Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young - cropped (copy)

Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young answers questions at a February 2019 news conference.

Woodland Park Chief of Police Miles DeYoung retired Thursday after investigators looking into workplace conduct complaints about him recommended his termination. 

DeYoung announced his retirement in a July 1 letter after meeting with Woodland Park City Manager Michael Lawson. The meeting was called following the conclusion of an investigation into DeYoung's conduct, launched in May. The investigation was carried out by a third party, JEH Consulting LLC.

DeYoung had been on paid administrative leave since May 13 after a Woodland Park police officer filed a conduct complaint against him.

Thr JEH investigation concluded with an executive report that claimed DeYoung had violated city workplace conduct policies in a variety of ways, including bias, harassment and intimidation investigators said was intentionally directed at women.

At the end of the report, the investigators said the state of the Woodland Park Police Department was "dire," and that those circumstances would only be improved if DeYoung was terminated.

“Our officers dedicate their lives to protecting our community every day. They deserve to do so without having to live in fear of their own command staff," Lawson said. "We cannot and will not tolerate gender bias or discrimination or harassment of any kind within our police department or city as a whole.”

Lawson said DeYoung's retirement had nothing to do with a current criminal investigation being conducted by the Teller County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, which placed two Woodland Park police commanders on "routine paid administrative leave" in mid-June.

Because DeYoung retired, he will receive the benefits he’s earned and accrued during his years of service with the city, Lawson said. “The same would be true for any employee leaving the city for any reason.”

However, DeYoung did not receive any special severance or retirement package, Lawson added.

Lawson said that Woodland Park will hire an interim police chief, and that a decision on who that will be is to be made in the next few weeks.

Appointed to the position of chief in 2015, DeYoung was the sixth chief in the history of the department.

Contact the writer: esteban.candelaria@gazette.com. Courier reporter Pat Hill contributed to this report.

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