SWAT members can share school-shooting insights — but not for a fee

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By AJ Vicens

Several Jeffco Regional SWAT Team members will be allowed to share with other departments their experiences and insights related to the shootings at Columbine and Platte Canyon high schools, but they won’t be allowed to charge a fee, Jeffco Sheriff Ted Mink said Wednesday.

“Their actions were well intentioned, but they didn’t follow (internal) policies,” Mink said.

Mink said an internal affairs investigation into the actions of the three SWAT members is ongoing, but they have been “counseled” by their division chief regarding policies concerning SWAT members and other employees selling training and other services.

The investigation was launched in late November after it was revealed that the three SWAT members had created a private company called Tac One Consulting and had scheduled several training sessions around the country. They were charging other departments between $350 and $600 for each person involved in the training. Mink shut the operation down when he learned about it, saying they had not received permission.

Since the investigation was launched, Mink said, the internal policies were revised to make it “crystal clear” that private work can’t be at all associated with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. He added that “we looked at the police and (determined) the policy isn’t as clear as it should be.”

Mink said he wants officers and deputies in Jeffco to share their knowledge related to Columbine, Platte Canyon and other experiences, and said that departments around the country should share as well.

“Everybody in law enforcement owes it to the profession to share training and experiences,” Mink said. “Just not as private vendors.”

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.