Denver Police Department

Denver Police Department
Abbreviation DPD
CO - Denver Police.jpg
Breast patch, No shoulder patches are worn.
CO - Denver Police Badge.png
Badge of the Denver Police Department.
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City and County of Denver in the state of Colorado, United States
Map of Colorado highlighting Denver County (colored).svg
Map of Denver Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size 154.9 square miles (401 km2)
Population 598,707 (2008)
General nature
Operational structure
Sworn members 1,459
Unsworn members 319
Agency executive Gerald R. Whitman, Chief of Police
Districts 6
Patrol cars Ford Crown Victoria, Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Impala, GMC Yukon/Chevrolet Tahoe, Dodge Durango
Air units 1 - Bell 407 [1]
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Denver Police Department is the full service police department jointly for the City and County of Denver, Colorado, which provides the full spectrum of police services to the entire county, and may provide contractual security police services to special districts within the county.

The current police chief is Gerald R. Whitman.[1]


Specialized units

The Denver Police administration building (left) in downtown Denver. The building on the right is the pretrial detention facility.
  • S.W.A.T. Special Weapons And Tactics
The SWAT Team deals with hostage neogation, drug busts and counterterrorism
  • HALO (High Activity Location Observation) Program
The HALO Program is a collaborative effort between Denver Police, community groups and local businesses. Established in 2006, the program utilizes networked video cameras to deter crime and enhance public safety through faster response to incidents. Monitored locations include high-traffic intersections, areas where drug activity and street crime are prevalent, and public facilities and parks. Cameras are also used to protect tourist sites, healthcare facilities and areas with homeland security importance. Mobile cameras are used to help manage crime hotspots. Police point to successes, including HALO's help in controlling major drug and street crime issues on notorious East Colfax Avenue.[2]

Denver Police Department decorations

  • Denver Police Medal of Honor
  • Denver Police Service Cross
  • Denver Police Medal of Valor
  • Denver Police Purple Heart
  • Denver Police Lifesaving Medal
  • Denver Police Star Award
  • Denver Police Merit Award
  • Denver Police Community Service Award
  • Denver Police Campaign Medal
  • Physical Fitness Award

Rank Structure and Insignia

Title Insignia
US-O10 insignia.svg
Deputy Chief
US-O9 insignia.svg
Division Chief
US-O8 insignia.svg
US-O7 insignia.svg
US-O3 insignia.svg
SCHP Sergeant.jpg
SCHP Corporal.png
Police Officer 1st-4th Class


Breakdown of the makeup of the rank and file of DPD as of the 2007 annual report.:[3]

  • Male: 89%
  • Female: 11%
  • White: 68%
  • Hispanic: 20%
  • African American/Black: 9%
  • Asian: 2%
  • Native American: 1%


Denver Police have met with controversy and protest over several high-profile incidents that have led them to include citizens in their Disciplinary Review Board and Use of Force Review Board.[4] Accusations of police brutality and corruption have increased in the recent years. Countless officers have been suspected of several forms of misconduct ranging from drunk driving, perjury, falsifying reports, false arrest, unprovoked beatings, and unnecessary shootings.

Spy files controversy

In 1953 the Denver Police Department began to gather information on individuals and groups regarding activities that might pose a threat to public safety. The files came to be known as the Spy Files during the publicity surrounding an American Civil Liberties Union class action lawsuit in 2002. According to the lawsuit, as many as 3,200 individuals and 208 organizations had been targeted for intelligence gathering operations. These groups and individuals included not only criminal elements but also peace activists and education and human rights organizations. The lawsuit was settled in 2003 with the city revising its policies governing the gathering of this type of information. Mayor John Hickenlooper ordered the records be archived at the Denver Public Library and preserved for study. Part of the archive is currently available to the public and part is a restricted collection, accessible only by those individuals and organizations specifically named in the documents. The complete collection will open to the public in the year 2055.[5][6]

Mark Ashford Incident

On August 18, 2010, the Denver Post reported about another alleged beating by the Denver Police. On March 16, 2010, Mark Ashford was walking his two dogs near the streets of 20th and Little Raven when he saw a police officer pull over a driver who had run a stop sign. Ashford claiming that he saw the man stop at the stop sign approached the police car to volunteer information and to appear in court about the incident. Ashford claims that the officer "didn't like it at all" and asked Ashford his ID, which he provided. Afterwords, another Denver Police officer arrived on scene and Ashford, who claims he was nervous, began taking photos of the two officers on his cell phone. In the HALO surveillance video released by the city & county of Denver, a Denver Police officer appears to hand Ashford back his ID and a piece of paper. Afterwards, Ashford pulls out his cell phone to photograph the two officers. The two officers approach Ashford and one of the officers grabs Ashford's hand in an attempt to get Ashford's cell phone. Ashford grabs one officer by the throat. The other officer also tries to help restrain Ashford. In the ensuing struggle Ashford tries to spin away from the officers and is again thrust into the guardrail by the officers. Ashford's attorney, William Hart, claims that his client was arrested on suspicion of interference and resistance. After the incident, Ashford was taken to St. Andrew's Hospital where he was treated for a cut on his eye and a concussion. All charges have been dropped by the Denver City Attorney's office. The officers were cleared following an investigation by Denver Police and Independent Monitor, Richard Rsenthal.Rosenthal found the officers actions were justified. .[7] The city awarded Ashford $35,000, citing that they believed the officers used excessive force and criticized Rosenthal for ruling their actions justified. One officer resigned after the incident and one remains on the job, but has a history of misconduct, including an incident where he randomly pulled a woman off a bus and falsely charged her for leaving her disabled daughter on the bus.

See also

Portal icon Colorado portal
Portal icon Law enforcement/Law enforcement topics portal


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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