Just over a year ago, Paul Pazen became Denver police chief, and since taking over from Robert White, his controversial predecessor, he's experienced more than his share of highs and lows. He discusses both in the wide-ranging interview below.Pazen was able to usher in a new use-of-force policy more than eighteen months in the making, and earlier in August, he announced that such incidents during arrests declined 21 percent during the first half of 2019. Meanwhile, negative headlines related to reform-minded advocates and Denver's police union, which were commonplace during the White era, have all but vanished, at least for now.At the same time, however, violent crime appears to be on the rise in Denver. If this trend continues, or if a divisive police shooting like the one involving Colorado Springs's De'Von Bailey happens in the Mile High, the lingering goodwill toward Pazen could evaporate quickly. But he hopes his emphasis on crime-prevention strategies and the positive … [Read more...] about Paul Pazen on His First Year as Denver Police Chief
Denver police chief robert white
Mayor Michael Hancock's choice for Denver's new police chief, Robert White, was introduced at a hastily convened press conference at City Hall on Saturday. The announcement of Hancock's pick for this most-watched post had been moved up several days because the news of White's appointment had already leaked out in Louisville, Kentucky, where White,a forty-year police-work veteran, has been chief since 2003.White, who'd just flown in that morning, told those in attendance -- including Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey and outgoing Denver Police Department Chief Gerry Whitman -- that he reads fifteen newspapers a day, and the best way to get a feel for a city is to google the mayor's name and the police chief's name.And when he Googled the name of Mayor Michael Hancock -- a man White had not met before throwing his chief's hat in the ring for this job -- what interesting things did he learn? First, that he's bald, said the also bald White. And second, that "he likes people -- that … [Read more...] about Robert White will be Denver’s next police chief, and Gerry Whitman will not be his PIO
Since becoming Denver’s police chief nine months ago, Paul Pazen has attended roll calls for each of the department’s 30 police shifts to explain his vision for the department. When Pazen took the job in July, he promised the community he would be a progressive chief, one who would address social issues such as homelessness, addiction and mental health as well as crime. He had to live up to his word — to turn buzzwords into policy. If the strategies were going to work, he would need his officers to buy in. By most accounts, he’s done well. Even the police union — which for six years battled former Chief Robert White’s attempts at reform — is happy. Data shows his policies have been effective so far, he said. “It’s actually gone better than I thought,” Pazen told The Denver Post this month after presenting statistics from the year’s first quarter to his boss, Public Safety Director Troy Riggs, and his command staff. Pazen … [Read more...] about Denver police chief Paul Pazen has rolled out a series of new “progressive” initiatives — are they working?
The Denver Police Department is changing its use-of-force policy, directing officers to avoid rushing into volatile situations and, instead, to employ de-escalation techniques that limit using weapons against people they encounter. Denver Police Chief Robert White on Wednesday announced changes, which were written by his command staff in response to the public’s changing expectations for police officers. The changes should keep officers and the public more safe, he said. “Citizens have raised the bar as it relates to what they expect from the police department,” White said. “They raised the bar, so I think it’s only appropriate that we raise the bar also. Expectations have changed.” The policy’s rollout was criticized by the police union and community groups because it did not include their input on the front end. Denver’s Citizen Oversight Board and independent monitor were left out, even though a city ordinance says they should be … [Read more...] about Denver Police Department pursues new use-of-force policy
Police and gang members have been meeting to defuse gang violence in northeast Denver that is blamed for at least a dozen casualties, Police Chief Robert White said Wednesday. In addition, a group called “The Council,” which is made up of leaders of rival black and Latino gangs, recently began meeting in hotel rooms to reach a cease-fire in an ongoing street-gang war, longtime gang activist the Rev. Leon Kelly said. “It’s made up of several OGs (original gangsters) who have the respect of younger members,” said Kelly, who runs Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives. “They are guys of influence. We’re having conversations, telling them to stand down. Even though (the gang war) is bad, it would have been a lot worse.” White said police have been working with Kelly, and he added that police are working with a score of other community groups and law enforcement agencies to quell a gang war. “I think they have had a tremendous … [Read more...] about Denver police, community leaders seek cease fire in gang shootings