Criminal Justice Domain
Below, explore Equity Indicators related to criminal justice, policing, and community safety. Click on an Indicator to expand for more information. To dig deeper, follow the links within each Indicator.
The Equity Indicators Dashboard is a work in progress. More measures, explanations, and easy-to-understand graphics will be added, and the dashboard will continue to grow over time.
Trust and community collaboration are critical elements in creating safe, equitable, and inclusive communities. To achieve these outcome, Fort Collin Police Services (FCPS) is committed to acknowledge distrust in order to better understand historical and current factors that impact policing in our community.
When looking at the history of policing in America we recognize the fear and tensions between law enforcement and communities of color. Contributing factors and unresolved public concerns over time include:
- Social and Systemic Racism
- Connections between Poverty, Economic Instability and Crime
- Operational and Cultural Differences in Police Organizations – both domestically and internationally
- Inconsistent National Law Enforcement Hiring and Training Practices
- Media Coverage – increasingly widespread coverage of use-of-force incidents involving police and people of color.
As we pause to fully understand the repercussions of racist policing in American communities, we must take note that some individuals experience systemic racism before their first arrest. Once a head of household has become incarcerated, a perpetuation of racism continues for that family. A single-parent family will struggle to have the same living standards including childcare, food security, transportation, etc. and this burden most affects and burdens women of color. The family member who initially participated in a crime may have been doing so to support their family needs, needs proven to be unattainable by following societal laws and norms based on that individual’s skin color alone. Thus, a cycle of injustice has been created for which some never escape. Though Fort Collins does not experience the same level of injustice as other American cities, it behooves all of us to recognize our part as our city continues to grow and demographics shift. As this work moves forward, we will need to further explore the intersection of mental health and race.
While Fort Collins Police Services invests heavily in hiring, training, community engagement, and continuous improvement to support ethical and unbiased policing, equity indicators have provided a valuable opportunity to identify areas of disparity which need improvement. This insight can help guide internal reviews of practices and external discussions with impacted populations to affect meaningful change for everyone in our city.
Criminal Arrest and Citation Rates
This indicator provides perspective on criminal charges managed through arrests and citations and includes statistics on race. Due to governmental guidelines on race, ethnicity is not listed on Colorado identification cards. This limits perspective when people of Hispanic/Latinx heritage are listed under “White/Caucasian” race. Police calls originate from 911 emergency call-ins and officer-initiated events. With the Equity Indicators, we can examine how often callers identify community members by race and how often race is identified by officers, supplemented by documents to determine race and understand why an officer chose to file criminal charges on a particular individual.
The graph below shows the criminal arrests or citations by race. These rates are calculated using the number of arrests or citations of individuals in a racial group divided by the total number of individuals in that group in Fort Collins.
Much like criminal arrest and citation rates, this Indicator provides perspective on enforcement action, examined by race. The majority of traffic stops are officer-initiated, and charges are based upon probable cause. This could be examined by location and offense to identify any patterns or trends regarding enforcement. Officers conduct focused enforcement in areas where community members have reported concerning or dangerous driving behaviors and where motor vehicle collision data shows a need for violation mitigation. Another metric that could contribute to this Indicator is comparing traditional traffic citations to automated red light camera citations when race data is available. This limited sample must be conducted in equal enforcement areas since photo radar may only be used on select low-speed city streets.
The graph below shows the traffic citations by race. These rates are calculated using the number of citations of individuals in a racial group divided by the total number of individuals in that group in Fort Collins.
Use-of-Force in General Population
Fort Collins Police Services officers only use force in response to resistance. This metric will capture use-of-force during arrests and in addition, where this information is collected separate from a criminal event (i.e. to prevent self-harm by a resident). It is important not to assume these are uses of force outside a lawful action. Still, this data may be reviewed to determine discrepancies in when and how much force is used in response to resistance separate from criminal charges. A preservation and respect for human life must be considered in all situations.
The graph below shows the use-of-force rates by race. These rates are calculated using the number of incidents in which individuals in a racial group experienced use-of-force divided by the total number of individuals in that group in Fort Collins, then multiplied by 1,000.
Use-of-Force with Arrests
This Indicator provides perspective on force used in response to resistance when criminal charges are managed through arrests and citations, which are also examined by race. Due to governmental guidelines on race, ethnicity is not listed on Colorado identification cards. This limits perspective when people of Hispanic/Latinx heritage are listed under “White/Caucasian” race. Compared regionally, FCPS use-of-force is statistically low and statistics show that departments with strong use-of-force policies in place have significantly fewer incidents. In addition, we can review arrest documents to compare between races, offenses, and level of resistance to help indicate why an officer chose to utilize force and where that force falls in its extremity.
The graph below shows the rates of use-of-force during arrests by race. These rates are calculated using the number of arrests in which individuals in a racial group experienced use-of-force divided by the total number of individuals in that group in Fort Collins, then multiplied by 1,000.