Aspen cop fired |

Aspen cop fired

ASPEN ” An 18-year veteran of the Aspen Police Department has been fired after he allegedly showed up to work Thursday morning under the influence of alcohol.

Initially, patrol officer Jim Crowley was placed on leave, police said Friday morning. He was charged with driving while ability impaired and prohibited use of a firearm, according to Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn.

“We are heartbroken, but none of us are above the law,” Linn said.

Linn said he became suspicious of Crowley when he reported for duty Thursday morning. Crowley smelled of alcohol, Linn said.

Soon after, Linn called Snowmass police to investigate.

“If we do [the investigation] ourselves, we do not look impartial,” Linn said.

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Snowmass Police Chief Art Smythe said Crowley was cooperative and agreed to a Breathalyzer test, which showed his blood-alcohol level at .063. Crowley declined to participate in a roadside sobriety test, Smythe said.

“I know he was cooperative with our officers and very respectful,” Smythe said. “It’s a difficult thing.”

Linn said Crowley had not had any contact with members of the public on the morning in question. Crowley was charged with prohibited possession of a weapon because he was under the influence of alcohol and had a firearm on his person, Linn said.

“Jim is an honorable guy,” Linn said. “He was not hiding from anything. This is just horribly painful. I’ve worked with him for a long time.”

See Saturday’s Aspen Times for more on Crowley’s dismissal.