Among the outcomes of the Spy Files was a class action lawsuit against the City and County of Denver, which the city settled in 2003. As part of that settlement, the city agreed to regular audits of the DPD’s intelligence unit, which are submitted by an outside agency to the DPD, city attorneys and the Office of the Independent Monitor.
Westword obtained a copy of the most recent audit, which was conducted by the Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Units in November 2015.
(The full audit is embedded at the bottom of this story.)
According to the report, the fifteenth audit conducted of the DPD’s intelligence unit, the auditor was asked to “review data collection, categorization, maintenance, dissemination, and Intelligence Unit practices, as well as training procedures, to verify compliance with established rules and policies.” It should be noted that the audit predates Geofeedia, so that particular software and its use are not discussed. And at the point the audit was conducted, the current head of the unit, Lieutenant William Mitchell, had only been in his position for three months.
Based on what the auditors discovered over a two-day period in November 2015, they came to the conclusion that the intelligence unit was compliant with department policy:
“The review of the criminal intelligence files indicates that the Intelligence Unit is collecting or maintaining criminal intelligence information concerning individuals or organizations only if there is reasonable suspicion…that the individual or organization is involved in criminal conduct or activity.”The report states that the intelligence unit comprised eight full-time personnel in 2015 and had recently completed a transfer from its old criminal intelligence file database called Orion (which was used during the Spy Files controversy) to a new database platform called ACISS.
Auditors say that they looked at the files of every named person and organization in the intelligence database and found only a few that did not belong:
an activity that Westword found during its investigation of department practices.
Westword will review the 2016 audit when it becomes available.