Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey wants to get more aggressive in finding the city’s most dangerous street gang members, but says it would cost nearly a half-million dollars, reports the Rocky Mountain News. Without it, he told a City Council committee yesterday, his office will be reacting to crimes as they happen, instead of going after the increasingly sophisticated gang leaders. “I don’t like feeling we’re in a reactive mode,” he said. Council members seemed surprised to hear of shortages and ready to support an emergency appropriation of $460,000 to add two attorneys and an investigator.
Council President Michael Hancock said the city should go “posthaste” in beefing up gang prosecution, not waiting for another celebrity shooting like the New Year’s killing of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams. He said there have been many other victims who have not been “fancy enough for the media.” Mayor John Hickenlooper was surprised by Morrissey’s presentation. He said the two had talked over the issue for the past month and the mayor had obtained $150,000 in private funds for the district attorney. “I thought that was sufficient,” he said. “We must’ve had a miscommunication.”