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Denver Police has a new leader

Denver Police has a new leader

Denver Police has a new leader
July 05
10:46 2018

DEPUTY PAUL PAZEN

Newsroom/El Comercio de Colorado

Paul Pazen, who currently leads District 1 at the northwest part of the city, has been appointed as the new Denver Police Chief. Pazen was born and raised in Denver. He lived at the Lincoln Park neighborhood until he left to become a U.S. Marine. He joined the Denver Police in 1994. This officer said it is a dream come true for him to lead the Denver Police Department.

“This is a culmination of that service that we get to give back to our community,” Pazen said. “I grew up (with) a single mom and we needed a little help, and now I get to give a little back.” Pazen was recommended by a 17-member committee and he was selected after a “long, arduous process,” as described by Mayor Hancock. Hancock said Pazen was the “clear top choice.”

Other finalists, all DPD officers, were deputy Michael Calo, deputy Joseph Montoya, Deputy Chief; and commander Ronald Saunier. Pazen said his new job brings the responsibility not only of preventing crime, but to “focus on social harms.” “We want to ensure we are providing wraparound services, non-traditional approaches to the city’s most vulnerable,” he said.

The use of force

The new DPD Director didn’t avoid the allegations of abuse of force by agents of the entity he now leads.  “When we have officers that are enabled by the citizens to effect an arrest…  This is power that is given by the people to the police officers. We need to make sure we are utilizing that power, not abusing that power, and maintaining that trust with the community,” said Pazen.

Nick Mitchell, Independent Monitor of the DPD believes the community can trust Pazen. “I think he has the skill set and the philosophies to be successful and to be a reformer,” Mitchell said. He continued, “he applied reforms and was open and transparent.” The monitor indicated that Pazen has shown he is willing to get involved with the community and to interact with those who criticize DPD.

Pazen will replace Robert White, who is retiring after serving 46 years at the police. The last six of those years he led the department. The city has not announced when White will depart, but at the end of the press conference, White said, it would be “soon.”

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Edición Virtual | #317 | 19 de Julio 2018

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