Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

Fewer police shootings in large cities

June 8, 2020

Since the Washington Post and others started systematically counting deaths in police custody 5 years ago, the total number per year in the U.S. has stayed relatively flat. However, this analysis reports that the number has decreased 30% in large cities since 2013, and 17% since 2015. There has also been a 37% decrease in total (fatal and non-fatal) police shootings since 2013, according to data available for 23 of the large cities. These drops have been offset by increases in suburban and rural areas. The author speculates that reforms implemented in many big cities since 2015 have not been as widely adopted in non-urban jurisdictions.

Crime trends around the U.S.

May 13, 2020

This PERF post reports crime rates for 30 U.S. jurisdictions for the 28-day period ending April 12, compared to the same period in 2019. Both personal and property crime were generally down during the early stages of the pandemic, but some jurisdictions have seen increases in specific crime types. Nashville saw the biggest increase in homicide, Denver the biggest across all violent crime, and Seattle had an uptick in burglaries. Nearly all agencies reported decreases in calls for service and arrests.

Extreme speeders on empty roads

April 22, 2020

This article reports another pandemic-related phenomenon — extreme speeding on nearly empty roads. Nationally, vehicle traffic has dropped by about two-thirds, which should result in fewer crashes, but some states have experienced increased high-speed fatalities. According to one official, “People are saying, ‘Wow, the roads are wide open. There’s no one here but me.’ We’re seeing incredibly crazy, off-the-chart speed and aggressiveness.” Police in several states report 100+ mph violations becoming common.

Meth and OIS in Colorado

February 7, 2020

These two Public Radio segments (Part 1 and Part 2) discuss the connection between methamphetamine abuse and police use of force in Colorado. For the period 2014-2019 the state had the nation’s 5th highest rate of fatal shootings by police, trailing only Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. During that period, 44% of the deceased suspects had meth in their system, according to autopsies, far higher than for any other substance. Experts say that heavy meth use leads to paranoia and delusions and “when people are using this drug, they’re significantly more likely to act out in a violent or hostile manner.” They also tend to be unfazed by less-lethal responses such as pepper spray and Tasers.

More cities restricting homeless

December 11, 2019

This article reports an increase over the last 3 years of cities enacting laws that place restrictions on homeless people. Laws restricting camping, panhandling, sleeping in vehicles, and sharing food have all become more common, according to a study of 187 urban jurisdictions. City officials say they need tools to manage a difficult situation, while advocates criticize reliance on prohibitions and enforcement that “will only fail the city and fail constituents.”

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.”