Denver Chief, DA At Odds Over Police Department Reorganization


A surprisingly public war of words has erupted between Denver’s top two law enforcement officials, including accusations of being unprofessional, uninformed and reckless with public safety, the Denver Post reports. The disagreement arose over the role of civilians in the city’s crime lab. Police Chief Robert White wants to replace 15 crime-scene investigators with civilian technicians by the end of the year to cut costs and put more officers on the streets. District Attorney Mitch Morrissey criticized the chief’s plan and said the short time frame for the proposed change showed “reckless disregard for the public safety of Denver.”

White said Morrissey’s comments were “absurd and inappropriate.” “For him to come out and make that inflammatory statement was unprofessional,” White said. “He’s uninformed.”White said Morrissey’s comments were “more than about the crime lab, absolutely. The DA consistently disagrees with the reorganization of the police department.” “What they should do is sit down, lock the door and talk their problems out, out of the press,” said Robert Gallagher, who served as district attorney for Arapahoe and other counties from 1969 to 1997. “You have not only the right but the duty to disagree at times. It’s healthy to disagree, but you don’t do it in public and you don’t do it on minor issues.”

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