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
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?
Denver’s elected leaders will consider a policy next week that would expressly give the city’s police watchdog the ability to investigate the police chief and sheriff after the mayor’s controversial finding last year that excluded the Office of the Independent Monitor from such investigations. The proposed changes to city ordinance would override an argument the mayor’s office used to block the independent monitor from being involved in a disciplinary decision for a former police chief. The changes also would clarify the monitor’s powers and expand the citizen board that oversees the watchdog, said Robin Kniech, councilwoman at-large. The independent monitor’s office is a civilian agency that watches over investigations into Denver police and sheriff’s deputies, makes disciplinary recommendations and suggests policy changes. City officials said in May that the monitor’s office did not have oversight of the chief or sheriff because … [Read more...] about Denver City Council to consider closing loophole excusing police chief, sheriff from investigation by city’s independent watchdog
A former Denver Police Department deputy chief was cleared of misconduct Monday after a nearly two-year investigation into whether he was deceptive in his handling of an open-records request. Matt Murray did not violate open-records rules because he did not physically possess the document in question, and there were misunderstandings and miscommunications throughout the request process, Denver police said in a news release. Police Chief Paul Pazen announced Monday his decision to decline punishment for Murray. Already, Pazen had decided not to retain Murray as a deputy chief, and Murray was demoted two ranks to lieutenant shortly after Pazen was sworn in over the summer. Murray, who once held aspirations to be police chief, now is assigned to the department’s community relations section. An investigation into Murray and former Chief Robert White was opened in March 2017 because of their handling of an open-records request for a letter critical of Murray’s oversight of an … [Read more...] about Former Denver Police Department deputy chief cleared of misconduct in open-records case
The public may no longer be able to listen to Denver police radio communications if the department moves forward with a proposal to encrypt all of its radios in the coming months, the latest in a string of Colorado law enforcement agencies to consider blocking the public from listening to officers and dispatchers communicate in real time. A final decision about encryption has yet to be made, Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said. Police need the encryption to keep personal information about victims or people who call 911 from being broadcast on publicly accessible channels, he said. Police have also found suspects who have used scanners to monitor police communications to commit crime and avoid arrest, he said. “We need to balance these public safety needs and the very real need for transparency,” Pazen said. But encryption, if implemented, would hinder news reporters’ ability to monitor breaking news situations and reduce news organizations’ ability to act as … [Read more...] about Denver police could be next to go silent as more Colorado agencies encrypt their radio traffic