Let’s be honest, one of the most important reasons that most of us belong to our Local Lodges of the Fraternal Order of Police is for legal defense of claims against us. The unfortunate reality of this job is the inherent liability associated with being a Denver Police Officer. Whether the claim is administrative, criminal or civil we want to have the best legal defense available to protect our jobs and our family’s future.
The Colorado State Legal Defense Fund is the best legal defense fund available in the State of Colorado with over $1 million dollars in its war chest. Its board of Directors and Fund coordinators and administrator are professional Law Enforcement personnel just like you. The LDF is the right choice for Law Enforcement Legal Defense.
What to do if you are involved in a critical incident:
- Immediately call a FOP representative or the FOP office who will obtain an attorney on your behalf. In the event that you do not have a FOP representative’s phone number, you may request a FOP lawyer through dispatch or have the supervisor who is transporting you to headquarters notify dispatch that you request a FOP lawyer. *Please Note: Remember to mention that you are a FOP member to ensure that you receive the proper legal coverage with a FOP attorney.
- Do not discuss the incident with anyone and request isolation until your attorney can arrive.
- Surrender your weapon when requested; however, do not submit to a blood or urine test until you’ve discussed it with your attorney.
How Do I File A Claim?
Filing a claim with the LDF is as easy as picking up the phone. Unlike other legal defense plans where you have to plead your case before a board, and then wait for a vote to determine if you will be provided legal coverage. The FOP guidelines are very clear and the process is confidential and simple. Additionally, the FOP has many other resources available to provide assistance beyond that of legal defense. Please check with your representatives in you local lodge for additional information.
What are my rights in an investigation?
In an investigation, you have the right to:
- Have a person of your choice accompany you to an interview, including an attorney, but not a witness to the offense or violation
- Read the complaint summary prior to giving a statement
- Know prior to giving a statement whether you are the object of the investigation or just a witness officer
- Obtain a copy of your statement upon request
- Receive a Miranda warning for a law violation interview
- Receive a written, administrative (“Garrity”) advisement
- Refuse to answer, but face discipline for such refusal
- Be interviewed at a reasonable time of day and only for a reasonable amount of time with reasonable breaks
- Review your prior statements before any subsequent interviews
- Not be compelled to give a polygraph, but can request one
- Review the contents of your personnel file
- PROTECT YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
As a condition of employment you are required to abide by Department Rules and Regulations. You must answer questions, give statements and submit reports at the order of a superior officer or be subject to disciplinary action. Include the wording from the “Sample Statement” below in any statement or report you make concerning any type of disciplinary problem, including complaints for citizens, or if you are suspected of violating a law. This statement or report cannot be used against you in any subsequent proceeding bound by the Rules of Evidence. OUR ADVICE IS THAT THIS PROCEDURE BE USED AT ALL TIMES.
Legal Service of Legal Defense Fund:
- Critical Incident Representation
- Pre-Disciplinary hearings
- Internal Affairs Investigations
- Criminal Proceedings arising out of a covered incident
- Administrative actions
Elkus Sisson & Rosenstein P.C.
501 S0. Cherry St. Suite #920, Denver, CO 80246
Office Number – 303-567-7981
Don Sisson (pager) 720-936-5312* (24 hr Critical Incident Response)
Reid Elkus Cell 720-244-3669* (Critical Incident Response)
Bruno, Colin, & Lowe
1560 Broadway Street #1099
Denver, Colorado 80202
24 hr Number: 303-831-1099* (24 hr Critical Incident Response)
Foster, Graham, Milstien, & Calisher LLC
360 S Garfield St; Suite 6
Denver, CO 80209
24 hr number: 303-669-4762* (24 hr Critical Incident Response)
Doug Jewell & Stephen Hall
621 17th Street Suite 915
Denver, CO 80293
Cell: 303-482-7665* (24 hr Critical Incident Response)
Datz & Fee, LLC
340 E. 1st Ave, Suite 205 Broomfield, CO 80020
Office: 720-879-1114 – FAX: 720-222-5122
Datz cell: 720-883-7658* (24 hr Critical Incident Response)
Fee cell: 303-260-9038* (24 hr Critical Incident Response)
Brian Reynolds Attorney at Law
955 Bannock St.
Denver, CO 80204
(Cell Number) 720-442-8100* (24 hr Critical Incident Response)
Non-Critical Incident Attorneys Contact Info:
Nora Kelly: 303-866-9868
Jonathan Abramson (Kissinger & Fellman): 303-320-6100
Nathan Chambers & Thomas Mulvahill: 303-825-2222
Gerald Lackey (W. Slope): 303-963-8708
If it is not a critical incident, please contact one of the board members or contact our LDF coordinator.
New Colorado LDF Plan Administrator JD Cordova: 970-691-0858