Center City Security Summit

November 14, 2017

The Downtown Denver Partnership and Downtown Denver BID Convene First-Ever Center City Security Summit

On Tuesday, November 14, the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID) convened public and private sector partners from around the country for the first-ever Center City Security Summit. Participants included public officials from police departments, city attorney offices, appointed officials, and RTD, as well as Downtown organization leaders, and many private sector partners. The Summit featured public and private sector speakers and panelists. Attendees shared best practices and strategies with peers.

Attendees—who represented ten U.S. cities including Austin, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Seattle and Phoenix —shared best practices and strategies for creating safe and vibrant public spaces.

Keynote speaker Bill Zizic, KPMG’s Director of Justice and Security, shared successes and challenges that have been realized since the 2016 launch of the Downtown Security Action Plan. The Security Action Plan—which was launched by the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID) as part of a commitment to a safe, welcoming, and inclusive center city—has seen great success particularly in the implementation of a public-private partnership. Zizic emphasized the power of public-private partnerships and the importance of implementing procedures with cross-departmental agencies to create a safer Downtown.

“Through the thoughtful development and implementation of our Security Action Plan, we’ve fully realized the importance of public-private partnerships when it comes to safety and security,” said Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, “We will continue to collaborate with and convene our partner organizations to ensure that Downtown Denver is setting the standard for what it means to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive center city.”

Discussion during the day-long gathering included:

  • Steve Cramer and Shane Zahn of the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District and Susan Segal, the City of Minneapolis’ City Attorney, stressed the importance of public-private collaboration in downtown Minneapolis, including a radio link program that brings police, Downtown ambassadors and private security agencies into close and ongoing communication.
  • David Broadwell, formerly with the Denver City Attorney’s Office, discussed legal and constitutional issues as they relate to public safety policy.
  • Joe O’Keefe of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presented on current threats, recent incidents and how DHS is working to educate people and reduce the possibility of attacks on large gathering places.
  • Councilman Albus Brooks, Lisa Straight and Elissa Hardy from the City of Denver provided an overview of the opioid epidemic, its growing impact on Denver, and how the City is working with partners to address this growing concern.

In addition to emphasizing the importance of collaborative strategies, attendees also discussed the power of a multi-faceted approach to ensuring safety and the perception of safety in the public realm. The Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver BID shared strategies for addressing public safety from all angles—from implementing vibrant public events to enhancing lighting throughout both pedestrian environments and alleyways.

The Center City Security Summit provided attendees a platform to convene and collaborate to create safer and more welcoming center cities across the U.S. The Downtown Denver Partnership and Downtown Denver Business Improvement District look forward to continuing to lead these annual Security Summits moving forward.