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New crash investigation unit will help free Denver officers for other duties

DENVER — The Denver Police Department has a new crash investigator unit to respond to noninjury or minor injury crashes.

The civilians are being called crash report technicians, who are specialized investigators whose primary goals are to reduce wait times for people who are in minor collisions.

They will have the authority to issue citations under a special commission through the executive director of safety’s office. The program helps free time for police officers so they can focus on crime prevention and other calls.

“The Denver Police Department is committed to providing the best customer service to residents,” police chief Robert White said. “Having civilian CRTs respond to crashes that do not need police officers, allows our officers more time to focus on our mission; building positive relationships with the community through proactive policing and crime prevention.”

The program started May 1. It consists of 15 part-time CRTs who were hired from all over the country. They have different law enforcement backgrounds.

The CRTs have undergone a six-week academy training. In their downtime, CRTs can also respond to property crimes.

CRTs will be available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.. They will respond to crashes on surface streets, not highways.

The department said there will eventually be 19 CRTs on staff.