Denver police officer speaks out on plans to use Police Academy, cops as prop for gun control speech

DENVER - A Denver police officer is speaking out on Facebook about the use of the Denver Police Academy as a prop for a speech by President Barack Obama.

The president is visiting Colorado Wednesday to highlight the state's new gun control laws as he tries to convince Congress to tackle the issue. Colorado lawmakers have passed laws that prohibit the sale of magazines that hold more than 15 bullets and require background checks for all private gun sales.

Denver police Officer John Akins is upset about the location for the president's speech.

"Today, President Obama and Governor (John) Hickenlooper are going to use the Denver Police Academy as a prop to push a political agenda," Akins wrote on Facebook. "That hangar, the badge hanging on the wall, and the officers standing in the crowd will now be forever attached to the agenda of a political party and it’s push to strip Americans of their rights."

Akins says DPD issued an order that officers will not give opinions on the gun control debate in an official capacity. So on his Facebook post, Akins says, "This letter does not represent the official beliefs, policies, or procedures of the Denver Police Department or the City of Denver and is in no way representative of same."

He says despite that policy, DPD's command staff and city government are permitting the president's event, "they condone it."

Akins says he has asked to wear his uniform and stand with the National Rifle Association and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners as they protest this speech, on his own time, and was told no. But officers, even those on-duty, will be allowed to attend the president's political function today, Akins said.

"Then why is it acceptable that officers can stand in support of anti-gun agendas while on duty and in uniform?" Akins wrote.

Akins said he has been a police officer for 13 years. He said he's proud to serve Denver citizens.

"I am proud to protect the citizenry of the Mile High City and feel satisfaction when I provide criminals in my city with a full and complete experience in the criminal justice system," Akins wrote.

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