the Denver Post
Denver Police Chief Gerald Whitman is proposing new rules for drunken-driving stops by his officers, requiring them to call a supervisor anytime they pull over a fellow cop, other criminal justice employee or any public official.
Whitman made the move after a July report by Independent Monitor Richard Rosenthal that suggested Denver police don't arrest their fellow officers for drunken driving.
According to Rosenthal's third- quarter report on police and sheriff discipline, scheduled for release today, the chief first agreed to require any officer who stops an off-duty police officer who appears drunk to call a supervisor. The supervisor would have to notify the district commander in writing whether an arrest was made and if not, justify that decision.
But Whitman then took it a step further. He forwarded a draft directive to Manager of Safety Ashley Kilroy that would apply to stops of all criminal justice employees — cops, firefighters and sheriff's deputies — and public officials.
Mayor Michael Hancock is in the process of picking a new chief, and a new manager of safety, Justice Alex Martinez, is expected to take office next month. Police spokesman Matt Murray said Whitman drew up the draft directive so a new chief and manager could weigh in on the idea.
"Why should we be the only ones accountable for this standard?" Murray asked, questioning whether Rosen thal had facts to back up his assertion that Denver police had protected their own from DUI arrests. "We are not tolerant of DUI; we are pretty committed in that area. No public officials, in fact nobody, should be driving drunk. We believe there is a standard and everybody should meet it."
Whitman's idea might have traction.
"The manager agrees with the monitor's recommendation, but also agrees with the chief that a more comprehensive implementation is appropriate possibly for public officials and all criminal justice employees," safety office spokeswoman Daelene Mix said in an e-mail.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
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.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
the Denver Post