We've written a number of times over the years about onetime Denver police officer Abbe Dorn.
The part-time model, who once appeared on the TV program American Gladiator, was the target of a police brutality lawsuit. And while she was later cleared in that case, she subsequently was investigated for steroid use — and she resigned from the Denver Police Department in 2013 while the probe was still ongoing.
Afterward, however, Dorn reportedly tried to get a job with another department, and in her application, she didn't mention the steroids matter.
Dorn's effort illustrates the motivation behind Senate Bill 15-218, a newly signed law on view below that's intended to prevent so-called "toxic cops" fired by one department to be rehired at another one without disclosing their past.
A new CBS4 report offers several examples of this phenomenon, including Randy Hurst, who was fired for having sex with a woman he thought was a prostitute in the bathroom of a Denver-area Taco Bell, then promptly employed by the police department in Mountain View.
Another former police chief notes that several cops he fired wound up working for other agencies — ones too small to be able to do the sort of background checks that might have turned up their previous issues.
Still, Dorn is the attention-getter of the bunch, thanks in part to photos like this one....
...and this one....
...and this one:
Dorn's resignation amid the steroid inquiry got plenty of publicity. Yet CBS4 reveals that Dorn applied to work for the Cherry Hills Village Police Department just two months after leaving the DPD. In her application, she maintained that she'd split because there was "no movement in the department."
She also benefited from a letter of recommendation penned for her by former Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman, who wrote in part, "I would like to recommend her for the position. Abbegayle worked at Denver PD for several years and I found her to be a hard worker who was liked by other department members and the community. I am NOT familiar with the situation which resulted in her resignation from our department so that circumstance does not weigh into my recommendation."
Nonetheless, the Cherry Hills PD didn't hire Dorn in 2013 or the following year, when she applied again — and her attorney tells the station she's no longer in law enforcement.
Other cops who were dismissed under a cloud are, however, and that was the motivation behind SB 15-218, entitled "A Bill for an Act Concerning Requiring a Law Enforcement Agency to Disclose Whether a Peace Officer Has Made a Knowing Misrepresentation in Certain Settings."
Here's how its summary begins:
A state or local law enforcement agency that employs, employed, or deputized a peace officer who applies for employment by another Colorado law enforcement agency shall disclose to the hiring agency information indicating whether the peace officer's employment history included any instances in which the peace officer made a knowing misrepresentation:
• In any testimony or affidavit relating to the arrest or prosecution of a person or to a civil case pertaining to the peace officer or to the peace officer's employment history;or
• During the course of any internal investigation by a law enforcement agency, which investigation is related to the peace officer's alleged criminal conduct, official misconduct, or use of excessive force.
The law is intended to prevent departments from unwittingly hiring police officers with problematic pasts — like Dorn's.
Below, see the aforementioned CBS4 report, followed by SB 15-218.
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