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Overview of Report

In July 2020, the CSPD proactively 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. 

In January 2021, the CSPD entered into a contract with Transparency Matters, LLC, to conduct this study.

Then Chief Vince Niski said, “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… 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.”

Now after many months of analytical review, Transparency Matters, LLC has completed their study. Now Chief Adrian Vasquez says, “It has been a great privilege to work with Transparency Matters, LLC, as they are leading experts in their field and I deeply value everything they have done for both the Colorado Springs Police Department and our community. I am committed to transparency, which is why we are releasing the report within just days of us receiving it ourselves.”


About Transparency Matters, LLC

Transparency Matters, LLC (TM) is an independent law enforcement consultant focused on building transparent policing policies and processes that enhance public trust. 

To learn more, please visit their website:

To learn more about those who conducted this study, please see their bios below:


Timeline of Study

Timelines of study
Early 2019Command Staff discusses hiring an outside consultant to conduct a use of force study 
July 2020Request for Proposal (RFP) for the use of force study is issued 
August 2020City receives six proposals 
September 2020RFP Committee is formed to review proposalsNote: Committee makeup – CSPD Commander, CSPD Civilian Manager, PPA Board member, Member of the Colorado Springs Community, UCCS Professor
October 2020RFP Committee selects Transparency MattersPDF: Transparency Matters RFP
December 2020The final contract and order to proceed is signed 
January 2021CSPD announces contract with Transparency MattersPDF: Announcement Press Release
January 2021 (through February 2022)Data transfer begins (use of force data, officer demographics, arrest data, etc.)

Link: CSPD Data Hub

Link: All CSPD Policies

Link: CSPD Use of Force Specific Policies (see below)

May 2021Community Use of Force Survey is made available electronically and in hard copy formats

PDF: Community Survey (coming soon...)

PDF: Community Survey Press Release

PDF: Community Survey Poster

June 2021Community Survey closed 
July 2021BWC footage and associated cases and use of force reports were shared with the Transparency Matters team to analyze a sampling Pointing of Firearm incidents.   
July 2021

Transparency Matters team hosts focus groups

  • Sworn officers
  • Sworn sergeants
  • Community group
  • PPA Board members
December 2021Officer Survey conducted 
March 2022CSPD received and reviewed the draft report, allowing CSPD and Transparency Matters, LLC to discuss areas for clarification 
April 22, 2022CSPD received the final report from Transparency Matters, LLCPDF: Final Report (including Executive Summary)
April 26, 2022CSPD and Transparency Matters, LLC conduct public presentation of findings

Note: See video below for full presentation 

PDF: Powerpoint shown during presentation

August 2023February 2023 through August 2023 Updates

PDF: Overall Progress through August 2023

PDF: CSPD Announces Selection of Independent Training Auditor Vendor

June 2024Overall Progress through June of 2024PDF: Overall Progress through June of 2024


Video of Community Presentation

Video of City Council Presentation

Study Findings


Recommendations to CSPD from Study

CSPD Response

CSPD is carefully reviewing the entire report in-depth. Chief Vasquez chose to release all this information to the public soon after receiving the final report, so CSPD does not yet have detailed responses for every recommendation. Chief Vasquez is committed to a thoughtful response to each recommendation, one that considers both internal and external input.  There are some recommendations, such as better data collection on pointing firearms, that could be implemented quickly. Other recommendations, such as conducting an audit of CSPD use of force training, will take more time. This website will be updated as appropriate to reflect steps CSPD has taken in that quarter to address the recommendations.

  1. Enhance agency culture that emphasizes, reinforces, and rewards the use of de-escalation tactics and skills by officers through systematic documentation, continual reinforcement of policies and training, and development of accountability and oversight mechanisms.
  2. Continue the processes established for the CSPD’s Use of Force Committee for comprehensive and routine reviews and updates to policy and communicate this work internally and externally.
  3. Review and update the documentation, policy, training, and supervisory oversight related to the pointing of firearms at a person.
  4. Conduct an independent audit of CSPD use of force training to ensure content, quality, and duration of use of force training is meeting industry best practices.
  5. Enhance transparency through the timely release of information to the community to improve public confidence and trust.
  6. Continue to enhance supervision, accountability & oversight related to use of force.
  7. Review and make appropriate changes to use of force data collection to meet best practices.
  8. Work internally and externally to continually reduce racial/ethnic disparities in use of force. Continue to work internally and externally to continually monitor and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in use of force. 


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