Bullet damage from May 9 buffalo shooting? Call city Risk Management
City Risk Management officials thought G&C Packing would take care of the bullet holes. G&C Packing thought it was the
other way around, and a police/city manager's report on the May 9 incident seems to support that point of view.
In any case, numerous bullet holes remain where police officers fired 83 rounds from AR-15 guns to kill five buffaloes after they escaped from a truck at the G&C yard and wound up in the front yard of residences in the 1500 block of W. Colorado Ave.
But if anyone whose building or car was shot up in the incident wants to file a claim with the city, they can still do so, according to John Davis, senior claim adjustor with Risk Management. The phone number is 385-5666.
“We're here to help out the folks,” he said in a recent interview. “We were under the impression other parties were helping out. If they're not, we want to be compliant.”
The apparent misunderstanding resulted from a conversation with G&C the day after the event, in which Davis said Risk Management got the impression that the Westside slaughterhouse would cover all the costs. Apparently as a result, a key, contradictory statement in the police/city manager's report in late May went unnoticed.
The statement was that “Risk Manage-ment has determined that they will cover any associated costs in order to 'cure' the damage that was caused by the Police Department. The city will then ask for repayment of those costs from the insurance company of the truck carrier or G&C Packing.”
The statement indicates that Risk Management would take a proactive position in fixing the damage. Instead, Davis said his office has been waiting for claims to come in.
According to the report, police identified 20 stray bullets that struck two residences and 1 that hit a car. No people were injured.
Another requirement in the police/city manager's report was for police to undertake a “critical incident review” to consider better planning for future such animal escapes and ways to reduce potential citizen danger from police gunfire.
According to Police Lt. Rafael Cintron, future changes will include better cooperation with the Division of Wildlife (DOW), use of shotguns to finish escaped animals once they are down, reduction of the use of “non-police personnel” (armed G&C workers actually assisted police during the buffalo stand-off) and a “tighter perimeter (for bystanders), if we have the resources.”
Additionally, as required by the report, a 17-minute training film has been internally developed for viewing by police personnel. Details of the film are designated confidential for security reasons, but it reflects “a lot of research through hunting clubs, bison clubs, Colorado Springs Police rangemasters (firearms specialists), and a biologist from DOW, according to Sgt. Jane Anderson, who helped develop the film for the department.
The report had also required G&C to “revise their yard plan to preclude these types of events from happening in the future.” Earlier in September, the company finished construction on a new enclosure so that if buffaloes escape while trucks are unloading they will still be contained in a fenced-in area.
Westside Pioneer article