Boulder County District Attorney, Michael Dougherty started his presentation sharing the mission of the DA’s Office: Do justice every day, preserve and enhance community safety, fight for victims, and improve the justice system.

 Michael  addressed the rising crime as a major issue for his department. In Boulder County, violent crime has increased 27% between 2019 and 2021.  Property crime has increased 18% and motor vehicle theft has increased 60% between 2019-2021. Sadly, we lead the nation in motor vehicle theft. Property crimes committed by one stranger to another with garages being the biggest target for theft.  Mr. Dougherty referenced several possible factors as drivers for these rising crime trends, adding that mental illness, drug addition and homelessness are three major areas.

1). Housing insecurity, drug misuse and abuse, legislative action, gun sales, unemployment and joblessness.

2). Mental health struggles, family disruption and violence, as well as fewer youth in school during the pandemic, lower consumer confidence and security, and lack of access to services.

Colorado has experienced significant increases in these historical root drivers of crime.

Mr. Dougherty reported that as the Pandemic eases, a slow recovery in the judicial system is happening. In the jail currently, 75% of the population is awaiting trial.  A September 2020 data collection showed 68.4% of the inmate population suffer from a Mental Health Disorder.  The court system is no longer dealing with the influx of jury trials suspended due to the Pandemic.  Currently there are 22 pending murder cases.

Mr. Dougherty closed with the following security and safety tips:  Lock your house, garage doors and bikes.  Spread the word to increase safety awareness. Engage local leaders and legislatures. Support efforts to help improve community resources, law enforcement and justice system.  We need allies who can assist with policy changes and actions.