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Crime and Courts

Small Colorado town fires police officer it hired despite past complaints at previous law enforcement job

Springfield Police Officer Troy Morgan was terminated last month. The Colorado Sun learned that he was hired at the department despite allegations of misconduct at his prior law enforcement position

The municipal offices in the town of Springfield in southeast Colorado. (Jeffrey Beal via Wikimedia)
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The Springfield Police Department has fired an officer who was hired at the department despite being terminated from his previous law enforcement job for a host of alleged transgressions.

Officer Troy Morgan was terminated on Sept. 10, less than six months after he was hired in Springfield. His hiring came after a period of turmoil for the agency, which included the removal of its police chief and allegations of misconduct against another officer that ended in a settlement. 

The Colorado Sun confirmed Morgan’s termination through an open records request. 

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A termination letter sent to Morgan and obtained by The Sun says he was fired for “intimidating or threatening behavior” and for his “relationship with the public.”

Springfield officials did not return a request for comment, but in a response to a public records request they noted that there is an ongoing internal affairs investigation into Morgan. They did not elaborate on the nature of the investigation or say when it would be finished.

Morgan was hired on to the Springfield police force just after the town paid $50,000 in May to settle allegations brought against a former officer for alleged misconduct toward a teen girl dating back to 2017. The department also removed its former police chief last year after an investigation by the town found that he acted inappropriately toward citizens. 

The Colorado Sun last week reported on the turmoil in the town’s police department, as revealed and documented in open records. Officials have refused interview requests and written questions from The Sun for months.

MORE: A Colorado town removed its police chief and paid $50,000 to settle allegations against an officer. Then it hired a cop with past complaints.

Morgan was fired from his previous law enforcement job — as an officer at the Fowler Police Department, also in southeast Colorado — in October 2018, eight months after he was hired there. 

A termination letter from the Fowler Police Department, obtained through an open records request, included five pages of complaints against Morgan, including that he behaved inappropriately toward a woman and exhibited aggressive behavior that violated department policy during multiple vehicle pursuits.

Finally, Morgan allegedly had problems with issuing citations, keeping a prisoner secured and completing a field training officer packet, according to the letter.

Then-Fowler Police Chief Jacob Friedenberger wrote that “since you were hired I have counseled you many times.” 

The Sun learned that Springfield Police Chief Katrina Martin sought and obtained Morgan’s records from Fowler before hiring him at her department. In his application for the Springfield Police Department, Morgan said he was fired from his job in Fowler because of “retaliation.”

The Springfield police force appears to have fewer than five sworn officers. Springfield is a town of about 1,500 near Colorado’s southeast border with Oklahoma and Kansas.