Track data for all stops
But safety director disagrees with the recommendation.
The Denver Police Department should collect demographic data — including race and ethnicity— for all traffic and pedestrian stops initiated by its officers, an auditor’s report said.
However, Department of Safety director Stephanie O’Malley told auditor Timothy O’Brien she disagreed with his recommendation and the department had no plans to add the additional administrative work to its officers’ schedules.
The audit report and O’Malley’s response were released last week after O’Brien examined the police department’s community policing efforts, proactive police actions and body camera implementation.
Community and proactive policing have been priorities for Chief Robert White. Proactive policing happens when officers take the initiative to contact people or patrol certain areas rather than waiting on 911 calls.
A previous audit found thatDenver’s patrol officers spend about 44 percent of their time responding to 911 calls and 26 percent of their time on self- initiated action. The rest of their time is spent on administrative functions such as training or testifying in court.
The auditor raised concerns that police could put the department at risk for criticism and lawsuits if officers engaged in racial profiling during proactive policing. However, the department does not keep racial and ethnic data about its stops, so it is impossible to knowif the stops are racially equitable, the audit report said.
The auditor recommended the department reach out to the federal Community Oriented Policing Service for a tool to measure racial profiling in policing. But O’Malley said that tool was available only for recipients of a federal grant.
As for the department collecting its own data, O’Malley said it would require time and resources not available to officers.