Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

Driving while high

November 16, 2019

Data from 2012 to 2016 indicate that “Colorado, Oregon, and Washington saw a combined 5.2% increase in the rate of police-reported crashes after legalizing recreational marijuana, compared with neighboring states where such sales are illegal,” as reported here. Figures on fatalities do not show the same trend, probably because “drivers who are high tend to drive at lower speeds.” Enforcement remains difficult due to limitations on detection as well as lack of clear-cut standards on the relationship between consumption and impairment.

Gunshot detection technology

October 17, 2019

This report provides recommendations for implementing gunshot detection technology (GDT) most effectively, based on a 3-city evaluation. Key suggestions include “developing clear policies and procedures prior to GDT implementation, placing GDT sensors in areas where violent crime is most concentrated, making training an ongoing priority, and communicating with community members early and often.”

Non-police crisis response

October 16, 2019

Denver has joined other cities considering adopting a mental health crisis response option that relies on mental health professionals rather than police, as reported here. The model cities are looking at is CAHOOTS, Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets, pioneered in Oregon. A police official in Eugene explains “Our police officers try the best they can, but they are not mental health professionals.” Mental health responders wear casual clothes and “That difference in uniforms can assist folks with letting their guard down and being open to accepting the help that is being offered.”

Drones in Colorado & California

October 15, 2019

Police utilization of drones seems to be picking up. In California, Chula Vista reports 1,000 missions in the first year of its Drone as a First Responder program, resulting in 130 arrests and numerous assists to arriving officers, as reported here. Police in Longmont and Boulder, Colorado, are using drones to locate missing persons, monitor emergency situations, and obtain aerial documentation of crime and crash scenes, as reported here.

Use of force during arrests down 21% in Denver

August 8, 2019

This article reports a 21% decrease in use force during arrests in Denver for the first 6 months of 2019, compared to 2018. The agency adopted a more restrictive policy and then followed up with training. The planned next step is to augment training with scenarios embedded in virtual reality technology “to allow us to walk our folks through them in a 360-degree wrap-around video simulator that will help identify key areas for de-escalation and really move us forward in this continual improvement process.”

Viral state patrol

July 15, 2019

This article highlights the Colorado State Patrol’s use of social media to engage the public, distribute important information, and humanize the profession. Traffic safety and donuts are recurring topics. The agency has 137,000 followers on Facebook and one post got 16 million views. While content is often lighthearted, growing the audience “means officials can more quickly disseminate important information when needed, such as during natural disasters and other emergencies.”

Crime solving up after MJ legalization

May 18, 2019

Marijuana legalization initiatives went into effect in 2012 in Colorado and Washington. One hypothesized benefit of legalization was that police would have more time to devote to other responsibilities. This column reports a published study that found a post-legalization clearance rate uptick in the two states for several crime categories, plus positive trends compared to national averages. The study does not claim that legalization caused better clearance rates but it “undoubtedly resulted in the opportunity for agencies to reallocate resources.”

Risk management vs. civil rights

February 14, 2019

This article discusses the impact of Lexipol, a California-based company that provides policies to 3,400 public safety agencies around the U.S. The company says that agencies using its policies experience a reduction in legal claims and payments to plaintiffs. Critics say the approach is focused more on minimizing lawsuits than on improving police services to the public — “They’re designed for maximum protection against civil liability. It’s not maximum protection of civil rights.”

FBI shooting data

February 12, 2019

FBI agents have been involved in 228 shooting incidents since 2011, including 113 accidental discharges, 34 animals, and 81 “intentional shootings involving people or objects” according to this NBC news segment and article. Agents were found at fault in 5 of the shootings, none of which resulted in fatalities. The bureau has not traditionally released information about its agent-involved shootings, and has not employed independent or external investigation. Looking ahead, the FBI will be administering the new national database of police shootings, announced last year — reportedly, “the bureau itself would also submit information to the database.”

NORAD tracking UFO

December 24, 2018

This website tracks an airborne globe-circling craft that reappears each year around this time. One Nordic touch-down documented here. Lights and music phenomena here.