Opinion: As Denver’s new chief of police, I will reduce crime and rebuild trust
My new job: I am the chief of police for the City and County of Denver, and have been named chief by Mayor Michael Hancock in August.
It’s a city that has been in crisis since the Aurora theater shooting in 2012. An 18-year-old with no connections to the city who bought a gun, opened fire, and killed 12 people.
That’s a tragedy. But it’s also the point where the city would start to rebuild.
The first step in doing that is reducing crime.
In the following interview, I talk about my priorities for the job, priorities that I actually know a lot about from my law enforcement career. But I also talk about what I want to do to get that job done, because I’m not going to be able to run on my ideas about crime reduction in my first few months here.
Listen to the interview to hear more about my priorities and to find out what I think is preventing more Colorado cities from becoming models of what happens when a mayor and a community come together to solve hard problems.
Here are a few things you should know about me.
As a Denver police officer, I was the head of the anti-gang unit in 2004. I led those guys because of their ability to reduce crime in a community. But also because they did a great job communicating with the community. They were willing to talk to a lot of the people in our community, not just criminals. I also used a lot of our own funds to hire community activists, who worked on many different projects, often in the community, and used our police department funds to subsidize each of those projects. I was always trying to find funding, as a police chief, to solve community problems.
I was also a vice commander and a patrol lieutenant. I was also a commander at the University of Denver, where I had a class on the challenges of policing.
One of my favorite parts of my job is connecting with the community. We’re so lucky in Denver to have a great network of community organizations that we can talk to about crime and problem solving, or neighborhood needs that we can have a meeting with about a problem that’s in