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Loaded gun in class a violation
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Riverdale Police Chief Dave Hansen will likely keep his job despite violating safety policies when he shot himself with his service gun, officials said after releasing an internal police report.

"It was an accident. That's the way we're treating it," Riverdale City Administrator Larry Hansen, who is not related to the chief, said. He didn't foresee any changes to the chief's job status.

The shooting happened May 3 during a training class for concealed weapons permits. Dave Hansen, 54, was trying to demonstrate the rifling grooves inside the barrel of his loaded Glock 27 when he said, "I don't know I can show you this without pointing it at anyone," according to the Riverdale Police Department internal affairs investigation.

Hansen decided to take the gun apart instead. He had loaded the semi-automatic weapon during a previous demonstration, and a clip was still inside, the report states.

To remove the slide on a Glock, the trigger must be pulled, the report states. With the gun under the table and pointed at the floor, Hansen pulled it. And the bullet entered his left calf and exited from the ankle.

"He was struggling to remove it . . .saying 'It's been awhile since I've done this,' and the next thing BOOM," one participant stated in the report. "I thought it was a part of the class, then I saw the bullet and the blood and it set in."

A participant gave his shirt to stop the bleeding, and another held the shirt to Hansen's ankle.

Hansen was in the hospital for three to four days, Riverdale City Attorney Steve Brooks said, and will likely return to work within two weeks. Some of the 12 participants were concerned no officers checked on the other people in the room.

Hansen broke safety policies by having a loaded gun in the training class, having live ammunition in the gun and failing to preform a clearance check when unloading the gun.

The Weber County attorney's office will conduct a second investigation at the city's request, but County Attorney Mark DeCaria did not say if charges would be filed.

Hansen started with the Riverdale Police Department more than 20 years ago and became chief two years ago. He is a certified concealed firearms instructor in Utah and has taught classes regularly for five years.

lwhitehurst@sltrib.com

Top cop, who shot self in ankle during safety course, to keep job
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