In February, Copeland Investigations delivered a stinging, 271-page report, “Buckeye Police Department Investigations.” Fifteen months earlier, Copeland was hired by Buckeye to investigate various allegations made by an anonymous letter writer.
By the time the report was released, Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall already served a one-week suspension without pay.
The Copeland report ruled several allegations made against Hall “unfounded.”
But four allegations were deemed “sustained”:
“Chief Larry Hall utilized official department email and city time to conduct off-duty/secondary employment and violated established policies concerning secondary employment.
“Chief Larry Hall and Lieutenant Gary McGeough established and maintained an off-duty business relationship presented a real or perceived conflict of interest and violated established policies concerning secondary employment.
“Chief Hall ignored complaints and apparent warning signs and through his neglect allowed crime statistics to be inaccurately reported.”
The report also concluded, at the scene of a 2015 accident, “Chief Larry Hall displayed disrespectful behavior and violated policy when he took at least one photo of the nude, male driver, who was wearing high heels. The picture was not taken for a legitimate law enforcement purpose and was shared with at least one individual outside of the police department.”
The West Valley View emailed questions to Hall regarding the investigation and the subsequent “no further action” decision on Dec. 18 by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZPOST).
Hall responded to the questions in a Dec. 19 email.
The West Valley View asked Hall how he felt about the AZ POST ruling to “take no action” regarding Hall and Lt. Charles Arlak
“I have great respect for AZ POST and welcomed the independent review of the board regarding the city of Buckeye’s investigation and subsequent disciplinary actions,” Hall answered.
“While mistakes were made, it was clear there was no malicious intent to falsify or mislead the public regarding the crime statistics.”
He was asked if the ruling brought closure to him and the Buckeye community.
“The citizens of Buckeye as well as the police department put this issue behind them more than a year ago,” Hall said. “Buckeye PD enjoys a robust relationship with the community and that connection has never been stronger. I appreciate their trust and support for their police.”
Asked if he still has a security company, Hall said he does not.
“My involvement with the security company was as a silent partner. The company did not do business in Buckeye or with the city of Buckeye but did work in Scottsdale and Phoenix. I did not manage the day to day operations of the company and the company dissolved over three years ago, in 2016,” Hall stated.
Asked if he had learned anything during the two-year process, Hall answered, “Throughout the investigation, I learned a great deal about myself, the organization and my role. In regards to the crime statistic issues, I have learned to ‘trust but verify.’
“We have since created multiple levels of scrutiny related to crime statistics in order to ensure accuracy. However, with that being said, I am the one to be held responsible since I am the leader of the organization. I fully accepted responsibility for my actions and have taken steps so this will not be an issue in the future.”
Earlier this year, Buckeye submitted statistics to the FBI for 2018. These statistics, which Hall said were reviewed for accuracy, show Buckeye to be one of the safest cities in the Valley.
With this as a frame of reference, the West Valley View asked Hall about the overall safety of Buckeye.
“Statistics only tell part of the story,” he answered. “The Buckeye Police Department has the support of residents, business, the city council, city management and many private partners, all working together to ensure the best quality of life possible for our residents.’’