Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $340,000)
The prosecution and prevention of violent crime has been a longstanding priority for the Boulder District Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement and community partners; however, violent crime rates have risen significantly in recent years with an significant number of homicides and increased domestic violence cases, and a mass shooting at a local grocery store in March 2021. In addition, the COVID pandemic led to modified arrest standards and court backlogs that we are currently seeking to address. Our existing data collection and management procedures are outdated, siloed, and inefficient; we are unable to adequately analyze crime trends and case outcomes; and we have no public-facing data available to the community. Better data collection, tracking, and analysis is needed to allow us to identify high-risk offenders and high-crime areas, make data-driven prosecution decisions, evaluate the efficacy of pandemic-related procedural changes, and focus dedicated resources to address and prevent violent crime in the community. This funding would allow us to hire a 1.0 FTE Data Analyst to develop and implement improved data collection, management, and analysis procedures; train staff on data entry; implement a public-facing data dashboard; analyze our data to identify local crime trends, hotspots, and high-risk offenders; and review the outcomes and efficacy of existing programs. Funding would also support a 0.5 FTE Deputy District Attorney dedicated to reducing and addressing violent crime through community and stakeholder engagement, community liaison work, staff mentorship and support, development of an implementation workgroup with existing and new diverse community agencies and members, and provision of focused resourcing for high-priority QOZ areas.
The Boulder District Attorney’s Office is a national leader in progressive prosecution and has a proven track record of successful community collaboration and grant management. Boulder County is a new applicant for this grant and four census tracts in Boulder County are designated Qualified Opportunity Zones identified as low-income communities. This project would provide desperately-needed resources for modernized data collection, improved transparency with the community, analysis of crime trends and hot spots, review of existing programs, and development and implementation of a plan for data-driven prevention and prosecution of violent crime in Boulder County, resulting in reduced recidivism and increased public safety for Boulder County residents. Boulder County requests that this application for funding be approved to continue this vital initiative.