Chief: Coyne arrested, fired

By: KKCO - Email
By: KKCO - Email

Interim Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper held a news conference Friday morning regarding the arrest of one of his officers in connection with sexual assault and first-degree burglary case.

Camper started out by saying it was with sadness and disappointment he was speaking about the "alarming, embarrassing, tragic and disturbing news.'

He says he's not at liberty to share many details about the arrest and termination of 35-year-old Officer Glenn Coyne since it's an active investigation being handled by the Mesa County Sheriff's Department and the arrest affidavit has been sealed. Coyne was arrested late Thursday afternoon.

Coyne is in jail right now and will make his first court appearance Friday afternoon. His bond will be set at that time.

Camper says Coyne responded to a citizen's request for assistance with a family matter Sunday evening when he first met the victim. Camper says the victim says Coyne made contact with her later after hours and off-duty when the incident occurred.

Camper says he didn't hesitate to terminate Coyne after this incident since in December of 2008 a woman who later invited him to her home after he responded there on a call made allegations against him of a similar nature.

At the time, the case was reviewed by the District Attorney's office but foudn their was insufficent cause to charge him criminally and the case was closed. Camper says the GJPD conducted an internal investigation and found Coyne committed department violations and he was placed back on non-proficient/probationary status to include a reduction in pay. In a statement, the GJPD says due in part to the similarities between the two incidents and Coyne's failure to meet the terms of his probation, Camper fired Coyne.

Camper says Coyne was hired in January of 2007 by the GJPD. He had previously served one year with the Mesa County Sheriff's Department and worked as a police officer in Florida.

The Chief says he's passing along his sincere, heartfelt apologies to the victim and that he and other top officials with the GJPD have and will meet with her.

Camper recognizes this is the second time a GJPD officer has been arrested in recent weeks, referencing the arrest of Officer Courtney Crooks just a few weeks ago in an unrelated domestic violence case. Camper says this isn't representative behavior of Grand Junction Police Department officers and he's not making any excuses.

The Chief says the department will investigate how this happened and promises it won't happen again. He also says he accepts full responsibility for whatever happens under his command.

Camper also thanked the MCSO for their hard work and apologized for the awkward position it put them in.

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