DPD Suggestion Boxes Yield Honesty, Criticism

Written by Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) – Suggestion boxes placed at Denver police substations by Mayor Michael Hancock are yielding some heartfelt advice from officers along with some blunt criticism.

Hancock began putting suggestion boxes at DPD stations in August saying he wanted officers to provide their thoughts and opinions about the department, ideas to improve operations and characteristics they would like to see in the next chief.

“I’m ashamed to tell people I’m a Denver cop,” wrote one officer. “And I’m afraid of the questions they’ll ask me. We all came on this job to make a difference, and if you let us, we’ll make you proud as hell.”

The officer went on to write that “our department is hopelessly stagnant, and there is truly an aura of hopelessness at every level.” Finally he said, “I apologize in advance if there are gum wrappers, burritos or snarky comments in this box.”

The suggestion box contents from Districts 5 and 6 were released to CBS4 following a request under the Colorado Open Records Act. Names of officers who submitted the suggestions were redacted.

Another officer wrote that “We are making money off the back of our citizens by writing them tickets for going 10 mph over the speed limit while the poor citizen that is involved in a traffic accident has to wait an hour and a half to get an officer to investigate their incident.”

The same officer wrote that Denver is offering too many benefits to the homeless.

“Homeless people come here from across the country to enjoy our services.”

The officer says there were recently 150 homeless people sleeping within two blocks of the 16th Street Mall.

“It’s disgusting. Smell the alley in the 1500 block of California/Stout. It will make you want to puke. Citizens no longer want to come downtown because of the filthy people sleeping all over the place, urinating, defecating wherever they want. I feel like this is the number one topic that needs to be addressed.”

Another officer suggested better deployment of officers.

“Only sick or injured officers should be working the desk as the station clerk at the district stations. Having an able-bodied officer working the desk as the station clerk is a waste of manpower. If they want to retire on the job let them work at DIA.”

The same officer was the only one who actually named a preference for the next Denver chief.

“I believe that Division Chief Tracie Keesee should be our next Chief of Police,” wrote the officer.

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