Citizens Oversight Board 08-22-19


all right good evening everyone we’re
gonna go ahead and get started on thank you for your patience a little bit of
traffic here tonight getting out here tonight but we are finally here gathered
at the citizen oversight board public forum here in district 5 of police
district 5 for Denver I am Katina banks I’m chair of the board
and with me our fellow board members and I’m gonna start actually I’m gonna start
with our guests first first we have dr. Diedre Magee she’s here from New Orleans
Police Department she’s going to be talking with us a little bit later about
a very interesting program at the New Orleans Police Department and then at
the other end of the table we have our guest judge Theresa spawn she’s actually
the presiding judge for a Denver Denver County Court as well as Denise mace who
is a policy director at the ACLU as far as board members are concerned I’ll
start to my left your right we have a Cisco Gallardo and then our newest board
member but that’s certainly very very instrumental and involved already and
that’s a Mel Gardner to my right is Nikki Brazil and then Mark Brown and
then dr. Mary Davis so before we get into our program I want to give you just
a sense of what the citizen oversight board does who we are we were
established by ordinance but now as of 2016 we were we’re part of the Charter
the Denver City Charter and we we essentially have three responsibilities
under the city ordinance first we’re to assess the effectiveness of the office
of the independent monitor the independent monitor of course monitors
investigations for the police department and the Sheriff’s Department
we also are tasked with making policy recommendations and those can relate to
anything from hiring and training to use of force policies and the like and
then finally we are tasked with addressing issues of concern and
community and frankly that’s one of the reasons why it’s so important for you to
be here or for you to be watching because it’s important for us to hear
from the community about issues of concern that you might have with regard
to public safety here in Denver our policy recommendations are not binding
but they are important for us to be to be making and to be letting people know
and be aware of issues we might identify in our capacity currently the board is
comprised of seven members although recently the ordinance was changed and
as soon as possible as soon as the right committees are established there will be
nine board members on the citizen oversight board who will be doing the
work that these folks here that you see have been doing I want to tell you just
very quickly we meet twice a month we meet on the first and third fridays and
those meetings are open to the public and so I would invite you to come there
from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Denver Post building and you can find
more information about that on our website we meet also with the police
chief the sheriff as well as the executive director of Public Safety on a
quarterly basis and those meetings are also open to the public and so encourage
you to come and attend a meeting if you have questions or concerns you can raise
them at that time as well and finally we are tasked on the ordinance with having
public meetings meetings in the public to hear from you the community about
issues of concern and and frankly this is that’s what what this is that’s where
you are and so we are really really happy and grateful that you’re here
again the program tonight is with regard to criminal justice reform we’re going
to be talking about some pieces of legislation that were passed in the last
General Assembly this this past winter I’m from between January May that are
pretty critical and and then we’re going to hear again from dr. McGee about a
criminal justice program that’s been implemented
in New Orleans Before we jump in the program though I would like to introduce
a couple special guests first I like to introduce independent monitor Nick Mont
Nick Mitchell he’s here with us I really just a support I think today sometimes
he presents for us but but not today also also a lieutenant Penn who’s
representing the Denver Police District five thank you very much for being here
lieutenant we appreciate you and with that I think we’ll go ahead and get
started with the program so in the last legislative session the General Assembly
passed a series of criminal justice reform measures some more simple or
straightforward than others but two in particular we thought were worth having
a discussion in the community to let folks know about them and and help folks
understand them a little bit better the first one that we want to talk about is
Senate bill 19 – 191 which is titled prompt pre-trial liberty and fairness
which are really important words powerful words what does that actually
all mean we are grateful to have with us Denise maze from the ACLU who who helped
help with these measures to help explain them so I’m would you mind if I just
punt to you Denise and you can maybe tell us a little bit more about I mean I
find a little but thank you so Senate bill 191 then let me just get like one
step back and give some background there’s a lot of really weird things
happening throughout the state of Colorado and in municipal courts and in
state and county courts that have to do with the notion of money bail what that
means is that if you can’t afford the toll to get out of jail then you’re
stuck in jail and so we had a series of different legislative attempts to sort
of chip away that notion that poverty is not a crime
meaning you shouldn’t be in jail simply because you can’t afford the toll to get
out and House bill 1225 in Senate bill 191 are two pretty big significant
pieces of legislation that our Legislature passed and the governor
signed into law what we found across the state for example is that in certain
counties you are only allowed to post bail at certain times of the week on
certain days so for example in Arapahoe County you could only post it on
wednesdays between 4:00 and 6:00 and Thursdays between 10:00 and 12:00 and
that was the case all over the state in various counties and in various
municipalities so what House bill 191 says is that no matter where you are
incarcerated where you are arrested that you have to be able to post your bond
within 2 hours of arrest so that’s now uniform across the state of Colorado the
other piece of this legislation which I acknowledge and they tell you was all
about Denver is that you have to be released within four hours of posting
your bond what was happening in Denver was that you could be in jail after
posting your bond for up to 24 hours we have found in some instances even longer
for no reason at all we had Sheriff elder who is the sheriff of the largest
jail in the state of Colorado el paso county who can get his people out in
less than four hours for some reason Denver couldn’t do it on their own
so they needed a little bit of legislative help to get him there so
that’s another piece of Senate bill 191 that’s really important for Denver
residents the other piece of it which is also important which was not only Denver
didn’t only serve the genesis of this there were other
municipalities and county courts that were doing this but it is called what we
refer to as let the bond be the bond some of you may have heard of an
individual named Mickey Howard he came into the Denver Jail with $35 the court
said his bond at $10 which means the judge really wanted him out but the
judge also wanted a ten dollar bond well Mickey Howard came into the jail with
$35 he could have afforded his $10 bond but what he didn’t realize is Denver put
on top of that and took first he’s fines and fees his bond fee he’s jail fee so
now he was $65 under water so he could no longer post his $10 bond even though
he came into the jail with $35 so what this portion of Senate bill 191 says is
let the bond be the bond and that money goes out first.we suit denver on the
mickey howard case and immediately denver said you’re right is kind of dumb
that we’re doing that and so denver backed off no longer does these fines
and fees they did it even before Senate bill 191 was passed but those are the I
think the three biggest components of Senate bill 191 that should hopefully
mean a big difference in people’s lives when they come in contact with the
Denver Jail so the other one you actually already mentioned this Denise’s
house bill 1225 which is basically titled no monetary bail for certain
low-level offenses do you mind explaining to to us a little bit about
do you mind would you please explain to us a little bit I know so that we can
get a full full picture of that one as well right so House bill 1225 basically
says for the as for the lowest of crimes you
shouldn’t be held on money bond whatsoever so you pee in the park you
should be held on money bail urban camping ban you should be held on money
bail money bail we can dispute back and forth whether the stated purposes of
money bail is really holding up to its intent in any way shape or form but if
one of the things that you ever wanted to do with money bail is keep people
from reoffending the kinds of crimes to hold people that don’t present any great
risk to the community whatsoever what we’re saying in House bill 1225 is you
have to be released immediately without posting money bail the simplest pettiest
of offenses you shouldn’t be held because you’re too poor to pay to get
out and giving us that that detail so we have judge spawn here because you know
she presides over the Denver County Court and I was just hoping that she
might explain you might explain how the court works in connection with these
issues how you all do bail and and how that process works well and thank you
appreciate the opportunity one thing I would just share that anything I talk
about today we cannot take all the credit for any policy that we’ve worked
on because there’s many many stakeholders in Denver who come together
to work on these issues and also people before me when I was appointed it was
one of our we have a very diverse bench we have a bench who
very much cares about people over incarceration issues and it’s been a
priority for us what we did when we about twenty two years ago as we put
together a symposium at the law school we partnered with the law school and we
brought people from all over the United States to really look at over car
serration issues and one of the speaker’s we brought was from California
mrs. Burton becoming mrs. Burton and we wanted her to talk about just her life
where she was over incarcerated for what she’s been I think ten prison sentences
and a real issue that was underlying for her was trauma and they were you know
ten ten different sentences that had to do with substance abuse issues and we
really and now she got out and she started a non-profit and she has changed
so many women’s lives and we brought her to kind of kick off and we had all of
our stakeholders there we had the public defender’s office the DA’s or pretrial
services all of our judges all of the clerk’s to really just set the tone for
two days where we could sit and look at over incarceration issues we brought
people the experts who’ve done rigorous studies to show if you keep somebody in
jail for 24 hours if they’re picked up on a bond and you can get them before a
judge you can create an opportunity for them to post bond they will return to
court recidivism rates are not very high and also it doesn’t impact their life
that much not saying that incarceration and one night doesn’t impact their lives
but if you hold people for two days it changes their lives forever it makes
them lose their jobs it catapults him into homelessness and so we brought all
of those people together so we could really sit down and think together as a
city and that was kind of our jumping off apart from there one thing when mrs.
Burton came to which she asked for is that she go with judge Fay to our Denver
County Jail to the to the female part of the jail and she wanted to meet every
single female that was in the jail and give them her book and that’s how we
started on Sunday so it’s been always a very important issue to us I know
several years ago when we started looking at bonds and bond issues I think
we were at about 14% pyaare bonds and this is before I was a presiding judge
and judge mark coochie worked really hard to bring people together in
pretrial services and have different instruments so we could change
that today if you look at all of our felonies
I think our felonies right now are at 68 percent PR bonds which is significant
relating in the state it doesn’t mean we don’t look at safety because our
community has a right to be safe we have a number of instruments who are doing
assessments for us and at any given day we have 2,500 people out on bond in the
City County of Denver so it’s been a big priority for us in our court our judges
for a very long time I can think of several the judges are saying there we
have been very keenly aware that we don’t want people who are trespassing we
don’t want people who are have small crimes to not get PR bonds the case that
you talked about is because I think it was judged some in its case in Denver
there’s an ordinance and it says that there are certain case types that even
if the judge wants to give a 100% pure bond the judge does not have the
discretion the city attorney has the right to object so out of frustration
when the city and there’s nothing the judge can do so the judge a lot of times
would put that in an amount so low so they could give the person an
opportunity where maybe they were asking for a $500 bond so a lot of times those
were working within parameters that are beyond our control we have done a number
of things in our city just we before even all the laws passed which are you
know very important legislation we run weekend court on Saturday and Sunday we
went courts to courts every Saturday and Sunday because I think we’re I’m not
sure if any other jurisdictions are doing that right now but the reasonably
if you do and the reason we do that is because we don’t want people to wait
till Monday to come and see a judge and we’re ready to quorums at the same time
with the help the public defenders and the DA’s and we’re processing those
cases because once we set the bond we’re and we’ve actually been able to lower
our hours we get done much earlier than historically because of the fact that we
were able to run courts on the weekends and that’s always been a priority for us
the other thing that we worked really hard on is a couple years ago and again
I can’t take the credit was a number of stakeholders in Denver
we have an outreach court where you know a lot of people that had low-level
crimes that were chronically homeless we’re just getting picked up on ba I’m
you know FTA warrants is what I would call them and going into jail they can’t
take you know everything they own with them in the jail and it’s really a
hardship on them so we have every other Wednesday we have a court outreach court
it’s at the rescue mission and it is this year I think we’ve already served
with taking care of 1,400 warrants those are people who have not had to go into
the Denver County Jail and we take care of all the warrants we pull all their
cases they do community service right there so they’re giving back to the
community and they tell they’re able to take care of their cases last year I
think we did about two thousand and the year before we had just started it off
so those issues are very important to us there are things that were keenly aware
of and they’re definitely a focus for our bench appreciate that does any other
board member have any questions for either Denise mace or easy crowd exactly
exactly good question for you judge fun one of
the options or what does classify as a low-level offense right because no
there’s a certain amount of interpretation in that low level offense
but just to give us an idea of what that looks like outside of the ones that have
been mentioned here what would that look like I think you know obviously domestic
violence is something very separate and very different so I’m going to set those
cases aside but if you sit in our courts especially 2,100 and you watch or you
sit any of our General Sessions courts those are in Denver kind of the you know
the different payment different misdemeanor type cases I can think of or
if you sit in our other courtrooms you will see especially in 2,100 that the
vast majority are really PR bonds if you look at our felony court where the which
are the much more serious cases even there we’re about 68 % PR bonds I was
trying pull the stats on the lower level cases
that we have that in our different courts because they’re much higher but I
couldn’t get those in time but they’re you know if we’re at 68 percent for
felonies if you just come in to 2100 and watch it if it’s not a domestic violence
you’re likely to get a PR bond and actually we’ve got we’ve done a lot of
policy change too on all traffic cases along like maybe two years ago we have
worked with all of our magistrates and all of our judicial officers that if
it’s a traffic case or anything like that we don’t want people to go in the
Denver County Jail safe I mean if there are a safety issue that’s different on
those low-level cases that those are not safety issues and we have a firm policy
out of traffic even if you chronically FTA you get a PR bond and those are that
weed under handle 150,000 cases a year but people who can’t make it to traffic
court or not somebody we want in the Denver County jail and so we do not
issue we are really issue PR bonds in that thank you I think it’s always
interesting that DV is always segregated out if you will because at the end of
the day you can have a DV charge but if you can afford the bond you’re getting
out so this notion that we say o DV cases are handled separately what we
really mean is DV cases of people with money and people without because if you
can afford the bond it doesn’t matter how severe your DV cases your pain and
your getting out it’s the poor ones that stay in jail I mean that’s just that’s
just the way it works that’s the way the system works well I would just go to say
that if you look at the six through the 68% that we have there are a lot of DV
cases were assessing risk we’re working in the community and many many people I
understand that but I’m not saying that those I don’t want anyone to think that
the DV cases don’t get PR bonds because they do what happened to the $30 fine
that they were taking upfront what half to that because it goes into the
supposed to be for mental health services and things like that where does
does that money still come out or is it it’s not from from the offender yes or
the defendant well I mean I think what was happening is taking that money off
the top and so if they didn’t have money to pay bond then that they didn’t have
the money to pay that it would be something that would follow them
throughout their court case which would happen in any instance there are several
different places throughout the court process where where the county or the
city or the state can collect their fees they don’t have to take it off first and
not let them bond out and that’s kind of what we’re saying in 191 is you have a
court proceeding to go through so you can there’s still opportunities for the
state or the county or the city to get some of those fees they just don’t get
to get them on the front end and have you stay in jail until you can pay them
I think that’s the only that’s the only difference and mind you in the Mikki
Howard case ultimately his case was dismissed so the irony that he would
have stayed in jail and had to pay all these fines and fees when in fact the
charges were dropped against him eventually the minute that case you
brought that to our attention with Lauren Schmitt the minute you brought
that to our attention we literally I entered an order forthwith that no one
be held I wasn’t aware of those fees I’m not saying I shouldn’t be I entered an
order forthwith thanks to your help that ever didn’t know when it was going to be
held because they couldn’t make a $30 fine and then we immediately went in
with my court administrator and changed the ordinance so people would not be
held that’s absolutely true with the help of the City Attorney’s
Office that came to a quick resolution think that was great great teamwork it
just took a little lawsuit but you know we’re all about that it’s okay I don’t think I was the party
the lawsuit no you were not I was not the party to the lawsuit you definitely
were not that spawn has done some good work so I don’t want to take away from
that at all absolutely um I think one follow-up question I have is just
basically if these laws go into effect when both of them are in effect already
portions of them I think the only aspect of 191 that isn’t in effect is one of
the things that judge spawn referenced it in Denver is unique this way and
wonderful is that there are many counties that do not have six or seven
day a week court and so you do have to wait if you’re arrested on a Friday you
have to wait till Monday to your first proceeding or your first appearance
that’s the case if it’s a three-day weekend you gotta wait until Tuesday so
a portion of 191 is studying how we can do six or seven day a week court
throughout the state and so that portion of the bill is not yet in effect thank
you I think at this point in the interest of time and our guests time I’d
like to open up for very few minutes to see if there’s anyone in the audience
who actually has a question for judge spawn or for miss Mayes if you do
there’s a microphone up front here and what I’d ask you see if you please just
give your name and ask your question and I again in the interest of time I’m
going to ask you to please limit your comments to no more than a couple of
minutes thank you my name is Wes Carey I’m with together Colorado which is a
faith-based nonpartisan community activist group and I thank all of you
for what you’re doing to help improve our criminal justice system and I timed
the questions it’s a minute and 15 seconds
I believe that the war on drugs in the United States has resulted in lots of
unnecessary incarceration then that competition for selling illegal drugs on
the street causes a lot of gang violence similar to the gang violence that
occurred in the 1920s and 30s because of the prohibition of alcohol I also
believe our inability to regulate the quality and the potency of illegal drugs
causes a lot of overdoses and medical emergencies for these reasons I am
convinced now that it is time to try legalizing some of the more popular
recreational drugs like cocaine meth heroin and other opioids legalizing
these drugs would allow the government to regulate how they are made and
distributed it would reduce prices to where gangs can’t make a profit on them
and of course we would allow taxes to be collected on them I also think that
addicts should be able to get a prescription for drugs if they agree to
be under medical supervision so this is a question for judge bond but anybody
can respond do you agree with any of this idea if not what is your most
radical proposal for fixing the war on drugs well obviously I mean that’s an
issue that we’re working with right now in our city because the felonies
formerly put F for possession cases are now going to be misdemeanor cases in
Denver and what has been a big priority for us is to see how we can really help
people and not get I mean how can we make a difference in their lives if
there’s a chance and not make it an incarceration issue and so we’re kind of
looking nationally to see where are the best practices but one thing I think
that has been a priority for us that we asked in our budget is treatment
treatment is what’s lacking and treatment is what we need in our city
and so that’s really a big priority for us thank you thank you mr. Geary’s you
bet good could I just address that for a little bit you know what judge Vaughn is
correct it’s not just in Denver that drug possession is D felonies that’s
that statewide that was House bill 1263 that passed out this legislative session
and I’ll tell you you would have thought that with that bill there were going to
be meth and coke trucks at the Civic Center Park
that is how vigorously district certain district attorneys law enforcement
fought that bill so that was radical and that all and all that bill said was for
simple the simplest of drug possession you would be you would have a
misdemeanor instead of a felony because there’s lots of repercussions that come
with felonies not only longer prison sentences but the second piece of House
bill 1263 said is we’re gonna prioritize treatment which is really what you ought
to be doing in any sort of drug possession case and frankly not I
shouldn’t even say in all of them some people want to just use drugs doesn’t
mean that are addicted doesn’t mean they have some illness but some people just
want to use drugs whatever I don’t but that’s not the point so I think that
having a different orientation about what drug use and what drugs are being
used is something that we got to continue to talk about because if D
felon ization is radical we got we got a lot of work to do you know thank you
appreciate that thank you for the question mr. Gary my name is Ken Starr o
Sidora I am activist and civil rights activist I believe I’ve been before you
and a couple of things really quick I’m not you know I don’t have anything
written down and stuff but like one thing I think we should on the police
side like DPD and stuff there are so many things if you look if you look poor
or homeless basically homeless you get arrested for much minor minor offenses
then if you see someone that looks like they’re not homeless do the same thing
and not get arrested for that has been lately true and we’ve seen it throughout
the city in our organization also the court system it we’ve seen sort of the
same thing but I’ve seen in many thing ways and know many people that have gone
through the drug courts it seems like if you have a problem
drugs or alcohol you get all these chances you have the drug court you get
all these chances but if you’re homeless or mental health mental health basically
you don’t get all these chances the mental health is abused throughout the
system throughout in the jail and the judicial system they don’t know how they
don’t know their rights they don’t know how to react and most of the public
defenders that help these people just are pushing take a deal take a deal and
they don’t know any better they take a deal and they get criminalized for doing
these same simple things that they should not be arrested for in the same
place I you know at the same time and you don’t see other people with money
and stuff going through the system like this and having to go out before a judge
or and and and stuff because they’re not it’s like selective persecution
prosecution persecution whatever you want to say however you want to say it
and they’re they’re targeted individuals in the city of Denver have been that way
for years I’ve been fighting for them for years and the judicial system the
judges explain it to them right there but they don’t understand they’re
mentally ill they don’t understand that they’re just being pushed to take a deal
but if you if you choose to use drugs or alcohol you get all these chances around
the world through drug court and stuff and know many people that have many many
chances because they use drugs oh we need to help them but it’s like screw
the homeless screw the poor that isn’t right the judicial system is broken this
should not be happening and DPD should not be arresting people for these petty
petty offenses where they can be talked to or even seek help the officers don’t
do that and and hand out information about that stuff they just move them
along there’s not the help for these people in this system and it’s wrong and
it needs to be dealt with and DBP the officers District six mainly needs to
stop harassing them these are people too and even through the judicial system
they get treated like crap they really do then kind of thank you
for your source wrong and how they’re treated I’ve seen how they’re treated in
jail still after all their revised how they’re supposed to act and do in jail
but they’re they’re abused by the system and they’re abused in jail and they are
sick and they need help thank you so you want to comment or
respond thank you we appreciate your comments yes sir hi my name is a buddy
and I’m the Liberty freak I am an activist and a protester in the city
okay so I go through the Denver judicial system a lot okay I’m constantly being
persecuted for what we know us what we call contempt of cop charges the typical
disturbing the peace you know harassment whatever simply for
what we say okay not only do we for we say a ma’am I want to thank you mr. Mays
for everything that your department and what you guys have done because we fight
for that all the time the city criminalizes us and makes us seem like
we are violent crazy terrorists or whatever okay my help feed the homeless
every Sunday I cook for them all day long on Saturday I also roll cigarettes
you can hand them out okay some of this comes because it’s just donated from
people who watch what I do and they say hey here’s five bags of cigarettes this
big or whatever do that thing you do right you know and but the city makes me
look like this crazy criminal right like this totally violent scary individual
okay the city has some questions sir okay yeah my question is what are we
going to do the city has an ordinance or no what is called as a mandate I guess
it is called chief justice directive oh four oh four and it comes from the Chief
Justice of Colorado okay all these things that they’re doing for the
homeless certain and the poor is great but what’s happening is that when
they’re being criminalized when you go to the public defender’s office I want
to know what’s being done about the fact that they are not obeying
simple 23 page directive which is called chief justice directive Oh 404 their
forms are incorrect they hide the form that gives the rights to the people okay
if you were to question this and raise your voice about it you will have 20
cops standing in that room with you threatening you know your liberty and
safety and you know the certain violence on you you know because I spoke up you
know and mind you we are being denied by the receptionist not even a lawyer I
understand your question when you say they are not complying with the
directive who’s there I apologize it would be the public defender’s office or
the city okay I take it up to the highest person in this I believe is uh I
can’t remember her name right now which is the chief public defender’s office
okay she’s been sued for this they’re still
doing the same thing I stand outside and I’ve recorded many many days over months
of they actually have on the on the front door of the public defender’s
office it says that that your requirements for being able to obtained
a public defender are those things which are expressly excluded in chief justice
directive or 404 in other words that they’re not allowed to even to ask you
that right they can’t ask you do you have tamp in do you you know are you on
the government assistance okay they want you to prove that you are in government
assistance I have a friend who is serving five years in jail they expected
him to bring notarized statements of the money that was given to him in his cup
from holding a sign so they expect us to go excuse me ma’am
thank you for that 39 cents if you wouldn’t mind standing over here to the
side with my notary so that I could notarize and we can verify that you know
you gave me this money which is really absurd so I want to know who do we go to
right who do we speak to who do you know when when this situation arises because
it’s a guaranteed loss as a defray now as a defendant so you’re gonna go there
you’re guaranteed to pay the fines do whatever they
I think we understand you’re running out of time sure specific to us too so the
one thing I was gonna say just real quickly and if you don’t mind I want to
understand no I just wanted to know if you’re a chief justice directive is not
applicable to the city of Denver because that that’s a city even sets that’s a
Municipal Court and achieve justice directive is a state court mandate so I
don’t really know if the municipal because the public defender’s office has
its own way of if your if your question is how do you get public defender
assistance that has nothing to do with the chief justice in Denver right that’s
only state and county court order you though what according to the city and
their policies okay they have already don’t know what those are they have
agreed to follow that okay yes I don’t agree to it and use their forms and
everything then then follow it you know don’t alter it and make it too you know
because obviously if you’re asking me if I have government assistance you’re
making a judgment on that and the reason why it’s mandate you know it can be
actually because you know if you judge on that then you know you actually so I
don’t think anyone here has that the answer to your question but we’ll get
your information I just want to bring it to somebody in tension that matters and
that actually makes a change thank you thank you thank you sir well if there
any other questions around the criminal justice reform measures that were passed
this last legislative session I want to thank again Denise maze and judge spawn
for being here is our subject matter experts thank you very much well we’re going to shift our discussion
we’re still in the lane of in realm of speaking about criminal justice reform
but we do have a very special guest who is here to talk to us a little bit about
a different program that’s being implemented there you are hos thank you
for you to talk to us a little bit about a unique program that we’re seeing and
be used and utilized in New Orleans and something worth bringing to the public’s
attention that we think that is worth sharing so I think with that I’d like to
ask dr. McGee to come up and join us thank you so and the microphone is is
yours yeah okay if you’d like to stand that’s
great we should just get you a mic good evening thank you for inviting me I
because that light was really and I apologize I sound really congested woke
up this morning with a really stuffy head I’m happy to be back in Denver I’m
originally from New Orleans I lived in Fort Collins for three years as I
pursued my doctorate degree and then I moved to Denver in August of 2004 and I
remained in Denver until December 2014 so I’ve been back home in New Orleans
since January 2015 my role with the New Orleans Police Department I’m the
academic administrator of the education and training division we’re responsible
for initial recruit training and we’re also responsible for continuing
professional education how many of you knew that police officers have
continuing professional education police officers are lifelong learners so when
we say continuing professional education what do you think about do you
automatically think about recertification for what firearms
driving well it’s beyond that our continuing professional education
focuses upon our mission which is constitutionally based by is free
community ground policing and so because of that every
year our officers in addition to those traditional certifications that everyone
thinks about when they think about law enforcement officers in addition they
have trained in illegal updates and New Orleans Police Department our officers
have training every year in crisis intervention we focus upon how do we
interact with members of the communities who have mental health issues so we also
in addition to officers having crisis intervention training we have a cadre of
crisis intervention trained officers so that on every platoon there at least two
officers in every district who I saw a CIT trained so if an officer gets a call
for service and it’s assessed that the person has mental health issues then
someone with that expertise is brought in and so tonight I’m here to talk about
epic which is ethical police was just an acronym for ethical police in his
courageous and epic is based on the research that talks about what happens
when someone in a profession makes a decision and takes action that is
unethical now I’m speaking from the perspective of law enforcement but I
also spent five years the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the
Interest campus and we know that in Health Professions and in every
profession there’s situations that arise where I’m going to use the terminology
that I heard in the School of Medicine a workaround where you know someone on a
ship it’s not quite up to par but everybody kind will kind of work around
to compensate for that person right now that’s not just in Health Professions
it’s not just in law enforcement it’s in every profession but because of the
interactions between law enforcement officers in the community it is
that we grasp that issue at the court and at the core when a police officer
dons his or her uniform and goes to work there just like anybody else on the job
and when they go to work they bring themselves with them so in New Orleans
we also focus as the Academy academic director we focus on teaching and
learning and all three of the learning domains
that’s cognitive affective and psychomotor and in law enforcement you
think about the psychomotor domain driving firearms using the weapons on
the duty rig right and we know about the cognitive domain you have to know the
law you have to know the N OPD policy you have to know the difference between
a municipal and a state charge right however the affective domain is where
law enforcement has struggled what is the affective domain that is the
emotional and the mental health right and so let’s go back to that officer he
or she they’ve done their uniform they’re going
to work but just like everyone else when they go to work inside of them are the
issues of their life maybe they had a tough time with the spouse at home maybe
they had a sick child and they were up all night all of these circumstances
affect how a person interacts and engages at work but what law enforcement
because we are charged with protecting and serving you still have to protect
and serve even though you’ve been up all night with a sick child or maybe you
work the detail or maybe you have a sick elderly parent or or or the same
situations that affect all of us in life so I’m using that to set the context for
why epic was so necessary it was necessary to help to serve to save the
careers of well intentioned hard-working law enforcement officers now some of the
research that we use is on active bystander sure we know what that means
right active and passive bystander ship you’ve seen a research you’ve watched a
show with John canoas right what would you do right something happens you know
it’s wrong how many of you can find voice and take a stand right so the same
thing is what we’re talking about in epic what law enforcement officers
serving together if you know that the person you’re working with has had a
rough night or a struggling and you see them about to do something you can
intervene so it is a peer intervention person program for officers developed by
officers in conjunction with the community so on our committee we would
have some of the persons who just spoke some of our harshest critics who are
part of the committee that works on the foundation for the epic program so the
research around active and passive bystander ship something happens I don’t
know where you work wherever you work something’s going on let’s make it
something small it’s back-to-school season office
supplies your child needs some of those yellow highlighters well just go over to
the sacrum imagine if everybody who worked at the company got their school
supplies that your child needed from that stock now somebody might say well
that’s not right let’s take it from the company and that’s well I work hard here
and I stay late I come early and I make a fair wage but you know it’s not that
part right but we know that those things build up and it becomes a problem
ethical policing when police officers are at work when I always say to the
officers that when someone dials 9-1-1 they’re usually not having a good day
and if an officer who reports to a scene is at a space emotionally or even in
terms of their mental health and their well-being or sometimes they’re
physically sick how many of you go to work when you’re just not quite
well but you’re gonna push through offices do the same thing right and so
whatever I’m trying to get you to understand this is about the human
condition police officers or just like everyone else I’m gonna walk over cuz I
need to hear you so let’s be clear let’s break less let’s break down that’s let’s
break down the statement that you say and I want to be fair to you because I
know the protocol here is that there will be a time for you to ask questions
but because I’m from the South I’m gonna be polite and listen to you but I want
you to be polite and respectful to me okay so let’s take what he said yes
that’s why I said our officers are well versed in constitutional policing they
have the legal right based on the behavior or the inappropriate behavior
of someone to restrict their freedom and because of that we’re very clear we want
to make sure that our officers are cognizant of their behavior and so that
they anchor themselves and what doing what’s right and sometimes the most
well-intentioned person may not be feeling well the situation may get out
of control and what we’re saying is that we have given our officers to choose to
intervene with one another to prevent them even when they’re provoked right
because sometimes you’re just standing up giving a presentation
someone might interrupt you you might feel a little provoked right but
officers are well trained to stay within the bounds of the law but what I’m
saying is that when a situation arises when someone is provoked we’re using
this process for officers to give each other the tools in this space to
intervene so let me give you an example real life example so most of you are
familiar with the French Quarter you’ve seen Bourbon Street on television
so there was we have a downtown development district where officers are
detailed to the French Quarter there’s the eighth district that man our Patrol
the eighth District which is the French Quarter but there’s additional officers
there so an officer who happened to be a female notice a vehicle double-parked
outside of a store she proceeded to say to the driver even though he had this
has it’s on which means what I’m gonna run right in and I’ll be right out
you’re parked illegally sir I need you to move your automobile I’ve just
running she’s sir you’re parked illegally you need to move your
automobile oh I’ll be right sir you’re parked illegally I need you to
move the vehicle now or I will write a ticket he turns around and says officer
you don’t know who I am I work for City Councilman blink-blink-blink and I am
data die and I will do this she immediately called for backup because
that unit at that time didn’t have BW C’s but now they do body want cameras
yes so she called for backup another officer from the district came
he proceeded to approach two gentlemen you are parked illegally we need you to
move the vehicle now and because you did not heed the warnings you will be issued
a ticket so then he began to be raped the female officer and she was getting
very upset and agitated and started to pace and then the other officer started
to put space between himself by using his body between that person who now was
being very loud and belligerent and trying to make a point because he
thought he just wanted to run in a store and she should understand right so the
officer gets between them and then a gentleman says and you and what’s your
name and what’s your badge number who’s your supervisor I’m gonna set your
written up so now she’s getting more and more agitated and her partner looks at
her and he just whispers epic epic and she’s agitated and she’s annoyed and
he goes and he whispers in her here epic take a moment and she stepped back and
she walked away and he the other officer wrote the ticket presented it to the
gentleman he signed it Donald Duck but on the BWC on the body one camera he had
yelled he worked for the city identified the city councilperson
this story that I’m telling our mayor Latoya Cantrell told this story at our
epic conference this summer and what she said is that and that person who
formerly worked for the city of New Orleans was so agitated even though he
signed the ticket Daffy Duck or Donald Duck into the ticket on Monday he called
the mayor’s office and he said to one of her staff members I need to report a
police officer who was rude and disrespectful to me and the person in
the mayor’s office being well trained by the mayor said sir you want the mirror
just out what she’s doing to talk to you about an incident what a police officer
the mayor stands with the police department and she believes that that
officer was probably working within his duties if you have a complaint go to the
citizens Oversight Committee so he continues to yell and scream the person
in mayor’s office calls his supervisor and that person is no longer employed by
the city walls so the two things that happen there is one the first female
officer who was insulted and belittled could have done the very human thing and
responded negatively to that person but because her peer intervened and
whispered in her ear three times he had to say it but when he said epoch she
understood that lifeline was coming to her because if you retaliate now you
have a case against you if you retaliate it you are not being a profession
if you retaliate your dishonouring the uniform in the charge that you took and
so that’s what we train our officers to do to intervene for one another because
they matter to each other and we’re also concerned about the emotional well-being
and the mental health of our officers we know the statistics that most law
enforcement officers within three years of retirement will die either by suicide
heart attack or some other tragic illness officers suffer with PTSD
because they suck it up and keep going but what we’re saying is we want to pay
attention just because you not just because but because you chose an
honorable profession to put on a uniform and to go out and pledge yourself at the
risk of your life that you pledged to protect and serve the public that you’re
still human you still have all of those other personal issues but when you go to
work we expect the highest level of professionalism and so we give our
officers to choose to intervene with one another so epic training every officer
in a New Orleans Police Department has received the basic eight-hour at the
core training every new recruit receives the eight-hour basic core training we
have attached epic four-hour recertification to our officer
assistance and wellness training so we have an officer assistance and wellness
program that talks about if you’re having a rough day that you can go to
your rank and say you know something’s going on and you don’t have to divulge
and you can say I need officer assistance and they’re not penalized for
that so we have built in based on the research and with community input what
does it take for us to police ourselves because we believe that our off
officers are there to protect and serve at the highest level professionalism so
that’s what ethical policing is about I have brochures for you I also have my
personal court that I’m happy to share with you the one thing that I’d like you
to think about it to take away is that think about a time when you are employed
if because some of you may be blessed enough to be retired or you may have
just been born with that silver spoon in your mouth and you’re just as the young
people would say living your best life doing what you do how you do it but
imagine a time when you were in a situation when you were challenged right
our buttons get pushed all the time right I taught school I took 1st grade
4th grade 6th grade science middle school science I taught at the
University of Colorado Denver and a teacher education program for five years
and then I did academic research and on any given day someone could say
something to me that would be insulting demeaning disrespectful but I still
responded as a professional and that’s the grace that I would like to see the
community offer to police officers not rush to judgment and to realize that
police officers are individuals with families and responsibilities just as
everyone else and what we’re doing is we’re being proactive we’re saying to
our officers we’re saying that if you know for example let’s talk about
domestic violence some officers may have a trigger because of some traumatic
event in their family background with domestic violence some officers may have
grown up in a household with domestic violence when you work with someone and
you know their triggers if you’re on a domestic violence scene and you can look
at our website I think it’s epic and OPD org and you’ll see some testimonial from
testimonials from officers who the fact that they notice a pattern if
someone was on a certain call they automatically would think that the mill
is the aggressor and you know took sort of a really tough stand in a domestic
violence situation with a male and a female and just talked to the person
that said you know ever I notice every time we’re on the DV scene you know you
automatically because the law is to what separate both parties in here the
story’s a both and so what one officer realizes that it was a trigger and so if
it was a domestic violence call that person had to do a bit of
self-reflection before rushing to judgment and I would challenge any of
you that whatever field that you’re in that you’ve had a moment when you may be
rushed to judgment or you weren’t as reflective and what we’re saying is that
because of the high pressure that police officers work under we know that they
need specific tools to check their own emotional register and to know where
they’re standing and to have a process by which to intervene and also in epic
if an officer intervenes and stops someone they realize they’re saving that
person’s career and they’re also really doing what we’re called to do and that
is to protect and serve so that’s I think the board had me have some
questions for you and then what will open up to the public okay the light is
just getting to me so though can you talk to us about what kind of data
you’ve collected to demonstrate the effectiveness of this program in
reducing the use of force incidents a good question and it’s the first we get
right because everyone wants to reduce and to know that we’re having an impact
on a use of force or any I mean anything that’s right so what we’re finding is
number one because academically you know I have done program evaluation we know
that we’re in there early stages and what we’re looking at
right now is just anecdotal results based upon cultural changes now you’ve
heard about the blue wall right where police officers protect each other no
matter what well what we’re finding is that we are saying to the officers that
your role is to protect the city and the citizens of New Orleans your role is to
protect what is right and so in terms of outcomes what we’re finding is that
officers who are veterans and seasoned officers and may have been in service
for over 15 years when our training wasn’t as intentional as it is now that
it took more for them to come on board and because of that we’re noticing that
the more the newer officers with three years or less they’re there their
expectations and their understanding of how to treat the public is completely
different and I’m sure that most of you are well aware of the critical incidents
that happened after Hurricane Katrina where citizens were murdered and and the
officers covered up for one another we make sure to talk about that and to
remind our officers that that type behavior is not tolerated in a New
Orleans Police Department so to give you an example of what I call antidotal we
have mixed jurisdiction service so we have Louisiana State Police and we may
have someone from another parish as a county in Louisiana we may have officers
working together in private details and in other situations about a year ago a
person was arrested and they were handcuffed but they were resisting but
that person was handcuffed and while the person was handcuffed
one who was from another jurisdiction kicked the handcuffed individual and an
officer from New Orleans Police Department said hey we don’t do that
here we don’t do that so that’s our best example that our officers what we’re
doing is changing a culture of policing and how officers interact with one
another thank you does anyone else have a question we’ll
go to the public get a second okay thank you thank you so much dr. McGee
for your presentation in the pamphlet it says that there are built-in procedural
incentives for the members of the department could you say what that means
so for officers so let’s go back to reality if someone is handcuffed or in
any way detained and an officer uses excessive force under our policy that
officer and others who are there who don’t do anything are subject to
disciplinary action and so the built-in incentives are that if you intervene or
if you try to stop someone and they still take action then it’s a mitigating
factor when that case is investigated so you know that when a use of force case
is investigated everybody present right is investigated and so if you try to
intervene but someone still continued to do something that was inappropriate you
because you’re present are a part of the problem and you’re investigated by
Public Integrity Bureau but in that investigatory process if if the BWC or
anything else shows that you try to intervene you try to de-escalate you try
to defuse that then you are not you’re that’s considered in your case so that’s
what that refers to thank you mm-hmm dr. McGee have one question and this is
kind of ties in here in Denver we have what’s called a back-to-basics program
and I don’t have the exact dates of time I don’t know the length of it but is
that your tie yeah that’s time yeah so the back-to-basics program is similar
right and then a district I believe district 6 has public has mental health
professionals that do ride-alongs accepting and – and which then when they
encounter a citizen that’s having some type of mental distress they’ve
partnered with the city to have them available one question I have something
that you’ve mentioned one component though that we don’t have is as far as
I’m aware is the citizen component when you’re constructed in this program
and I’m interested in the types of methods and what the New Orleans Police
Department did to bring more the citizenry into that process in setting
up the epic program so historically and just in all honesty and transparency the
New Orleans Police Department is under a federal consent decree epic came about
not because of the consent decree but it came about from some conversations mayor
how is a civil rights attorney who’s represented many families in use of
force cases against she sued the police department in a very critical case from
the 1990s where a young woman her death was actually ordered by a rogue police
officer who’s now on death row and mayor how represented her family and so mayor
how has been the voice against excessive force and law enforcement she sits on
that committee Ted quaint is also a community activist strong voice against against excessive force he sits on that
committee so it was important for us to have the balance that we needed to well
one of the things that we realized that we’re allies
even though and maybe that’s the southern phenomena now maybe that’s just
the down-home people that we are but we realized that our strength comes from
hearing everything that said about us and responding to it and so those
persons were part of the planning committee the scenarios that were
written for the training they were apart and had voice to it they gave us
information on what felt contrived so that we could be authentic and so they
were welcomed and invited to be a part of the planning so what you say was more
of a grassroots type effort or was it did you have that agency from elected
officials to try to push that what side did that come on them just it was a
combination of all the above thank you and it has it started with one
administration and move through the next mirror or administration thank you thank
you thank you dr. McGee you’re welcome I guess I’d like to ask if there’s any
community members that have questions similar to before would you please come
up to the mic and introduce yourself and and then ask your question and in the
interest of making sure that everyone has time to ask their questions if you
keep keep them to just a couple minutes that would be very very good thank you good evening good evening my name is
Karen Collier I’m a community activist and I appreciate you coming and
explaining the program that you have in New Orleans I have a couple questions
about what’s included in that training mm-hmm
I guess the first question is whether or not you have there have been revisions
perhaps in the hiring process where an assessment is done to assess the mental
and emotional worthiness of a person who applies for law enforcement well the
psychological barrier the psychological assessment is a part of the process the
hiring process every officer when they’re in the recruitment phase has an
extensive background check physical mental and a psychological battery okay
so for example if if an officer or a a candidate revealed that they were in the
service and had post-traumatic stress disorder would they perhaps be flagged
as a candidate that perhaps wouldn’t be mentally worthy of the force so first of
all when you’re hiring we follow all the EEOC laws so we cannot discriminate
against someone because they were in the Armed Forces
okay right and so again the psychological screening will assess
someone’s suitability for law enforcement okay and so that’s the most
information I can give you on that anyone who served in the Armed Forces
just like everyone else is entitled to apply for employment anywhere and we
cannot discriminate on the basis of that I guess it’s the psychological
assessment that would determine that I guess I was reflecting on you talking
about an officer’s ability to identify triggers mm-hmm as a result of what his
Brown may include that being post-traumatic stress disorder or
triggered with regard to domestic violence and his background and
sometimes that takes you know a lot of commitment and years of therapy to
overcome that so that you can first of all identify that you have those
triggers and then to be able to overcome them in stressful situations I wonder
you know is it fair to expect a police officer who’s got that kind of
background to be able to respond in an appropriate way when they haven’t had
access to that kind of treatment and have the ability to overcome those those
triggering so if I can I think I’m hearing you say are you asking about the
suitability of one officer to assess the mental state are the emotional balance
of another officer that’s not what we’re saying we’re saying that is that if you
notice someone is not handling a situation that you can intervene using
the tools that they’ve been trained with to intervene to prevent that behavior
now you’re going to a deeper end of the spectrum into psychological assessment I
mean again I like to contextualize everything into any field right we have
in any field in any work you could be bagging groceries at the supermarket and
you know anything could possibly be a trigger from the past what I’m saying is
that in the capacity of a law enforcement officer in those
high-pressure situations we’re saying that we’re paying attention to the
behaviors of our officers we’re paying attention to their mental health and
their mental well-being and we’re also looking for patterns of behavior now as
far as the psychological assessment that does them and officers our applicants
are turned around or turned away on a daily basis because
they’re deemed not fit because of the psychological assessment okay so that is
a part of the hiring process and I think that that part of that process and I
want to be clear again about PTSD in the military we want to honor everyone that
we cannot discriminate and say that and just say that any class of individuals
applying are not eligible because of something else but those we stand by the
recruitment in the hiring process with the psychological assessment okay one
other question is implicit bias part of this this particular program well that
first of all when I said that our community that our officers follow our
philosophy of constitutionally based bias free community oriented policing so
all of the officers in an Orleans Police Department had a basic eight-hour course
on just implicit bias and then every year in our continuing professional
education they have additional training on it on implicit biases and we also
work with advocacy groups from the community about the interactions they’ve
had with police officers and any any aspect any demographic in the community
who believes that their particular group is being pointed out we convene focus
groups every year as we plan out training for the next hour training for
the next year so we get the input and we also look at our statistics to see if
there’s a pattern of behavior against any particular demographic so our
officers are trained and reach me okay thank you my name is Karen Starro I’m an activist
and you too ma’am thank you for being here a lot of my
activism does have to do with police brutality and excessive force if I may
try to get through this without being interrupted and then giving you the
floor because I’d lose my train of thought easily if that would be all
right if you pay for me I’ll do the same for me right off the bat cops out of the
gate know what they are and are not supposed to do
it’s clear-cut to me some may have a different attitude like you said three
years or whatever coming out of that Academy but they get with the veteran
police and stuff and they teach of them the real ropes right they should be held
accountable they are wearing a badge and a gun
you should be ethical because you are the law you are the law enforcement you
have this high standard of serving and protecting right they should I believe
they should not be a cop if their buttons are pushed so easily and if
they’re triggered so easily we’ve seen that in and out through years of
activism and just watching watching them taping them and they do behave better
when they are on film when we have youtubers and such that are right there
and they are law enforcement so they should be held at a higher standard as
regular people there are some and another question to you is do you have a
question yes one of my questions is ma’am is what happens after they’re
hired maybe they’ve been on the job for a
while and they have found to have mental illness I mean like guav go yelling at a
person I hate I’m gonna hurt you this and that and
just go asking yes that has happened yes because the ones that we have seen one
in particular got two days suspension all those police officers huh do all
those police officers know here in Denver and I came to me this kind of
gliese office yeah you have do you have a question about the epic program or new
orleans police yes cuz she like asked so we’re hiring so my question was if they
passed and be you know the so that’s the psych eval yes and they’re a police
officer what happens to them because here in denver the ones that we’ve
seemed don’t yet don’t have to go back to for mental health help or anything
they just get suspended for two days what what happens with that with your
program so in new orleans we have officer assistance program and i
mentioned our continuing professional education so officers are reminded of
the services that are available to them and they’re encouraged to use those
services also we have insight in early intervening process where supervisors
rate officers and through insight and supervisory feedback logs a supervisor
can say to someone I notice you’re taking a lot of sick leave is everything
okay I notice you have a pattern of
absenteeism is anything going on if a supervisor noticed someone coming to
work the shovel door looking like they’re now well rested then it’s up to
the supervisor to recommend them to office assistance program can’t speak
for the Denver Police Department but we have built-in systems to respond to
officers when we recognize that something is happening well that would
be awesome so your Police Department in New Orleans yes must be much better than
Denver because in Denver okay and also really quick let me get these spots
because there’s worth it what’s the excessive force and stuff that is dealt
with it seems like most most or are not held accountable so it keeps
going it’s a pattern yeah I’ll answer that and there is someone
else waiting you invite you to go to the New Orleans Police Department website we
have our real-time crime data available the use of force sport meets regularly
just to respond to that if someone has been dean excessive use of force then
the necessary actions are taken but in our system we automatically look at our
training so we track trends so if there’s a trend for example what an
issue would handcuffing unfortunately it went the other direction for us someone
someone was handcuffed poorly and had not been searched properly and they
pulled out a gun and he killed a police officer who was transporting them and so
we look at our use of force data and we look for trends and patterns and it
comes back to training so if we if we see a pattern in terms of excessive
force then it goes back to training if we for example we for our 20/20 training
we’re looking at what happens when someone has passive resistance right not
active resistance they’re not kicking and screaming they’re just sitting there
but they’ve violated some law and they have to be arrested then how do you
handcuff them keep that person safe and keep yourself safe so we have specific
training around those issues so again I can’t speak to the Denver Police
Department but I can tell you that we use our use of force data and we have a
very rigorous and well vetted use of force policy it is on line and it’s
available for public view that I would recommend you read it and maybe you know
talk to them or police department if there’s something that you’d like to see
but again we work really hard to stay in conversation we see our community
advocates as our allies and they see the New Orleans Police Department as allies
not adversaries and so we work hard to have
the conversations to make sure that our training is responsive to the needs of
our community thank you really quickly Denver Police Department has gone back
for training several times and they still react so I will say to have no
sorrow we have a we have an annual conference so we’d invite you to
recommend people next person all right they’ve told me I’m I know but I’m so
sorry I’m so sorry to happen to you with Jim threw myself miss taro I’m sorry I’m
gonna have to ask you to sit down mister I’m so sorry that that happened to you
okay thank you for sharing your opinion I
appreciate it very quickly I thank you miss taro for your comments and your
question I do want just two points number one is that I Denver does have an
an early intervention program for their Police Department that where they try to
track numbers and we can I’m not debating with you how about their
conduct I was just telling you that they they do have an early intervention
program where they they type they do try to track the trends and identify
individuals who who have maybe having problems and maybe having issues you
also raised a very good question or point in your comments that I wanted to
highlight and actually asked dr. McGee about which is use expressed and and dr.
McGee so this questions for you you she expressed the the idea or the notion
that because police officers wear a badge and they carry a gun that your
analogy that you know they’re just like everyone else I understand you’re
humanizing them and that’s important but she said something that struck me that
I’d love your opinion on which is that because of that they should be held to a
higher standard and absolutely are they are they absolutely
are and that’s why we have all of the we use all of the tools of technology we we
actually use body worn cameras when I mentioned the the Downtown Development
District is some of the specialized units who didn’t have body want cameras
we are actually they’re actually everyone is wearing a body one camera we
have cameras in the vehicles but it’s not because of the cameras it’s because
of their intentionality to do what’s right and you’re absolutely right
law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard and I believe that our
training and our intentionality around fairness and equity point to our efforts
to police ourselves to govern ourselves and that if any officer violates they
are they are actually prosecuted to the highest extent of the law and so yes
they are held to a higher standard but my point in humanizing it is to say
that that it’s important to realize that officers are human and they are trained
to withstand the excessive the excessive and negative complaints from others
they’re they’re very well trained how to respond and not to respond when they’re
deliberately provoked so that’s that is important so thank you for asking I
appreciate that thank you yes ma’am thank you dr. McGee my name is Loretta I
am a student I would like to thank you for taking this courageous opportunity
to venture into humanizing police officers they are held to an other
standard sometimes a higher standard sometimes a lower standard but
helping them to humanize themselves is something that’s very important because
they have a job to do in policing the society and also learning to humanize
the individuals that they are what I was wondering in your review of the
situation are you including the the opinions of the family members of the
police officers many times they are the the victims of their crimes and have you
seen a reduction in home stress so what we again were early in antidotal and
because remember a lot of people don’t want to disclose a lot of personal
private things some of our measures for example our new recruits we host the
family night where we invite the family members parents siblings spouses
partners of the recruits to come in we talk about their training we explain how
rigorous is going to be we also explain about how as they transition from a
civilian to a law enforcement officer that the support of the family is needed
and also we tell the families about the officer assistance program we tell them
that it’s very stressful and we let them know what resources are available for
families for counseling especially in terms of trauma every time unfortunately
when an officer is killed in the line of duty immediately we open up the doors
for officers assistance but we also instantly have people who will come in
and say you know my wife my spouse my child especially hard on children of law
enforcement officers that children sometimes can’t go to school and proudly
say my mom’s a police officer my dad’s a police officer because of some negative
connotations right and so it’s very important to speak to all of those
family members and let them know what resources are available because it does
impact them and it doesn’t have to be an officer in
New Orleans who’s killed to have that domino effect of people coming in and
wanting to reassess and think about their career where they stand and how
close am I to retirement and because family members are impacted so yes we do
reach out to the family well thank you for creating that space for them because
it’s also hard for them to come and just take a reflective look so that’s really
awesome yes thank you I’m gonna say that’s the end the lights
are getting to me and again I invite you to our website I have the brochures to
hand out and I also have my cords if anybody wants to email me contact me but
again we have an annual conference I invite Denver Police Department to
participate in the epic conference it’ll be in June of 2020 and with that we
partner with Loyola University School of Law and it’s hosted at the law school
thank you very much dr. McGee very well we have just a few more minutes and and
of course part of these forms is really to simply hear from the public so if
there are any public comments that you want to make or the questions that you
have for the citizen oversight board please you’re welcome to come to the mic hi my name is Christie and I’m a
resident in the city of Denver yes good Susan good to see you guys I wanted to
say thank you for dr. McGee’s service to our community and thank you for your
service to our community I know your Fridays are important and spending them
working to better our community we appreciate your service our regular
meetings are I just have a comment for the committee
this event is televised and these pieces of paper that you handed out regarding
the definition of the bills that we’re talking about those aren’t shared on
public TV so with that said I just wanted to make the comment that our
community holds you all in high esteem on your own as being a member of the
Oversight Committee on your unbiased position and I wanted to encourage you
to explain the definitions of the bills being discussed in a way that’s unbiased
so my personal belief tonight was is that what was shared on public TV was
presented by someone who could be obviously viewed as a biased position so
either to either have the other side of that view or to have it just simply
defined and explained in greater detail by just defining the law as opposed to
someone who is going to reiterate that law under a bias I wanted to say
something else too as a member of the community I believe that those who
violate the law should be held accountable under the definition of the
laws voted in by the people of their respected communities and I ask you to
think about the message you send in your recommendations from today’s meeting
have there been Studies on how many riaf end well on a PR bond I don’t know if is
there anyone in this room who can answer that question I would like to request as
a citizen that that be something that be put under your consideration also be it
for trespassing domestic violence etc I wonder about the
victims of these type of low-level offenses the rest of our society who
obeys the law knowing that there are consequences for breaking the law what
message does it send to them what about the family
who lost a loved one just a few blocks from here just a few days ago by a
person who three months ago pleaded guilty to speeding it over 20 miles an
hour a low-level offense how important is the message that we hold even these
simple violations the violations they make we hold these people accountable
for their actions for not obeying the law in this case as I just mentioned
what might be seen as a low-level misdemeanor speeding running a red light
ultimately cost someone their lives so please think about how you think about
the penalties and how important it can be to uphold the law and the message
that is sent from the Penal process not only to the offender the message the
offender receives and is the pr bond an effective way of sending a message and
are they really well they’re on this PR bond think about that but also the
confidence of our entire community who live in a safe who want to live in a
safe and law-abiding community in my opinion as a resident as a mother as a
teacher the price of this confidence is invaluable so please think about in your
recommendations both sides and think about if it’s possible to find a study
of if what the RIA fences are well on a PR bond and ultimately the messages that
we send and are how effective our PR bonds and the message it sends to a
victim when they’ve just had a crime committed against them and within a
couple days that person is released on a PR bond so
that’s what I asked and thank you again for your service thank you anyone else okay well I I want to thank everyone for
coming out there are a lot of different places you could have been on a Thursday
evening and that towards the end of summer here in Denver we really
appreciate your your attention to in your participation in the dialogues that
we had here today or this evening with regard to changes in the laws here in
Colorado as well as understanding what’s happening in other locations across the
country with regard to law enforcement and oversight of law enforcement with
that I would like to ask you to drive home safely or get home safely however
you get home and thank you again for your participation have a good night

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