Aurora, CO

Artificial intelligence helps find bad police officers in Aurora

David Heitz
Photo byScott Rodgerson/Unsplash

The Aurora City Council voted Monday to purchase software called Truleo that will help supervisors analyze police officer videos from body-worn cameras.

The software, which uses artificial intelligence, will:

· Automatically transcribe and classify events in body-worn camera audio.

· Automatically detect the officer speaking.

· Automatically detect risky officer behaviors, such as profanity.

· Automatically detect professional officer behaviors, such as explanation and gratitude.

· Visualize insights (positive/negative) across all officer and civilian interactions.

Privacy concerns

Council member Juan Marcano expressed privacy concerns about the software. City Attorney Pete Schulte said the software automatically redacts personal information. It does not create new data but rather analyzes information already in the database.

“The majority of this information remains dormant and is not utilized unless it is randomly selected for an audit, and/or a commendation or complaint is received,” according to a memo from Chief Information Officer Scott Newman to the council. “This is due to the sheer volume of videos generated and stored each day, as it would require several humans to review those videos on a daily basis.”

Helps reach consent decree goals

Schulte said the software will help Aurora reach its goals under the consent decree instituted after the Elijah McClain death. Unreviewed body camera footage “potentially represents a risk to the agency and represents a missed opportunity to leverage the data to gain insights and improve police operations,” according to the memo. “The Truleo platform performs that analysis in near real-time as videos are uploaded and will flag videos that meet departmental conditions so they can be surfaced for faster review by the appropriate staff.”

Breaking bad habits

Schulte said the consent decree monitor has emphasized officers need to break bad habits sooner rather than later. Police Chief Art Acevedo said it’s all about restoring the community’s trust in the department.

Schulte disclosed that Acevedo at one time had an interest in Truleo but has since divested. He said police brass in Aurora chose Truleo before hiring Acevedo.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here. You can email me news releases and story ideas at

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