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Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Denver police productivity falls in wake of firings - The Denver Post

Denver police productivity falls in wake of firings - The Denver Post

Some Denver police officers are once again initiating fewer investigations than their supervisors expect, and the police union says tough discipline meted out to cops is making some of them reluctant to establish additional contact.

Police statistics show the decline in productivity occurring at the same time a revised disciplinary system is being forcefully applied, resulting in the firing of nine officers since March.

The slide isn't citywide, nor is it as dramatic as it was in September, when then-Safety Manager Ron Perea resigned after controversy erupted over light discipline he ordered for officers caught on tape beating a man, said David Edinger, special assistant to Mayor Guillermo "Bill" Vidal.

The department keeps statistics showing the number of calls for service received from citizens in Denver, and the number of investigations initiated by police, such as traffic stops or a check on a broken window or suspicious person.

In the first six months of 2011, Denver police officers initiated 67,054 investigations or citizen contacts on their own, compared with 74,399 last year and 80,226 in 2009.

"This year, we certainly are seeing differences in some districts, but we're not seeing them in others," Edinger said.

John Bronson , a member of the Denver Police Protective Association's executive board, said there is no organized work slowdown. However, some officers fear initiating contact because if the situation escalates, they could get in trouble, he added.

Fewer cops on patrol

"There is just a lot of unknowns. The perception is if you take enforcement actions, and it is deemed inappropriate by people who don't understand what is going on, you could face discipline for the most simple things," Bronson said.

That is probably not the only thing depressing the numbers, he added.

Edinger said he doesn't know what the problem is, just that it could signal "a management issue" in districts where the drop is greatest. And he too pointed to other factors that could depress the numbers.

"The officers' priority is citizen calls, so officer-initiated actions typically fall as these rise. I've also noticed that as the shifts fill up with citizen calls, there's less contiguous time available in between citizen calls to complete officer-initiated actions," he said.

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