Denver’s top two law enforcement officials disagree on the answer to what ought to be a simple question: Is violent crime up or down? The Denver Post says Police Chief Robert White and District Attorney Mitch Morrissey have a nearly 18 percentage-point difference in opinion about the way crime is trending. Experts say their disagreement underscores the complexities of measuring and interpreting crime trends in a major city.
White has repeatedly said violent crime fell 8.6 percent last year. Morrissey wonders how that can be true when felony cases submitted to his office rose 9 percent during the same time. Callie Rennison, an associate professor at the University of Colorado-Denver’s School, said crime is “a hard thing to measure…No stat is perfect, but some are less perfect than others.”