AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — For the first time, FOX31 is hearing from the consulting and training firm about what the big records backlog in the Aurora Police Department means and its potential for dangerous consequences.
During a routine monthly meeting with members of the Public Safety, Courts and Civil Service Committee, City Manager Jim Twombly came under pressure on why he didn’t do anything about the backlog when there was an opportunity to do so.
“Do you view this type of backlog in the records department as a potential serious public safety issue for the City of Aurora?” Dustin Zvonek asked. He is an at-large member of the Aurora City Council.
“I do,” Ed Claughton responded in the Zoom call. He’s president of PRI Management Group, the consultant group looking into the backlogs within the department.
The latest report from the consulting and training firm overseeing the logjam, PRI Management Group, shows some improvement.
More than 2,500 backlogged police incident supplemental reports back in March are now down to just over 400. There should normally be fewer than 50.
Later in the meeting, it was mentioned that the number is actually 59 backlogged reports.
“It should be noted the records section attempted a number of process improvement changes over the last two years designed to increase efficiencies,” Claughton said.
But there’s still a wide workload that officials say, if left unaddressed, can be dangerous to the City of Aurora.
Last week we pressed Twombly about this backlog after he fired Police Chief Vanessa Wilson. He told FOX31 that “she wasn’t fired because of the records problem.”
On Thursday, committee members grilled Twombly about the decision not to hire 10 additional staff to the records unit. Twombly said he wanted to fix a broken system before hiring others into it.
One of the glaring parts of that meeting was that the group looking into that backlog ended up adding context on how dangerous these logjams can be.
They said the Charleston church shooting that killed nine people in 2015 was a result of a gun purchase that shouldn’t have happened. But due to a clerical error, it did.