Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

School-based drug education in Colorado

October 5, 2017

This article describes efforts in Colorado schools aimed at educating kids about drugs and healthy choices — in a state that has legalized marijuana. Both local programs and the revised DARE curriculum use interactive teaching methods and emphasize prevention science rather than “just say no.”


Transparency tops in Fort Collins

August 22, 2017

Fort Collins, Colorado recently conducted a citywide survey for input to its selection process for a new police chief. The leading consideration, included in the top 5 by almost 64% of respondents, was “transparency of promoting good work and admitting mistakes,” according to this article.

Ongoing physical fitness requirements

July 13, 2017

While police departments emphasize physical fitness in hiring, they have struggled to implement standards that must be met throughout an officer’s career. This article reports a federal court ruling that standards imposed in Colorado Springs gave “meaningless results” and unlawfully discriminated against women officers when used as the sole basis for threatening loss of employment.

Civilian review issues

June 5, 2017

This article discusses the pros and cons of the civilian review board in Fort Collins, Colorado, established in 1999. The board rarely disagrees with the police department’s internal investigations. Critics say it is merely a rubber stamp, while supporters say it provides an important check and balance over an internal process that generally works well.

Voters in several cities enhance civilian oversight

November 12, 2016

Voters in Denver, New Orleans, Honolulu, Miami, and San Francisco approved measures strengthening civilian oversight of police last Tuesday, according to this article, while a new civilian police commission was created in Oakland. Given predictions that DOJ civil rights enforcement will be significantly scaled back under the Trump administration, the locus of police accountability seems likely to shift even more toward the local level during the next few years.

NIBIN still underutilized

October 7, 2016

NIBIN is the computer system used to match guns, bullets, and shell casings. It is a potentially valuable investigative tool if, for example, police recover shell casings at a shooting scene and can connect them to a gun or ballistic evidence from prior cases. However, mainly due to technology and staffing costs, NIBIN is not available to all police agencies and is often underutilized by those that have it, according to this article.

The case for more women

July 27, 2016

In this essay the author recounts her grandmother’s harrowing journey through domestic violence to a career on the edges of law enforcement, and argues that increasing the number of women police would help fix some of today’s problems, including reducing use of force and providing better protection to victims.

Western “constitutional” sheriffs

February 4, 2016

This article recounts the rise of so-called “constitutional” sheriffs in the Western U.S. who resist federal initiatives and sometimes actively interfere with federal law enforcement officials. These sheriffs, said to number over 200, have established their own networks and are often linked to citizen groups and political movements associated with state’s rights, 2nd amendment rights, and opposition to land management and environmental protections.

Armored vehicles

December 1, 2015

Particularly since Ferguson, police departments have been severely criticized for adopting military hardware. This editorial acknowledges the other side of the equation, noting that armored vehicles were used effectively during the recent Planned Parenthood incident in Colorado Springs, both for rescue and to make the forced entry that led to the gunman’s surrender.

Measuring misconduct

January 13, 2012

It’s always been difficult to measure the amount of police misconduct, such as corruption, excessive force, and other abuses of authority, for obvious reasons. This makes it hard to specify the size of the problem, hard to know whether it is getter better or worse, and hard to compare one police agency to another. This article out of Denver uses a novel metric, the amount of money paid out per officer to settle lawsuits. In a limited comparison, the article claims that Chicago pays out $2,930 per officer per year, New York pays out $2,700, Los Angeles $2,200, Philadelphia $1,360, and Denver $697. It would be interesting to know how stable these kinds of data are from year to year — certainly they would be rather unstable for smaller agencies, necessitating the use of multi-year averages.