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Amid rising violent crime, Boulder seeks to ‘reimagine’ its police department

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(The Center Square) – The Boulder Police Department’s Reimagine Policing Plan is scheduled to be discussed and voted on by Boulder City Council on Sept. 7.

The police department’s plan aims to have fewer arrests and a more “holistic” approach to dealing with crimes. It comes at a time when the city acknowledges that property and violent crime is trending upward in Boulder.

The plan calls for hiring more police officers so that 40% of officer time is spent working with the community. The plan calls for police to build relationships with the community and identify problems that need to be solved, specifically with communities that have been impacted negatively by policing.

Police funding was $41 million in 2022 making it the most expensive department in the city. Public Safety’s expenditures were $69.3 million in 2022, or 45% of all general fund spending.

Part of the plan includes adding eight to 14 officers with a staffing goal of 205 officers. According to the city’s financial reports, Boulder budgeted for 190 police officers in 2022, 17 more positions than it had in 2013.

“… Complex safety problems require partnership among multiple city departments, community entities or external partners; and police may not always be the lead in these matters,” a city report released this month stated.

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