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ABOUT DAWN

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

A prosecutor, not a politician

 

Over the past two decades, Dawn Downs has built an impressive record of leadership in criminal justice. After more than 14 years at the District Attorney's Office for the Eighth Judicial District, she now serves as Senior Assistant City Attorney and Section Leader for the Public Safety and Prosecution Section in the City of Fort Collins. In her role with the City, she is able to continue to pursue her passion for public safety and prosecution as the legal advisor for Fort Collins Police Services, Emergency Management, Code Enforcement, and Supervisor of the Municipal Prosecution team.

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Major initiatives in recent years include:

2019: Dawn created the Criminal Impact Team with local law enforcement agencies

This team focuses on the investigation and prosecution of violent crime, including gang-related activity and organized crime organizations. Dawn served as the gang liaison for law enforcement for several years. 

 

2021: Dawn co-founded the Larimer County Threat Assessment Group

This group focuses on early identification of individuals and groups who pose a potential threat to their community. Its goal involves early intervention prior to a major criminal incident or involvement in the criminal justice system.

 

2021: Dawn re-established the Larimer County Economic Crime Task Force

This task force focuses on white-collar crime and fraudulent criminal organizations, which have a damaging impact on our local economy, businesses, and residents. 

 

2022: Dawn organized local resources to streamline overdose death investigations

Following recent legislation to prosecute Distribution of Fentanyl Causing Death, Dawn organized a multi-agency effort between law enforcement, the coroner's office, and prosecutors to create a streamlined approach for responding to overdose death cases. Since the legislation passed in 2022, law enforcement in the Eighth Judicial District have filed three Distribution Causing Death cases - the most in the state - using the organized team approach that Dawn helped create.

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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Active public servant

 

Throughout her years in the District Attorney's Office, Dawn tirelessly advocated for the victims and witnesses who often bear the burden of perpetrators' actions long after a crime is committed. For years, the crime of Intimidation of a Witness only applied once a case entered the formal criminal justice system.  Dawn recognized that many times, offenders would intimidate victims and witnesses even before they reported a crime to law enforcement. Dawn identified this loophole in the criminal justice system and she proposed changing the law to protect more victims. Ultimately Colorado Senate Bill 22-024, "Intimidating a Witness Changes," was passed unanimously to help protect victims and witnesses prior to their cases being filed in court.

Dawn has served on the board of several local organizations, including Santa Cops of Larimer County, the Larimer County Women's Bar, and the Safety and Security Committee and Election Committee at her son's school. She actively supports other community non-profit organizations throughout the year, including The Center for Family Outreach, ChildSafe, SAVA, Crawford Child Advocacy Center, Fathers For Families, Alzheimer's Foundation, and many other agencies that support our citizens and most vulnerable populations. 

FAMILY

Mom and a Northern Colorado native

 

Beyond all her professional accolades, Dawn’s most cherished role is being a mother to her nine-year-old son. As a Northern Colorado native, Dawn has deep roots here in our community.  Whether attending her son's events, cheering on area sports teams, or shopping at local businesses and restaurants, she enjoys a deep connection to the people of northern Colorado. Her extended family still lives in northern Colorado and they are an integral part of her daily life with her son.

Having watched the region grow over the years, Dawn has seen the towns and cities of the Eighth Judicial District become more connected and integrated with one another. Dawn views the communities of Northern Colorado much like her own family; everyone works collaboratively to support each other in achieving their goals. Dawn is committed to ensuring our community remains a great place to live, where individuals work together, raise children, celebrate diversity, and respect each other.

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