Larimer County Sheriff's Office takes over law enforcement in Berthoud after scandal

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. - The Larimer County Sheriff's Office is taking over law enforcement for the town of Berthoud.

The Berthoud Board of Trustees voted 7-0 on Tuesday night to contract with the Sheriff's Office.

"We are proud to receive their vote of confidence, knowing this was not an easy decision," the Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook. "We want the citizens of Berthoud to know that we are 100% committed to providing the best possible law enforcement services within the town. LCSO staff will be working with the town manager to finalize the details."

-- Berthoud PD scandal

Scandal erupted at the Berthoud Police Department last fall after officer Jeremy Yachik was arrested on suspicion of abusing his teenage daughter.

Yachik was later fired and Berthoud Police Chief Glenn Johnson was suspended in October, before resigning in December.

Yachik is scheduled to go on trial next month.

-- Sheriff's Office reviewed Police Dept.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office conducted a review of the Berthoud Police Department. Documents on the town's website revealed that the review was very negative.

"We found the chief has overlooked and neglected many of the things that are absolutely necessary to leading an effective and accountable police operation," Sheriff Justin Smith wrote.

Examples Smith's letter included are unsatisfactory hiring practices, a lack of proper tracking for equipment, late court filings, "haphazard" paperwork, mislabeled evidence, "inadequate" ongoing training and mishandling of allegations of misconduct.

Other concerns expressed in the documents included the fact that the Police Department is now understaffed and cannot be manned 24 hours a day. Before October 2013, the department had one chief and eight officers, allowing for 24-hour staffing. Based on a report from the interim chief, who is a sergeant in the sheriff's office, the department will soon be down to four officers.