The Longmont police department (LPD), around the end of September of 2018, started testing the encryption of what was for decades an open police radio channel. LPD cites police officer safety, keeping personal information about domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and child molestation victims off publicly accessible channels. Additionally, the radio silence is used to thwart criminals who were using the police radio information on police whereabouts to elude officers and commit more crime.
A two-panel cartoon I recently saw showed a character with a sign saying: “First they came for the reporters.” In the next panel, his sign says: “We don’t know what happened after that.”
Colorado Springs’ high-dollar lawsuit settlements would be decided in public rather than closed-door meetings under new ordinances the City Council is considering.
Police officers sometimes find themselves in situations that necessitate the use of deadly force. But, because those officers engage in life-or-death interactions on our streets and in our neighborhoods, the community is owed a high degree of transparency and accountability related to officer actions. A tenet of such accountability is that law enforcement officials should publicly identify any officer who is involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect, whether or not the shooting was justified.
That year, lawmakers considered requiring the Community-Centered Boards to be subject to the Colorado Open Records Act. They failed to take that step, and we still feel that was a mistake. These non-profits are running almost exclusively on taxpayer money and they should be subject to intense scrutiny.
Are law enforcers bound to give the press information following an incident? Can they pick and choose the information they give to us, or do Sunshine Laws include only documents such as a police record? Does anything other than politics and their good nature compel them to say anything?
Interviews with a half-dozen state lawmakers and incoming Attorney General Phil Weiser indicate strong momentum for a move to clear all criminal records statewide for the tens of thousands of people convicted of low-level marijuana offenses — possession, use, possession of paraphernalia — prior to the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana in the state and won 55 percent of the vote.
A little more than two weeks after District Court Judge Steven Schultz ruled that the Town of Paonia mishandled an open records request made by a former trustee, the town board met in executive session to discuss the outcome. The stated purpose of the closed meeting was to receive legal advice from town attorney Bo Nerlin specific to the case, which the town filed in 2017 against former trustee Bill Brunner on behalf of the Custodian of Record.
During the selection process for county administrator this summer, all meetings regarding the administrator’s selection were conducted during executive session, which appears to be a violation of the Colorado Open Records Act.
A measure due for final Council approval aims to amend the city’s code by requiring more disclosure of campaign funders and how the money is spent. But while many welcome the changes, others say a more far-reaching effort should be in order involving more than just Council.