Citizen complaints against Denver police declined 21 percent in 2011, but concerns about officers entering residences without a warrant and a “code of silence” about misconduct continue, say city reports quoted by the Denver Post. The reports by the Office of the Independent Monitor and the Citizen Oversight Board highlight the performance of the Denver Sheriff and Denver Police departments. The top three reasons that citizens complained were discourtesy, improper procedure, and inappropriate or unnecessary force.
Police Chief Robert White said discourtesy is a major concern that he plans to address with officers and their chain of command. He said community members won’t trust police officers they feel are not respectful to them. “We are going to do some extensive training at the first-level supervisory role,” he said. “I think they are in the greatest position to make sure we are being respectful, responsive and courteous. I think you will see us doing stuff differently.” White doesn’t believe warrantless entries are a problem, and it may be that citizens don’t understand why an officer has entered his or her residence. “We need to do a better job in educating the community on why officers are making those entries,” he said.