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 relationships he’s building with the officers under his command can reduce offenses of all sorts over the long haul.Our conversation with Pazen took place before we published our analysis of new Denver crime data, though we were able to share some of the… Read full this story
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