Denver to spend $25 million to fortify police presence during DNC

Of the $25 million in federal cash that Denver will dole out to bolster its police force during the Democratic National Convention next month, $11 million will go to six Colorado law enforcement agencies to pay for peace officers to help out.

According to a memo detailing the six top cop shops that will be sending reinforcements — which was presented to the Safety Committee of the Denver City Council this week and obtained by the Colorado Independent — Denver will shell out the largest chunk of federal change to the State of Colorado, which is supplying the city with state patrol officers and peace officers from other state agencies.

The state will receive $4,128,522 to cover the salaries of the security employees it sends to the DNC.

City Councilman and Safety Committee chair Doug Linkhart said the contracts were reviewed July 16 and will likely be approved by the Denver City Council later this month. In all, 900 officers are expected to come to Denver from Wyoming and 12 localities around the state. Any contract of less than $500,000 does not require the formal approval of the Denver City Council.

Lance Clem, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Safety, declined to disclose the number of officers that the state patrol will turn over to Denver. "Some agencies are identifying that information," he says. "The Secret Service asked us not to. It is the same information as if we had a presidential visit and someone asked how many people are assigned to protect the president."

The five other governmental agencies that have big-ticket contracts with the City of Denver released the number of peace officers they plan to send to the DNC to the Denver Post earlier this week.

The City of Aurora will receive $2,865,281, for more than 300 officers; Arapahoe County will receive $949,851 for 100 deputies; Adams County will receive $693,895 for 84 officers; the City of Lakewoood will receive $1,090,940 for 135 officers; and Jefferson County will receive $1,037,677 for 100 deputies.

Denver officials have declined to say what the extra police will actually be doing during the convention.

Other localities will send police officers to Denver for the convention Aug. 25-28, but the City Council will not individually review those expenditures since they amount to less than $500,000 each. The money for the amplified DNC police presence comes from a $50 million federal grant administered to Denver, as well as St. Paul, Minn. — site of the Republican National Convention a week later.

According to Linkhart, half of the grant goes toward personnel and the other half goes toward equipment purchases like vehicles.

Many personnel and equipment purchases for the DNC are made through the mayor’s office without the input of City Council. "They are in a hurry-up mode so we don’t want to delay things too much," says Linkhart.

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Naomi Zeveloff

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