A two-year independent study of the Denver Police Department’s use of deadly force found that the department has made great strides since two controversial shootings but still has some work to do, says the Denver Post. The report said that as little as three years ago there were systemic problems in how the department investigated deadly force and in policies governing deadly-force standards.
The report was compiled by the Los Angeles-based Police Assessment Resource Center, a nonprofit hired for $150,000 by Richard Rosenthal, Denver’s independent police monitor. It recommends policy changes on the use of impact weapons, such as police flashlights and saps – flat leather batons also known as blackjacks. It said the department should review how it issues commendations to officers. Officers involved in fatal shootings have been given the department’s highest award, the medal of honor, even though they used poor tactics, the report found. “We conclude that the Denver Police Department today meets and even exceeds national standards in many areas, making the DPD one of a handful of American police departments becoming a national leader,” the report says.