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New Aurora Police Chief Fires Officer Javen Harper After Months-Long Investigation

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - Newly-appointed Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson fired an officer following an investigation into being drunk while on duty. Wilson says Officer Javen Harper showed up to work on Oct. 17, 2019 and was given a blood alcohol concentration test.

Vanessa Wilson
Vanessa Wilson (credit: Aurora Police)

According to an investigation report, a sergeant smelled alcohol on Harper's breath. A preliminary breath test showed Harper had a BrAC content of .059. Nearly two hours later, the test showed .035. Aurora Police Department employees can not have a breath alcohol content of 0.020 of higher, officials tell CBS4.

The previous day, Harper called another sergeant to ask for the day off as he was scheduled to teach a class. Harper reportedly told the sergeant he was having marital problems and had not slept all night.

Javen Harper
Officer Javen Harper (credit: CBS)

Later that morning, Harper again called the sergeant and said deputies from the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office were at his house after his wife called 911 because she felt threatened. According to the deputies' report, Harper was intoxicated at the time, but no criminal charges were filed.

Harper was "sustained" for violating three department directives; conduct unbecoming, unsatisfactory performance and alcohol impairment.

Police officials say Harper was on restricted duty at the time of the breath test and had been since July of 2019 for a HIPPA-related reason.

Harper had been with the department since 2002, and was assigned to the Traffic Section.

"Being transparent regarding issues of officer misconduct is paramount for rebuilding trust and legitimacy with our community," Wilson said in a statement on Tuesday night.

Harper will not face DUI or DWAI charges.

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