doing the right thing,” Buseck said.

Georgetown not alone in admin-hiring woes

Georgetown isn’t the only Colorado municipality that’s struggled to find administrator candidates.

Georgetown advertised its town administrator opening over the winter holidays, with applications due by Dec. 31. This was roughly the same timeframe that Florence and Cripple Creek advertised its administrator openings.

Georgetown received eight applications, with only two qualified enough to advance. Thus, the selectmen decided to increase the salary range to $100,000-$135,000 and readvertise.

Steve Rabe, Georgetown’s interim administrator, described at the Jan. 25 Board of Selectmen meeting that both Florence and Cripple Creek had similar responses and have readvertised their openings as well.

Both cities’ websites do not list a due date for applications.

Rabe was interested to see how well Georgetown’s readvertising will go, saying the selectmen have given good direction on where and how to readvertise.

“Time will only tell,” he said.

County looking for operator of shooting sports park

Clear Creek County has issued a Request for Qualifications to find an operator to manage its new shooting sports park in Dumont.

Those interested should submit bids before 4 p.m. on Feb. 17, according to county staff members.

The county has been working for years to redesign and redevelop the current range at 3300 Stanley Road to achieve dispersed shooting closures on U.S. Forest Service land. Stakeholders also want to improve its safety and create a better recreational facility.

Lisa Leben, the county’s special projects manager, said the facility is 80% designed. It’s received more than $1.4 million in funds from Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Gilpin County, and Clear Creek County.

Stakeholders are planning to improve the range and build the clubhouse this year, and additional funding is needed, Leben confirmed.

For more information about Request for Qualifications, visit clearcreekcounty.us/bids.aspx?bidID=248.