The Steamboat Pilot & Today: New chief, new culture
Author: The Steamboat Today Editorial Board - May 31, 2018 - Updated: May 31, 2018
When Cory Christensen was named police chief of the Steamboat Springs Police Department in November 2015, he was tasked with changing the culture of an agency that had been the focus of an outside investigation, which found evidence the city’s former top cops presided over a hostile work environment. In particular, the investigation revealed instances of hazing, bullying and gender-based harassment that likely occurred for more than a decade.
It was Christensen himself who released a summary of the investigation’s findings to the public for the first time shortly after being hired. In his summary, Christensen described an organization that was being “run by fear and intimidation,” and he blamed it on a “top-down leadership issue.”
Following a directive issued by city leaders, including Steamboat Springs City Council, Christensen aggressively set out to make changes in the department. He hired Annette Dopplick, a seasoned officer, as police commander in June 2016, and then announced the addition of two more female patrol officers to department ranks last week.