GOLDEN, Colo. (November 2, 2021) – The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office (Gilpin/Jefferson) hosted Hate Free Colorado and the Sikh Coalition on Friday for an office-wide training on bias-motivated crimes. “Partnerships like this are how we create a safe and healthy community for everyone,” said District Attorney Alexis King. “Our office aggressively prosecutes individuals who target others because of their identity and trainings like this help us hold them accountable.” According to the FBI’s Annual Hate Crimes Report, there were 283 reports of bias-motivated crimes to Colorado law enforcement agencies in 2020. That marked a 22 percent increase from 2019 and the highest number of incidents since tracking began in 1991. "The number of hate crimes reported in Colorado has doubled in the last two years. This disturbing increase requires a collaborative response from community groups and law enforcement at all levels to push back against this trend," said Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Senior Associate Regional Director Jeremy Shaver. "The First Judicial District Attorney's Office's efforts to prioritize hate crimes and train staff to respond effectively is a critical step in this process." The Sikh Coalition also presented during the training to help educate prosecutors and support staff about their religion and how often Sikh individuals are targeted in bias-motivated crimes. "It is essential for law enforcement and investigators to curate and maintain cultural competence and religious awareness to assist in recognizing potential bias motivating factors," said Nikki Singh, Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy with the Sikh Coalition. "Not doing so can lead to a failure to bring hate crime charges – which affects not only the survivor's experience but entire communities as a whole. Trainings like this are a key first step for police and prosecutors to understand hate crimes and can ensure that justice for all the people they are meant to serve and protect is possible."