Oct 13, 2021 - News
Denver metro police lag on reporting crimes
Illustration of many magnifying glasses examining a police badge
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Denver metro police agencies are waiting hours — and sometimes days — to inform the public and media about criminal activity in our community.

Why it matters: Despite promises to be transparent after cutting off public access to police radios in recent years, public safety leaders aren't keeping their word.

Driving the news: Just in the past week, the Denver Police Department has delayed disclosing numerous crimes that unfolded over several days by multiple hours after they had happened, 9News reports.

  • In Aurora, where the police department was among the first to encrypt its radios, authorities this week waited 36 hours to reveal that they had used a dog to arrest a man for shooting at his neighbor's house and violating a red flag order.

The other side: Officials contend that many crimes don't necessitate notifying residents, and it can take hours to assess a scene, which can hold up the communication process.

The big picture: Dozens of safety agencies across Colorado have taken steps to restrict their scanners as a safety and privacy precaution, making it harder for journalists to cover breaking news and inform their communities about potentially dangerous events.

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