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Denver PD attempts to explain why reports were reclassified so they didn't count as crimes

The Denver Police Department is investigating how 700 of its police reports were reclassified. (KatarzynaBialasiewicz/ Getty Images)

The Denver Police Department (DPD) is attempting to explain why a total of 699 crime reports from 2016 and 2017 were reclassified so they did not count as official crimes, following an investigation by KCNC-TV.

The police department told the TV station the figures “should not have been changed,” and the status of the crimes is now in the process of being updated.

The problem was brought to light following an audit report, the TV station reported.

KCNC-TV explains:

In a release from the DPD media relations unit, the department said an audit that it began in January showed 1,189 cases were changed from crime reports to “letters to detective” which are not criminal and do not count as crimes with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Of those 1,189 changed reports, the department now says “699 were determined to be crimes and should not have been changed. Since the audit, those 699 cases have been reclassified to accurately reflect their appropriate status as crimes.”

What reason did the police department give?

In a statement, the DPD said it is still trying to determine why the figures were changed, the TV station reported.

The TV station said it began investigating when the DPD announced “anomalies” were found in how crime reports were classified. The changed were primarily from two areas: District 1 in northwest Denver and District 3 in southeast Denver. Back then, Deputy Police Chief Matt Murray also told KCNC-TV the department was looking into who changed the reports and why.

“The actions of certain individuals need to be investigated from an internal affairs standpoint and that’s what we’re going to do. We have an investigation to look at whether policy or law violations did or did not occur,” Murray said.

What crimes were reclassified?

Several DPD sources told KCNC-TV the cases that were downgraded included property crimes and other serious crimes such as assaults and “other violent crimes against citizens.”

Supervising officers from the two districts are being questioned about why so many crimes received a lighter status. Questions were raised about whether it was done to present “a better picture of crime in Denver.”

The internal investigation is continuing, according to the report. The police department expects to have the data in question corrected and sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) within a week.

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