Denver: The mile-high police state

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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.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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