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Fire Officials Investigate Noose Incident at Academy

The Denver Post via YellowBrix

July 13, 2010

DENVER – Denver fire officials are investigating the discovery of a noose by a black Aurora firefighter in a conference room at a training center used by both Denver and Aurora fire departments.

The Denver firefighter who planted the noose at the Rocky Mountain Fire Academy in Denver did so as a joke, said Denver Fire Lt. Phil Champagne.

“It was put there as a prank,” Champagne said. " I don’t think it was there to harass anyone but you can’t do that. We are a little shocked at that type of behavior. Even though there is no intent this is behavior we won’t tolerate."

The incident occurred in February and Denver Fire Department has since initiated a sensitivity class for all members, Champagne said.

“It was found in a conference room that was staffed by Denver Fire staff,” said Aurora Fire Capt. Allen Robnet.

The department hasn’t identified the officer who placed the noose. Once the investigation is completed the firefighter could face discipline ranging from oral reprimand or suspension without pay to termination, Champagne said.

Denver and Aurora fire officials are scheduled to meet this week to discuss the issue.