Denver: The mile-high police state

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Be careful what you ask for in Denver — you just might get something a hell of a lot worse. Recently, a Denver TV station ran a story accusing some of the city’s public works employees of loafing on the job. The city’s reaction? Spend $1.5 million on a global-positioning system to constantly track city employees via satellite. (Yes, that’s in Denver, Colorado.)

The DENVER POST reports that, within the next few years, the city plans to install GPS devices on 2,000 vehicles in the Public Works Department. In addition, the city will require employees who are on assignment to call a central location when they are taking a break or going to lunch. “People who are paid for a full day need to be working a full day; otherwise, it’s unfair to hard-working employees and the taxpayers of Denver,” said a mayoral spokesperson.

Of course, there just might possibly be some privacy issues involved with using aerial spy cameras on people who earn their living pumping sewers and chucking garbage. “Do we want to infringe on the rights of all to catch a few scofflaws?” asks one Denver labor attorney.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate