Denvers Manager of Safety Alex Martinez and Police Chief Robert White said the city is making progress dealing with the perception or reality that the police department cant police itself.
And both said there is more work to be done.
On Tuesday, White announced the appointment of Division Chief Mary Beth Klee as the new Commander of Internal Affairs.
Im confident she will ensure investigations are conducted promptly, fairly and without bias, White said.
But an attorney, representing four clients who are suing the city alleging police brutality, says Klee gave her stamp of approval to the officers actions.
Denver has a culture of tolerating police brutality, tolerating officers lying and tolerating its citizens being brutalized, said Siddartha Rathod.
Rathods clients allege they were violently arrested by police outside the Denver Diner in 2009.
The officers involved were fired, but have been ordered reinstated by the Civil Service Commission.
Klee testified during their Civil Service Hearing that the officers were just doing their jobs.
When asked what he would tell people who question Klees qualifications for Internal Affairs, White responded, There will always come a time when all of us will disagree at some point on cases that are pretty significant
Thats part of the process.
The chief said he values differing opinions.
You get five of us in a room and discuss the case and the five of us may very well have differing opinions, he said. Let me tell you, I value that because if we were all thinking the same then I would question, whats the value of having four other people in the room?
Its going to be a challenge, Klee said. I look forward to it.
Martinez noted that in the annual report issued by the Independent Monitors office last week, the average number of days to process cases improved from 106 to 69.
He also said citizen complaints were down from 603 to 474.
Were not satisfied, he said. We want to see more improvements.
Martinez announced the appointment of a former judge, John Vigil, to the newly created position of Deputy Manager of Police Discipline for the Department of Safety.
We want institutional changes, he said, not just personnel. The Safety Manager said, We have identified a need for a stronger presence in the Denver Police Department, some eyes and ears on the ground to assure responsiveness with the independent monitor and to help the police department make the right choices.
He said Vigil has more than 20 years of judicial experience, many of them as a District Court judge in the 17th Judicial District.
Vigil told 7NEWS that he took the deputy manager position because he was inspired by his boss decision to leave the state supreme court to undertake the challenge of improving discipline in Denvers department of safety.
Im excited by the fresh ideas and tremendous amount of energy that Ive been able to detect in the short amount of time that Ive been here meeting with folks, Vigil said.
Martinez said Vigil will help implement changes in discipline.
He said there have been many delays in discipline cases.
He said theyre going to speed the process up, reviewing each investigative recommendation within 15 days.
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