Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

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.

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.

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.