CSPD Partners with Transparency Matters LLC, on Use of Force Analysis

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The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) is excited to announce its partnership with Transparency Matters, LLC.

Earlier this year, the CSPD sought proposals from qualified firms/consultants to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the police department’s use of force. The requirements for the scope of work included:

  • Vendor will conduct a comprehensive analysis of CSPD use of force, to include demographic data.
  • Vendor will use scientifically valid methods to determine whether and to what extent CSPD use of force data reflects disparities among various demographic categories.
  • Vendor will compare CSPD’s use of force data to similarly situated cities as one benchmark to provide context to the study.
  • Vendor will identify possible reasons for any disparities that are found, grounded in extant research.
  • Vendor will make recommendations for future data collection and research methodology that could be used by CSPD to help clarify reasons for any disparities in force that are found.
  • Vendor will provide scientifically valid recommendations on reducing disparities in police use force, which may include community recommendations and police recommendations.
  • Vendor will conduct a presentation in a public forum in Colorado Springs on the findings.

While the department already performs an analysis every year on use of force as part of our CALEA accreditation, the department took it a step further to self-initiate this review from an outside party. 

“We believe there is a lot of benefit in bringing in outside experts to provide a transparent, fair, and thorough analysis. Additionally, we believe that we must engage in sophisticated analyses to get a clear and true understanding of use of force. In order to do that, we need experts in their field who can correctly analyze complicated data. And having outside expertise paves the way for true and impartial analysis for both the department and our community,” says CSPD Chief Vince Niski.

After an in-depth review of all the submitted proposals, the Request For Proposal Committee (comprised of a Police Protective Association Representative, a CSPD Commander, a CSPD Civilian Manager, a UCCS Professor, and a Colorado Springs Community Member) selected Transparency Matters, LLC based on the following:

  • The Transparency Matters proposal met all of the requirements from the Scope of Work (SOW); including the methodology to be followed and a detailed progress timeline   
  • The Transparency Matters project approach was comprehensive and will provide a deeper and more contextualized understanding of how and why the CSPD’s officers used force
  • The Transparency Matters project team is highly qualified and experienced in studying police use of force.
  • The Transparency Matters project team demonstrated a proven track record using scientifically valid methods to examine police use of force data
  • The Transparency Matters project team provided examples of past performances and services that were consistent and relevant to the services required for the CSPD's use of force analysis
  • The Transparency Matters cost proposal was reasonable and competitive as compared to the industry standard   

According to Transparency Matters, “The Transparency Matters, LLC Team is encouraged by the proactive approach taken by the Colorado Springs Police Department to conduct an independent, external evaluation of police use of force incidents. This study will be a valuable tool to assist the Department in making informed decisions regarding policy, training, and community engagement. We look forward to conducting this work in partnership with the CSPD and the Colorado Springs community.”

Chief Niski also adds, “I'm confident we have chosen some of the country's best experts to do this work, and I am excited to work alongside them through this project.”

Due to the complexity of the data Transparency Matters, LLC will analyze, their results will not be available until the 4th quarter of 2021. The time and care they take ensures that we look at use of force data in the right way, using proven and trusted research methods. While Transparency Matters, LLC works on their comprehensive review, Chief Niski is committed to releasing a use of force dataset to the public well before this study is complete. We ask that community members not make their own conclusions of what the data means until the experts - Transparency Matters, LLC - make their final determinations. Following the conclusion of their study, Transparency Matters, LLC will discuss their findings in a public forum for our community.

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