Senate Bill 15-219, which was recently passed by the Colorado legislature, requires that police departments develop protocols for participating in a multi-agency team when conducting any investigation, evaluation, and review of an officer involved shooting (meaning where the officer discharged a firearm) that resulted in injury or death.
The purpose of the law is to provide a more complete investigation to the district attorney for the determination of whether the shooting was justified, and to encourage additional transparency in police shooting investigations. The law has to do with investigations that are turned over to the district attorney; civil or administrative investigations that follow a police shooting are not addressed. This bill is codified at C.R.S. § 16-2.5-301.
Other highlights from the bill:
- The multi-agency team has to include at least one other police department or sheriff’s office, or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The law enforcement agencies do not have to be from the same judicial district.
- The bill also requires the district attorney to release a report and publicly disclose the district attorney’s findings if no criminal charges are filed. This written report must be posted on the district attorney’s web site or, if no web site exists, available upon request. If the matter is referred to the grand jury, the district attorney must release a statement disclosing the general purpose of the grand jury’s investigation. These disclosures are subject to the Criminal Justice Records Act.
The Arvada Police Department participates in the Jefferson County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) and the Adam's County Critical Incident Investigative Team as we work with both counties. To read about either Critical Incident Team, please click on the resource links.