Daniel Bertelson, a 16-year Aurora Police Department (APD) veteran officer, left his job with some harsh parting words against the country’s current attitude towards law enforcement in a department-wide resignation email where he vented his frustration at politicians and the media.
Bertelson wrote, “I am leaving Colorado for palm trees and less communism. Try to ignore the politicians and media. They know nothing of this profession or honor; they’re self-serving con artists, well-dressed pimps and prostitutes at best.”
Bertelson added that he was honored to serve as an Aurora police officer and thanked his colleagues for their support, friendship and advice.
“As the war against police rages on in an environment where you can literally do no right. I pray for the safety, success and happiness of each of you,” he wrote. “Never forget; you are all capable of incredible things in and out of law enforcement, never lose faith in yourself.”
According to CBS4 Denver, officers leaving APD has been a recent trend. From 2019-20, the number of officers leaving the department has spiked by 60% as crime in the city, the state, and across the country has been on the rise.
In 2021 so far, 13 officers have retired, nine resigned and two were fired. One former police officer from the department blamed poor leadership and low officer morale for the high turnover rate, citing policies that fail to protect officers and a “hands-off” approach to policing.
The same former officer accuses Chief Vanessa Wilson of being an extension of the City Council.
Wilson said replied in a statement, “Policing during a period of reform presents many challenges for a community, agency and the officers. Every year many members of the Aurora Police Department become eligible for retirement and choose to do so for a variety of reasons. As with any profession, some will become disinterested, especially during a period of change, and make the difficult decision to resign.”
Bertelson will officially turn in his badge on June 1.