Woodland Park officials swear in new interim police chief, address sexual harassment reports

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WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — The city of Woodland Park has sworn in its new police chief as reports of sexual harassment swirl on social media.

On Monday, July 19, Steve Hasler was sworn in as the Interim Chief of Police for the City of Woodland
Park during a special meeting of the City Council.

According to the city, Hasler has over 40 years of service in law enforcement and has served as Chief of Police in Colorado cities for 24 of those years.

In 2014, Hasler was hired as the Chief of Police for the Town of Elizabeth and served there until retiring in December 2020. Prior to Elizabeth, he built the brand new police department for the city of Lone Tree, and
served as the city’s chief for eight years. Hasler also served as Chief of Police in Erie for 10 years.

“I am so blessed and excited to be asked to lead the Woodland Park Police Department as their Interim Chief
until the national search for a new chief is concluded,” said Hasler. “The Woodland Park Police Department is
staffed by outstanding officers and I look forward to working with each and every one of them.”

“We are confident that Interim Chief Hasler will bring strength and stability to our police department while we search for a permanent chief,” says City Manager Michael Lawson. “Steve’s many successes are a direct
reflection of his dedication, excellent leadership skills and commitment to community.”

Hasler’s swearing-in comes after accusations of sexual harassment began popping up on social media.

“In an effort to combat rumors and disinformation surrounding those allegations, we would like to address that headline directly,” said City Manager Michael Lawson.

According to the city, in 2012, Steve Hasler was the Chief of Police for the City of Lone Tree. The
article in question reportedly details accusations from a handful of employees of the Lone Tree Police Department against the department itself.

City officials say the publisher of the article never published a follow up, and further research shows that
statements made in the article were never substantiated.

In a press release the city said, “Given the circumstances around the previous police chief’s departure, the City of Woodland Park is especially sensitive to the allegations made in the article, particularly around sexual harassment. The city took extra care to ensure nothing was substantiated. The City is committed to ensuring its officers feel safe and empowered to do their jobs with support from leadership.”

“We have conducted thorough research of our own, and can confirm that allegations made in the article are
simply untrue,” said City Manager Michael Lawson.

Based on its research, city officials say Hasler has demonstrated integrity throughout his career.

“His record shows Hasler has routinely excelled at coming alongside officers to train and develop them,” the press release said. “He was selected for his ability to bring stability and extensive experience to police departments as he has done several times in the past.”

According to the city, Hasler has been recognized for his work by the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police in the past, including following his time in Lone Tree.

“We understand and appreciate concerns we’ve heard from the community. We can assure folks that due
diligence was done ahead of time,” Lawson added. “We believe Steve will be a strong asset for the
department while the City looks for a permanent chief.”

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