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Denver Police Twitter survey results on photo radar stories: "Who cares?" finishes strong

photo radar cropped.jpg
Update: Yesterday, we told you about a Denver Police Department Twitter survey asking respondents to compare the fairness of photo-radar reports by Fox31 and 9News.

Earlier today, the DPD tweeted the results. The winner? Hard to say. But "Who cares?" did very, very well.

An initial tweet, on view below, shared links to an April 28 Fox31 news story on photo radar disliked by DPD Twitter overseer Lieutenant Matt Murray, a 9News report on the same topic he deemed much more even-handed, and a Survey Monkey page that asked: "Which news story does a better job of telling BOTH sides of the story." The options: KUSA Channel 9, Fox 31 or "Who cares? I hate photo radar!!!"

The results don't show the number of people who participated. Instead, it depicts the final tally in pie-chart fashion:

denver police survey results.jpg
As you can see, 9News definitely topped Fox31. But the station appears to be in a dead heat with "Who cares?"

By the way, Heidi Hemmat, the reporter of the Fox31 package in question, declined to comment for this story, and the station's news director, Ed Kosowski, has not responded to an interview request. Read our earlier coverage below.

Original item, 11:19 a.m. October 5: Folks at the Denver Police Department are frustrated at what they perceive to be biased media coverage -- and they're using the DPD Twitter feed to do something about it. The department tweeted a survey about photo-radar coverage and a release criticizing reports about the Jason Graber case. And the DPD's Twitter point man hints that there'll be more tweets like them.

The first tweet was sent to the DPD's 5,400-plus Twitter followers last night. Here it is:

UNBIASED??? Which news story is fair and balanced? bit.ly/oS6CET or bit.ly/rfRnxF ? VOTE: http://t.co/l07lz188 RT!
Oct 05 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

The initial link in this tweet connects to an April 28 report on Fox31 in which reporter Heidi Hemmat portrays photo radar as a revenue-generating scheme whose citations aren't valid unless they're presented to drivers by hand, rather than through the mail. That's followed by a link to a 9News story from October 3. In it, reporter Anastasiya Bolton characterizes the amount of revenue generated by photo radar as tiny compared to the overall budgets in Denver and Aurora. And finally, the third link takes surfers to a Survey Monkey page that asks: "Which news story does a better job of telling BOTH sides of the story." The options: KUSA Channel 9, Fox 31 or "Who cares? I hate photo radar!!!"

In the hope of being shown the total votes registered thus far, I selected the last option, because I recently received an $80 photo-radar ticket from an unmanned van parked in a construction zone on a lonely stretch of Santa Fe during a Saturday afternoon, when no construction personnel were present; I was going around 36 miles per hour in what suddenly became a 25 mph zone. Like most people, I paid the fine -- grudgingly -- because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of fighting it.

This selection required me to enter a comment. I wrote "comment." However, I was taken to a page that didn't feature a tally.

Then, a little over an hour ago, the DPD tweeted this:

JUST THE FACTS: for a different perspective on use of force complaints against DPD http://t.co/RMPmriMm
Oct 05 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

In this case, the link connects to a DPD release titled "Denver Police Response to Use of Force Discovery in Federal lawsuit" -- a reference to court action taken in regard to Jason Graber, who received a $225,000 settlement after suing the department for the actions of Officer Shawn Miller. He allegedly responded to Graber signaling him to slow down by throwing the man to the ground.

Here's an excerpt from the release:

The City of Denver was sued by Jason Garber [sic] claiming that a Denver Police Officer used excessive force in arresting him. The judge in the case issued an order that the City of Denver release all reports relating to use of force by Denver Police Officers and all investigations into excessive force allegations.

It is a gross mischaracterization to say that all of these reports and documents are "potential brutality" cases.

In fact, there were an average of 140 investigations into whether use of force was appropriate (per year) during the period under review. To put this in perspective, from 2003-2010, Officers from the Denver Police Department responded to over 4.5 MILLION police actions.

Since 2005, Richard Rosenthal or his designee from the Office of the Independent Monitor has certified every investigation into allegations of excessive force as "thorough and complete." And in his 2010 annual report, he states that 94.4 percent of all Denver Police Officers had NO sustained cases of any kind.

Lieutenant Matt Murray tweets for the Denver Police Department. He notes that the photo-radar survey is a first for the DPD. What's the concept?



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22 comments
denverdriveby
denverdriveby

yeah, I was wondering the same thing...why is DPD wasting time tweeting? Go catch some criminals already

Good for the Gander
Good for the Gander

I think Fox News has to come to grips with the fact that Heidi Hemmat is a hack journalist. Rather than find worthy, meaningful investigations -- see John Ferrugia, Brain Maas, Miles Moffit, David Migoya -- she and people like Rich Salinger take essentially nothing and try to convince us it's something. What Heidi has done in this story is fundamentally bad. I am disappointed the Ron and Libby find it so cute and funny. She is telling people how to get away with driving unsafely, if they so choose, or at least how to avoid the consequences, How is that good for public safety, or society, for that matter? I have an idea and a request to Westword readers. Any time you see Heidi driving or parking even slightly beyond the limit, please take a video or picture and post it here. Then when someone sees her out, chase her down, throw accusations at her in a grocery store parking lot, and hold your iPhone in her face to record her confused, startled response.

Kctafoya
Kctafoya

I like therEOf tweets because I get traffic updates but I thought it was a department rep our something doing it not an actual LY. I feel like he should be monitoring his staff more than tweeting.

Rowdy
Rowdy

"And in his 2010 annual report, he states that 94.4 percent of all Denver Police Officers had NO sustained cases of any kind."  Exactly, that's all were asking for is the 5 % of bad apples that are destroying the lives of their fellow officers!!!!!!  DPD has got a tiger by the tail, and it is going to knock the hell out of its self!!!! in support of so few subversives!!!!  This will blow up in there face because they are destroying their 95% of "good men" by trying to force a point that has already cost tax payers millions of dollars.  This is hilarious!!!!

Diane
Diane

What is Fox 31's response? Good journalism is dead.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

You know what would be better than tweeting DPD?  How about cleaning the trash that is making your department look bad?  How about testing for STEROID ABUSE and other ILLEGAL drugs? You allowed some bad apples to spoil the bunch.  

STOP WHINING on twitter and DO SOMETHING about it that will make a change.

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

It's going to be the fault of the Denver Police if the Stock Show gets moved to Aurora.It's not the job of of the police to deliver $cash $cows to $Aurora.That job belongs to the mayor, to move Seal Island to Aurora.To move Seal Island to the Acme Warehouse at East Colfax and Tower Road.Enough is enough, it's not getting better, a relentless never ending crime spreewithin a four block perimeter of Seal Island; that's the job of the mayor, not the police.

Guest Avacados
Guest Avacados

122k? Can you even pay for all that gear and the labor? Even the cost of transferring all of that high resolution data 24/7. How much does the program cost per year. That the data we need.

Instntkrma
Instntkrma

wtf is the DPD doing wasting time on Twitter?

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

They should have never fired Dave Minshal.The reason Dave Minshal got fired was because he knew too much about corruption at city hall.It was the power Dan Muse had over News 4.The City Attorney fired Dave Minshal.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Diane, I left a message for Heidi Hemmat seeking her response, and she hasn't gotten back to me yet. I forgot to note that in the post. I've now added the reference. Thanks for the reminder.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Appreciate the post, Patient. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Dwow
Dwow

This makes no sense whatsoever.

ceegee
ceegee

Twitter could be a great tool for the DPD to keep citizens informed, but this new political agenda is ridiculous and offensive. Whoever is responsible for this should be fired or reassigned, and DPD should hire someone who understands new media.

Guest
Guest

First, I also thought "The PD is arguing on twitter!?"... but then I quickly thought

In the name of all things good, let Fox and DPD twitter keep each other busy.

...btw I saw one of those vans doing at least 15mph on a sidewalk @ colorado blvd along city park - mid-afternoon on either August 1-2-3 (just in case dpd twitter is reading this) trying to beat the pack of cars stopped a few lights behind it. No shortage of joggers on the same sidewalk.

Rowdy
Rowdy

"Hemmat and Fox31 declined to comment today, but in her report she notes that Fox31 sent a series of questions to DPD that the department did not answer. Instead, police sent a statement to the station, parts of which Hemmat included in her report."  Sara Burnett  Denver Post 

Samuel Stray
Samuel Stray

The guy that owned Acme Wholesale Distribution put a gun to head and blew his brains out.The reason he committed suicide, he labeled 3.2% Beer he couldn't unload before the expiration date 6%.He sold weak Beer to liquor stores and got caught, that's why he committed suicide.Look at crossings on Smith Road, it works.Jesus Saves is trying to do the right thing.Crossings is doing the right thing.It's time for Jesus Saves to do better.Jesus Saves go visit Crossings.If Jesus Saves moved to the vacant Acme Warehouse, they could control all that property the same way Crossings does.Light Rail Tattler explained this to me at the Samaritan House.

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