DENVER, CO – The House Judiciary Committee today passed legislation sponsored by Representatives Jennifer Bacon and Dafna Michaelson Jenet to prevent identity-based crimes and build safer Colorado communities. The bill is part of the public safety package.
“We've seen a scary increase in threats and crimes targeting specific communities, and this cannot continue,” said Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City. “Improving public safety is a top priority, and identity-based crimes have no place in Colorado. Our legislation will help law enforcement develop the tools and strategies they need to prevent and solve serious crimes that impact our entire community’s sense of safety.”
“Crimes that target specific communities cannot be tolerated,” said Rep. Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver. “We need new strategies and resources to counter violent threats that make entire communities feel unsafe. The legislation we are advancing will focus on preventing and intervening in identity-based violence by developing new capabilities and collaboration with community organizations and law enforcement.”
HB22-1234, which passed by a vote of 7-4, creates a grant program to prevent identity-based violence. The grants will focus on building strong communities and preventing acts of violence that target a specific population of people, and on building awareness of these crimes to prevent them from happening in the first place. The bill positions law enforcement to develop the strategies needed to solve serious crimes that have widespread ramifications on a community’s sense of safety. This could include projects that strengthen local collaboration and capabilities to prevent and intervene in identity-based violence.
The bill is supported by the Department of Public Safety, One Colorado, the Counter Terrorism Education Learning Lab, the Center on Colfax, and Out Boulder County.