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New officer database helps provide law enforcement transparency

Public can search for officers by name to see status and history
New officer database helps provide law enforcement transparency
Posted at 5:00 AM, Feb 10, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS — There have been several grass roots movements locally and nationwide calling for better police transparency and accountability. Our state has just launched a new website giving the public access to information about officers who have misused their badge and authority.

The Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board manages this database that allows anyone to search for details about any officer in the entire state. The database shows you what officers have been decertified, convicted of a crime or were found to have lied while on the job.

"When law enforcement officers do things that are wrong, they could commit crimes and they get decertified we put them on a publicly available database. Anyone can search it," said POST Board Chair and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. "When other officers are fired for cause, for having done something that's wrong, they are also on this list so they don't get hired unwittingly again."

Colorado lawmakers passed legislation in 2020 and 2021 creating this database at coloradopost.govmaking every officer’s state certification, compliance with training requirements and employment status accessible to the public.

Weiser says it's part of a transparency shift in our state.

"Colorado has passed legislation not just to build this transparent database, but to provide body cams in all cases so we know what's happening. Then, when an officer is accused it's not a matter of believe me or don't believe me, it's let's look. Sunlight is the best of disinfectants," said Weiser.

It's important to point out that not all policy violations lead to a decertification, but the database does include 8 different items an officer could be flagged for on their profile.

"What I've heard again and again from so many dedicated police officers is nobody hates a bad cop more than a good cop. Those bad cops out there who are dishonoring the profession, they are dishonoring everybody who is risking their lives," said Weiser.

By law, officers are allowed to request a review of their database entries and have information removed if they present new evidence through a request process.

"They get notice. They have a right to be heard. We have a process to consider all these decertification actions and officers can come forward and tell their side of the story," said Weiser.

If you would like to take a closer look at the Peace Officer Standards Training website, database, and the areas of officer accountability visit: https://coloradopost.gov/