Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

Getting better data on police stops

June 16, 2018

This article reports San Diego PD preparing to collect more detailed data on people stopped by police, something required by a new state law taking effect July 1. This article reports a similar pilot project being implemented by Denver PD. Both agencies express optimism that the data will help them improve their effectiveness and promise to make the information readily available to the public.

Advertisements

Fingerprints before computers

May 25, 2018

Fingerprints have been used for well over 100 years to conclusively identify people, but before computers it was nearly impossible to start with a latent print from a crime scene and match it to an otherwise unknown suspect. This 9-minute public radio segment tells the story of one exception from the 1920s, when a federal fingerprint examiner in DC with a really good memory linked a latent print from a Kansas murder, which was connected to a bank robbery/kidnapping/murders case in Colorado, to a 10-print card submitted following an arrest a year later in California.

Volunteer police

April 25, 2018

Practices and statutes vary around the country in regard to the use of reserves and auxiliaries, including whether they have police authority, can work alone, and can be armed. This article reports on Colorado, which recently established a state-funded program to train and certify Rangers who volunteer their time, mainly in smaller towns and rural areas. Sheriffs retain the power to appoint members of posses, although there is some debate over contradictory language in state law.

Positive views of peer support

March 20, 2018

This article summarizes findings from a study of peer support programs in 3 Colorado agencies. About 90% of officers who had used peer support said it was helpful and would recommend it to other officers in similar situations. Most of the 300+ officers who hadn’t used peer support cited not having had the need, while only 14% responded “I’m not the kind of person that asks for peer support.” About 20% reported having had experiences where “they should have been contacted by the peer support team and were not” suggesting the threshold for outreach might need adjustment.

Denver saves $4 million per year with in-house physical therapy

March 7, 2018

This article reports success in Denver from adding a physical therapist on staff. Total savings from worker comp claims in the police, sheriff, and fire departments have been $8 million in 2 years. The therapist sees about 150 employees per month.

Disproportion persists in marijuana arrests

February 1, 2018

The number of marijuana arrests has dropped dramatically in several jurisdictions following adoption of legalization measures, but people of color are still sharply over-represented, according to this article. Despite similar levels of marijuana use across racial groups, the arrest rate of blacks is 11 times higher than for whites in Washington, DC, 10 times higher in Alaska, and nearly 3 times higher in Colorado.

Getting oversight right

January 24, 2018

This article discusses the pros and cons of various alternatives for achieving police accountability, such as civilian review, police auditors, and special commissions. The public tends to want an independent process but the oversight systems don’t always succeed and they risk diluting the chief or sheriff’s responsibility for discipline. Chicago is cited as one place currently trying several options at once.

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.