Denver Officials Pledge Fix To Suspect-Misidentification Woes


Denver officials, facing criticism for hundreds of mistaken-identity arrests, tell the Denver Post they have hit on a way to reduce the number of people wrongly jailed: make sure they have the right suspect before the person is booked. “The big paradigm shift is that we have been booking first and then identifying,” said Dave Edinger, the city’s chief performance officer. “We want to identify first and then book them. How that plays out, I don’t know, but that’s what we’re challenging folks to come up with.”

Edinger said city officials are studying the problem of mistaken-identity arrests and will probably make recommendations by the end of January. One possible solution involves moving the Denver Police Department’s identification bureau over to the Denver Sheriff Department, Police Chief Robert White said. “The Police Department does some things and the Sheriff’s Department does some things,” White said. “If the entire booking process were under one agency as opposed to being blenderized, it would make it more efficient in terms of getting people in and and out of jail, and it would do a more effective and efficient job in terms of identification.”

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