Colorado Law Enforcement Calls for “Duty to Intervene” Language
Organizations call on state Legislature to codify language into statute
DENVER — The County Sheriffs of Colorado, the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police called on the state Legislature today to strengthen state law to make it a crime when officers fail to intervene in cases of unreasonable force.
“We are shocked and disgusted by the indefensible use of force that led to George Floyd’s recent death in Minneapolis. We are equally appalled, however, by the lack of intervention displayed by the other officers who were on the scene,” said Broomfield Police Chief Gary Creager, chair of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police. “We will not sit idly by. Inaction should be condemned as harshly as unjust force. We have heard that our community wants increased accountability, and today we urge the Colorado Legislature, in the short time they have remaining in the session, to add a Duty to Intervene to state statue.”
Duty to Intervene is already an expectation for most Colorado law enforcement agencies. This change would make it a statutory requirement, and officers could face criminal prosecution.
“We understand this is only a first step, but it is a step in the right direction and one that can be accomplished now, in solidarity,” said Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins, president of the County Sheriffs of Colorado. “There is more work to be done to ensure accountability. We look forward to working with lawmakers and our communities to address additional concerns together. “
The organizations are calling for changes to the current Duty to Report Use of Force outlined in CRS 18-8-802, including directing officers to intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force, when possible, and then to report such use of unreasonable force to the officer’s immediate supervisor.
The County Sheriffs of Colorado is an association that provides education and professional assistance and promotes unity to enable sheriffs to best serve and protect the people of Colorado.
The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police is a professional organization committed to serving the law enforcement community and the citizens of Colorado.
The Colorado Fraternal Order of Police is a statewide police labor organization that works to protect and improve law enforcement officers’ employment rights and benefits.