Reader: Denver PD stats about low percentage of cops who get complaints are meaningless

In our post about Denver Police videos meant to improve the department's image, spokesman Lt. Matt Murray pointed out that 94.4 percent of officers received no complaints in 2010.

One reader wasn't impressed by this number.

Writes ldp604:

Question for Michael: Did the police offer up any actual data showing how their interventions "make a difference every day"? Without any real numbers I don't believe their argument has any validity other than taking their word for it, which I would never do considering the source. I can walk around telling people I installed a speed bump on my block and since I did that the auto-related deaths of people 12 and under on my block are zero. Oh, did I forget to mention that there are no people aged 12 and under on my block? I didn't need to because I already tugged on the heartstrings of all readers with children 12 and under who don't want their kids getting hit by speeding cars on their streets.

I would much rather Mr. Murray and the police spend my tax money making videos showing statistics before and after their interventions. I know that requires effort and work. The only data offered in your article is the fact that "94.4% of Denver Police Department officers had no complaints in 2010." What correlation does that have to pulling people over?

After I installed that speed bump on my street 85% of the trees on my street sprouted leaves and turned green.

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If 80 cops have complaints on file, how many bad apples are there that haven't been reported? It takes a lot of guts to file a report with internal affairs when the whole force is potentially corrupt.


94% with no complaints means that there are about 80 cops out of denver's 1500 or so with complaints in 2010.  If the complaints are as minimal as what the DPD likes to push then why hasn't the department removed the bad apples?  If 5% of cops are making the rest look bad then it should be easy to fix.  Employing criminals in the denver police makes the whole department look bad.  FIRE AND PROSECUTE THE BAD COPS!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Please see above -- although the complaint gets investigated by the IAB, no one need (or should) file a complaint there -- go to the Office of the Independent Monitor on the twelfth floor of the Webb Building or just file online at the link above.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

We cannot rely on these statistics as the Internal Affairs Bureau is known to have misdirected people wishing to file complaints -- citizens with a complaint against an officer should file it with the Office of the Independent Monitor (online at:  The complaints are (improperly) investigated by the agency for which the officer works, but it documents abuse and creates a record that helps us fight against it.

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