Track data for all stops

But safety di­rec­tor dis­agrees with the rec­om­men­da­tion.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Noelle Phillips

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.

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