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December 2015 Newsletter
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Records Requests: Colorado Open Records Act - CORA
The Colorado Department of Law (the “Department”) is committed to transparency and open government. The following policy has been developed in order to implement the Colorado Open Records Act (“CORA”) (sections 24‐72‐201 to 206, C.R.S.) and the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act (“CCJRA”) (sections 24-72-301 to 309, C.R.S.), in a uniform manner and better serve the people of Colorado. This policy is designed to help the Department balance the statutory requirements of the CORA and the CCJRA and the Attorney General’s constitutional and statutory obligations as Colorado’s chief legal officer. This policy helps ensure the Department complies in all respects with the CORA and the CCJRA and meets all of its constitutional and statutory duties to the People of Colorado in an orderly and expeditious manner. This policy does not apply to records requests received and handled by Department attorneys as part of their representation of client agencies or officials when the custodian of records is not the Department.
- Office Procedure for Handling Records Requests
The Department will only accept records requests made in writing or electronically via e‐mail or fax. Requests should be directed to the Director of Communications at the e-mail address or fax number listed on the Department website. The Department will not accept records requests made over the telephone or via social media. Records requests that cite the federal Freedom of Information Act will be treated as though they were made pursuant to the CORA or the CCJRA.
When responding to a request for public records under CORA, the Department will make every effort to respond within three working days as required by section 24‐72‐203(3)(b), C.R.S. The three working‐day response time begins the first working day following receipt of the request. A request received after noon or any day the agency is officially closed will be considered received as of the following working day. The agency may add up to a seven‐working‐day extension if extenuating circumstances apply as described in section 24‐72‐203(3)(b), C.R.S. The Department will provide all findings of extenuating circumstances to the requestor in writing.
Broad, general requests will likely be more costly to the requestor because of the staff time required to fulfill these requests. The Department may contact the requestor in an attempt to clarify or narrow a request. While not required, requestors may want to provide phone and e-mail contact information to facilitate communication regarding the request. The Department has found that searches of paper records may require additional staff time to complete the request. Excluding searches of paper records and providing specific information on the nature of the documents requested, the timeframe the request covers, and other details such as the potential staff who may be affected, can help the Department fulfill the request in a manner that may provide cost savings to the requestor.
For more information & fees, please see Colorado Attorney General's website.
- CORA Contact
Direct requests and any questions regarding this policy to:
Public Information Officer/Director of Communications
"My Why" Campaign
Multiple challenges face the law enforcement community in Colorado today. Some of them include: challenges to find qualified applicants, particularly from diverse backgrounds, and lack of understanding by the public of law enforcement agencies and the services they provide to communities.
While it's not feasible to completely solve all challenges that face the profession, we can and should start working on making positive changes to support law enforcement and the public’s understanding of it. "My Why" is a statewide campaign aspiring to do that.
- More About the Project & How To Participate
We ask all interested law enforcement agencies and individual peace officers to join us in the effort of creating and sharing series of short videos about why you joined law enforcement profession and why you are staying in it. We hope the project will accomplish the following:
- Create an additional outlet for recruitment:
One of the themes from the Recruitment, Retention and Training Working Group for the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice focused on how traditional recruiting videos are failing the profession. These videos tend to focus on the high risk/high excitement, but low probability facets of law enforcement, such as SWAT calls or high-speed pursuits. They not only inaccurately represent what to expect if one enters the profession, but also tend to not resonate with the generation currently entering the workforce.
Focusing on stories of service to community better represents the reality of the profession and will better resonate with potential applicants. Prioritizing the stories of women and persons with diverse backgrounds who serve as officers has been shown to help increase recruitment from these communities.
- Encourage the law enforcement community:
Creating and sharing positive messages for peace officers can help remind them of their own “why,” as well as show how valuable their service is. Improving the morale of law enforcement is vital to peace officers’ mental/emotional health and overall public safety.
- Educate the public and personalize the image of law enforcement:
Offering a glimpse into the daily life of law enforcement will humanize the perception of its representatives the public might have. It can help start a difficult process of overcoming stereotypes and building trust.
How to Participate
When you create your own video, please use "My Why" Social Media Kit for reference and tag POST:
- @POSTColorado on Facebook
- @PostColorado on Twitter
Remember to include #WhyIServe hashtag to become a part of the campaign.
- "My Why" Videos
- Chief Debra Funston, Palisade Police Department
- Chief Terrence Gordon, Thornton Police Department
- Agent Kayla Martinez, Lakewood Police Department
- Sergeant Aaron Trainor, Grand County Sheriff's Office
- Chief Doreen Jokerst, The University of Colorado Boulder Police Department
- Officer Sam Kullberg, Durango Police Department
- Chief Maris Herold, Boulder Police Department
- Sergeant Matt Breshears, Montrose County Sheriff's Office
- Deputy District Attorney Ashley Beck, Denver District Attorney's Office
- Chief Greg Daly, Avon Police Department
- Sheriff Anthony Mazzola, Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office
- Attorney General Phil Weiser, The Colorado Attorney General's Office
- Sergeant Esteban Ortega, Breckenridge Police Department
- Senior Investigator Tonya Barnes, 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office
- Chief George Dingfelder, Monte Vista Police Department
- Other Resources
- "Who wants to be a cop in 2021? They do" by CPR News
External Links & Publications
National Institute of Justice's Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Programs
The National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Programs are designed to increase the research capabilities of law enforcement officers and agencies. In recent years, NIJ has focused on empowering law enforcement to integrate research into policies and practices. The LEADS Scholars Program advances evidence-based policing by supporting the development of research-minded law enforcement personnel.
Colorado District Attorney's Council CDAC
CDAC provides centralized prosecution-related services to the District Attorneys of Colorado including training of personnel, legislative drafting and liaison, legal research, management assistance, case tracking data and safeguarding, dissemination of data to other criminal justice agencies, and other special programs.
Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP)
CACP is a professional organization committed to excellence in delivering quality service to their membership, the law enforcement community, and the citizens of Colorado.
Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS)
CDPS oversees Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Colorado State Patrol, Division of Criminal Justice, Division of Fire Prevention and Control, and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Colorado Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement
The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) is tasked with licensing and regulating the Medical and Retail Marijuana industries in Colorado
Safe2Tell is a resource for community members anonymously report safety concerns. Safe2Tell Colorado serves as the statewide bystander-reporting tool for concerning behaviors. See also: How to Handle a Safe2Tell Report
Center for Relationship Education
Resources for first responders to help with their unique challenges when dealing with marriage and family life issues.
Colorado General Assembly
Locate specific House and Senate bills and initiatives, legislative session schedule, legislators, committees, etc.
Colorado Judicial Branch
The Colorado Judicial Branch site contains judicial district maps and contact information for District Attorney's offices and Courts in Colorado.
Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA)
COVA is committed to fairness and healing of crime victims, their families and communities through leadership, education, and advocacy.
Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.)
The Lexis Nexis site gives access to the complete Colorado Revised Statutes in digital form.
County Sheriff's of Colorado (CSOC)
CSOC is an association of County Sheriffs advocating for and serving the office of Sheriff. They provide education and professional assistance and promote unity to enable the Sheriffs to best serve and protect the people of the State of Colorado.
Colorado State Government
This is the main website for Colorado State government with links to all Colorado agencies and online services and resources.
Hate Crimes Resource Page (COPS Office)
A variety of resources for trainers and departments, including guides, videos, discussion guides, and reports
International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST)
IADLESTis an international organization of training managers and executives dedicated to the improvement of public safety personnel. IADLEST serves as the national forum of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) agencies, boards, and commissions as well as statewide training academies throughout the United States.
IADLEST National Decertification Index (NDI)
This is the site that lists peace officers who have discipline on their certification record.
Eyewitness Identification Model Policy and Forms
A model policy created pursuant to C.R.S. 16-1-109 for use by Colorado law enforcement agencies.
Colorado's Legalization of Marijuana and the Impact of Public Safety: A Practical Guide for Law Enforcement
This guide is available as a free download from the Police Foundation website.
IACP Support for National Use-of-Force Data Collection
The IACP encourages law enforcement agencies to voluntarily participate in collecting data about use-of-force incidents. Read the letter of support for details about the program and how to participate.
A monthly publication offering a variety of resources to law enforcement professionals.
- ERPO Resources
ERPO (Red Flag Bill)Model Policy (Updated 12/4/2019)
A model policy created pursuant to C.R.S. 13-14.5-108(7) for use by Colorado law enforcement agencies.
ERPO Gun Storage Resources
A map of firearms dealers and law enforcement agencies willing to temporarily store surrendered firearms. This map is provided by and maintained by the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition.
- COVID-19 Information