(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Two former Colorado District Attorneys are calling on lawmakers to address the increase in crime in Colorado. They believe measures to decriminalize a range of crimes have led to a serious and lasting impact on Colorado communities.
This year, Colorado’s average monthly crime rate is 540 crimes per 100,000 people.
Crime rates in Colorado continue to top pre-pandemic levels. The 2022 crime study conducted by the Common Sense Institute found the number of crimes increased in robbery, arson, motor vehicle theft, buying stolen property, vandalism, prostitution, and drug possession.
“We’re missing a real focus by policymakers on making data-driven decisions,” said George Brauchler, former District Attorney of Colorado’s 18th Judicial District.
Brauchler and former District Attorney Mitch Morrissey are making it their mission to educate the community while calling on lawmakers to address crime.
“Nothing is being done in the state to reduce the number of crimes and the people of Colorado have to pay the billions of dollars that are costing them annually,” Morrissey explains.
The two DAs analyzed the latest crime in Colorado and said they’ve found a trend.
“There is an undeniable connection between policy decisions we made over the last decade and where we are with crime,” Brauchler says, “It is either a causation in part or it is coincidence and we’re too smart as Coloradans to believe that this is coincidence.”
The former DA believes the change in policies to lessen sentences for crimes like motor vehicle theft, drugs, and assault has led Colorado to where we are now.
“We are elevated above pre-pandemic levels, that’s what tells you it isn’t pandemic driven, it’s got to be tied to something else,” Brauchler explains.
Compared to other states, Colorado ranks first in motor vehicle theft and second in property crimes.
Pueblo made the top ten in each of the 10 crime categories.
Although this situation is occurring across the entire nation, local law enforcement found a connection between theft cases and drug use often tied to the fentanyl crisis.
Experts predict fentanyl will likely kill 1,500 Coloradans this year, between four and five people every day.
To read the full findings of the 2022 Crime Study visit: the Common Sense Institute.
“This is just a drop in the bucket of what is getting through and not coming to law enforcement attention, these deaths are going to go up,” Morrissey says.