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Denver pays for local cops 

Thanks to a $50 million federal grant, the Denver Police Department can buy just about anything it wants or needs to secure the Democratic National Convention including the service of 50 Colorado Springs police patrol officers, five sergeants and one lieutenant.

The cops will cost Denver less than $500,000, concludes Denver City Councilman Doug Linkhart, who notes that Denver City Council had to approve all personnel contracts above that figure, and the Springs contract wasn't among them. Denver is spending about $25 million on staffing alone, and has larger contracts with Colorado State Patrol, the police departments of Aurora and Lakewood, and Arapahoe County, Adams County and Jefferson County sheriff's offices.

In other words, our cops are small fries, just a tiny fraction of the coalition of forces planned to keep the DNC safe.

Springs police have trained with Denver police for the event, and previously had been trained in crowd control, says local police spokesman Lt. David Whitlock. But the duties they'll be responsible for remain a mystery; Denver police say they aren't releasing that information for security reasons.

It also seems unclear whether or not out-of-town police will be grouped together or integrated with Denver's force. Whitlock says local cops will stay together, while Linkhart says they'll be blended.

Colorado Springs rarely sends police to other cities for events.

"I think we're happy to help Denver out," Whitlock says. "Someday we may need their help."

The Springs' patrol division includes just 362 officers and sergeants, meaning more than 15 percent will be working the DNC. Whitlock, though, isn't worried. He says local officers will work extra shifts to ensure adequate policing in the Springs, with overtime costs paid for by Denver.

"Our staffing isn't going to be reduced," he says, "and there isn't going to be any degradation in service."

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