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Denver Question 2G: Who should appoint the city's independent monitor?

This question on the Denver ballot on Nov. 2 asks if the citizen oversight board should have that power, rather than the mayor.

DENVER — This story is part of a series of statewide ballot issue reviews we're calling "We Don't Have To Agree, But Let's Just Vote."  We'll continue to look at statewide ballot initiatives on Colorado's ballot and how they would impact you.

Click here for more Voter Guide coverage for the 2021 election.

Denver Referred Question 2G

Denver is asking its voters whether the city's Citizen Oversight Board should appoint the independent monitor.

Here's the language on the ballot:

Shall the Charter of the City and County of Denver be amended to allow the citizen oversight board to appoint the independent monitor with consent of city council, providing the office of the monitor with independent legal counsel and establishing employment status of employees?

Click here to see a sample ballot for the City and County of Denver.

Yes or no?

A YES vote means you want the city charter to be amended so that the Citizen Oversight Board appoints the independent monitor, with consent given by the City Council.

A NO vote means you want the mayor to continue to appoint the independent monitor.

What that means

The Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) is a civilian oversight agency for the Denver Police Department and Denver Sheriff Department and performs a watchdog function.

According to the city, the OIM:

  • Receives and processes community complaints about DPD and the Sheriff Department sworn personnel.
  • Monitors investigations into complaints, officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths.
  • Makes recommendations about the findings and discipline associated with complaints involving DPD and the Sheriff Department.
  • Publicly reports on patterns of complaints, findings and discipline.
  • Makes recommendations on potential law enforcement, corrections and oversight-related policy issues.
  • Engages the community and law enforcement in the work of OIM through outreach.

Currently, under the city's charter, the mayor appoints the independent monitor. In 2G, the charter would put that responsibility with the Citizen Oversight Board (COB).

The COB is appointed by the mayor and City Council to represent the community on issues concerning law enforcement.

2G would also allow the OIM to seek independent legal advice to fulfill its duties, and would ensure that employees under the OIM will be part of the Career Service to ensure they're protected from retaliation for doing their jobs.

Proponents say the measure would ensure the OIM's independence from the agencies they monitor and reduce potential conflicts that might arise, to reinforce the public's trust in law enforcement and OIM investigations into wrongdoing.

Currently there's no major opposition to 2G.

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