DENVER (KDVR) — Depending on the police department, some Colorado law enforcement agencies are seeing more officer-involved shootings this year.
At least four officer-involved shootings have occurred in the Denver metro this July alone, including an Adams County Sheriff’s Office incident, a standoff and shooting in Aurora, an Englewood shootout and a LoDo shooting wherein six bystanders were hurt, along with a suspected criminal.
Individual departments show some signs that officer shootings have risen this year.
Denver’s officer-involved shootings have not tracked directly with other uses of police force. In Denver, police uses of force have been going up while arrests have plummeted, according to a Denver Police Department report. The number of uses of force per 1,000 arrests nearly doubled from 24.5 in 2018 to 45.3 in 2021.
Denver’s officer-involved shootings did not rise or fall in sync.
When use-of-force rates spiked in 2020, so did shootings. Denver clocked 10 that year. However, DPD only had six officer-related shootings in 2021, when uses of force were as high as the previous year.
This year, Denver has had five officer-involved shootings to date, meaning one more would match 2021’s total with five months left in the year.
Similarly, the Aurora Police Department has had as many officer-involved shootings so far this year as all of 2021. The Wheat Ridge Police Department had an officer-involved shooting this January, while it had none in any of the previous four years.
Colorado has seen at least 21 deadly officer shootings in 2022, according to a Washington Post database. This ranks it the six-highest nationally for 2022 fatal shootings.