Citizen complaints against Denver police increased 24 percent last year, as more aggressive law enforcement was credited with driving crime down 10 percent, the Rocky Mountain News says. The annual report by the Denver Independent Police Monitor sharply criticizes the city’s manager of public safety for delays in processing police discipline cases and establishing a revamped disciplinary system. It also takes the city-supported hospital to task for failing to cooperate with police investigators.
The monitor says the complaint spike more likely reflects an easier system to report beefs with officers than it indicates an upswing in bad behavior by police. For the second year in a row, no citizen allegation of unnecessary force was sustained, but that does not worry Monitor Richard Rosenthal. “It’s not uncommon,” he said. “Sustained cases are extremely low nationwide.” Public Safety Manager Al LaCabe has told the monitor and the mayor that finishing use-of-force probes and discipline issues are “our No. 1 priorities.”