Strategy 52023-07-06T08:50:05-06:00

STRATEGY 5

Expand the role of community in establishing meaningful independent oversight, improving accountability, training law enforcement, and creating public safety policy.

Expand the Role of the Community

Denver has been debating the role and reach of civilian oversight for years. The Citizen’s Oversight Board (COB) and Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) originated in the 2004 Mayoral Task Force, but the proposals adopted were those drafted by law enforcement and not endorsed by the group as a whole. The offices of COB and OIM remain the creation of Denver law enforcement. The COB cannot independently advance necessary disciplinary measures and cannot compel DPD to adhere to any recommendations for disciplinary action. The initiation and scope of OIM investigations are subject to mayoral control that extends to veto power over potential investigations concerning department leaders appointed by the mayor. The City must reconsider the present limitations to oversight and prioritize community involvement in developing and revising DPD procedures in the future. The recommendations in Strategy 5 are written toward that end.

STRATEGY 5 RECOMMENDATIONS

Expand the role of community in establishing meaningful independent oversight, improving accountability, training law enforcement, and creating public safety policy.

  • 84 : All law enforcement initiatives need to be evaluated by a neutral outside party (selected by the Crime Control & Prevention Commission) for effectiveness.

  • 85 : Make the Office of the Independent Monitor independent by changing appointment authority to City Council and the Citizen Oversight Board and implement a four-year term.

  • 86 : Guarantee subpoena power and allow Office of Independent Monitor unfettered access to all departmental documents and systems.

  • 87 : Create an independent nomination and selection commission for both the City Attorney and Independent Monitor.

  • 88 : Ensure appropriate resourcing for the Office of the Independent Monitor by guaranteeing an annual budget appropriation that is proportionate to the entities the Monitor investigates at a minimum of 2% of their total budgets.

  • 89 : Protect the integrity of investigations by guaranteeing Career Service status of Office of the Independent Monitor non-managerial staff.

  • 90 : Establish clear documentation and discipline processes when there are violations for homophobic, transphobic, and/or misogynistic harassment or assaults by law enforcement. All allegations of mistreatment of the LGBTQ+/TGI community and women by law enforcement must be escalated and investigated by an independent body and consequences determined outside of the both the DPD and DSD.

  • 91 : Create predictable disciplinary measures in violations of use of force policies including automatic termination in cases where life is lost at the hands of law enforcement where the victim was unarmed.

  • 92 : Create a sanctity of life statement as a part of the Denver Use of Force policy.

  • 93 : Mandate “duty to intervene” & report in all Use of Force cases that extends liability to law enforcement who fail to intervene.

  • 94 : Remove the civil service commission from the disciplinary process of law enforcement in Denver and replace with a Civilian Review Commission.

  • 95 : Conduct deeper background checks of law enforcement applicants in Denver to eliminate those with known histories of racism and discrimination. If any history of racism or discrimination is found (including racist body markings) the applicant will be disqualified.

  • 96 : Investigate and mandate that all current law enforcement officers with racist body markings, paraphernalia (masks), etc are subject to termination especially if there have ever been allegations of racial discrimination.

  • 97 : All emergency response training procedures should be developed with community involvement. Stakeholder groups should include those with lived experience of the policy being addressed.

  • 98 : Prohibit use of riot gear, weapons and militarized approaches or responses during peaceful protests or demonstrations.

  • 99 : Require public hearings prior to acquisition of retired military weapons, the purchase of which must be approved by City Council.

  • 100 : Require and publicize an annual, full inventory of all DPD weapons, munitions, chemicals, SWAT gear, body cams, tanks, vehicles.

  • 101 : Establish a local licensing board and certification standards (in addition to POST certification) for Denver law enforcement officers as well as a process for revoking certification and a publicly searchable database of every DPD officer and their trainings and certifications as well as complaints against them.

  • 102 : Bring full transparency to the DPD budget both the process for determining the budget and granular detail of the money spent.

  • 103 : Conduct full and regular independent audits by the Denver Auditor of the DPD’s data and inventory including but not limited to: body camera technology, ticket cameras/wagons, speed detectors, surveillance technology, weapons and programs and policies.

  • 104 : Identify and eliminate financial incentives for overtime and/or double-dipping as a DPD officer on city contracts.

  • 105 : Collect data on deterrent function and crime resolution functions of surveillance.

  • 106 : Ensure that surveillance appropriately deployed only in areas where there has been a proven impact on crime resolution.

  • 107 : End Civil Asset forfeiture in Denver without due process.

  • 108 : Create a Civilian Review Commission with disciplinary power to replace the Civil Service Commission to work in partnership with the Office of the Independent Monitor, Citizens Oversight Board, Internal Affairs Bureau and Public Integrity Division.

  • 109 : End no-knock warrants.

  • 110 : Require police and Sheriff departments pay for abuse and misconduct claims or settlements beyond the statewide cap of $25,000 with personal insurance rather than from the city general fund.

  • 111 : Require all law enforcement officers to carry personal liability insurance as a condition of employment.

  • 112 : Remove the Internal Affairs Bureau from within the Denver Police Department and merge it with the Public Integrity Division responsible for investigations of both police and sheriffs.

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