AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The number of backlogged cases being investigated by the Aurora Police Department has dropped.
The problem has been described as “alarming.” The slowdown in the paperwork also led the firing of the police chief there.
On Thursday, there were 900 cases still pending, according to a City of Aurora spokesman. Two weeks ago, there were nearly three times as many, sparking fury.
“(The Aurora Police Department) had over 2,500 victims whose cases had not been investigated. It’s a huge issue. I want to know who knew about it and when, and where up the ladder did it stop?,” said Aurora At-Large City Council Member Dustin Zvonek.
The city manager said the backup is a risk and danger to officers and the community. That’s because many of those reports in the cue were sitting idle.
Candace Bailey is a former member of Aurora’s Police Oversight Committee.
“What we found is that it is very inefficient, and to be honest, really not occurring in the manner that it should be,” Bailey said.
Here’s how police reports make their way through APD. An officer conducts a field investigation of crime. A report is then created and sent to a supervisor for review and approval. The report is prioritized based on the type of crime.
It is then sent for transcription and sent to officers and the courts. Investigators have access to the reports as they await transcription.
A city spokesperson said the transcription process is meticulous and involves adding coding details and reviewing. It’s a process that that makes sure information is organized and is more easily searchable.
Clerks watch for redundancies. The data is also formatted so it can be easily used by investigators and or the courts.
FOX31 was told it is acceptable for APD to have about 50 cases waiting for processing. But Bailey said the backlog problem had been years in the making.
“Far longer than two years. Longer than 5 years. Because we have had a problem with efficiency inside of records-keeping. There was a need for more records clerks,” Bailey said.
Bailey believes the system was broken and not the fault of the fired police chief.
Major changes were made in the records department to reduce the backlog.