Berthoud weighing options on future of police department

1:39 AM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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BERTHOUD - Berthoud Town leaders will spend the next few weeks deciding whether they want to dissolve their police force and hire Larimer County or completely restructure their current department.

At a meeting held Tuesday evening, the town board mulled over the options but opted out from making an immediate decision.

The town will also have to decide whether it wants to continue staffing its town with officers 24/7.

If it wants to and decides to hire Larimer County to step in, the town will have to pay the county close to $1 million.

No firm figures were released showing how much it would cost if the town just restructured its force.

It's believed the town would save money by hiring the county instead.

The only thing that wouldn't change is the school resource officer position. Berthoud still plans to have an SOR regardless of what changes it makes.

Current Berthoud Police Officers could lose their jobs either way. If the town restructures its force, it's considering making every employee go through a new test as well as additional training.

All of this is happening because of a controversy surrounding former Berthoud Police Chief Glenn Johnson and former Berthoud Police Officer Jeremy Yachik.

Last October, Yachik was arrested on child abuse charges after video surfaced of Yachick allegedly beating his daughter. Berthoud Police Chief Glenn Johnson was accused of covering the incident up.

Not long after his arrest, Yachik was fired by the town of Berthoud. Glenn Johnson resigned amid his allegations in mid-December.

"Let me just start by saying on that side over there, you have an excellent police department. We went through a bump. A pretty big bump. But we can overcome that. All of the officers who are here we know that we don't make that much money. I think we're OK with that. Actually, we are OK with that. I'm OK with that," Berthoud Police School Resource Officer Pablo Vasquez said.

The town hasn't made a final decision yet. It could take weeks, if not months for the board to reach a final outcome.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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