Mayor Hancock Launches 2022 Action Plan to Address Rising Crime and Improve Public Safety

February 3, 2022

The Downtown Denver Partnership and Downtown Denver Business Improvement District are committed to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all who live, work, and play in Downtown Denver. We work closely with the public and private sectors to support a comprehensive and holistic approach to safety and security efforts downtown, and we look forward to working with Mayor Hancock and the City of Denver to implement the 2022 Action Plan to address crime and improve public safety.

DENVER –  With increased crime rates a growing concern in Denver and across the country, Mayor Michael B. Hancock today released an enhanced action plan to improve public safety throughout the city.

“Everyone in Denver deserves to live in safety, and anyone who threatens that sense of security is harming not just the people they most directly affect – but our entire city,” Mayor Hancock said. “Addressing these challenges requires a coordinated approach that includes local, state and federal action, as well as thoughtful collaboration among law enforcement, addiction and treatment providers, and the community at large.”

The comprehensive 2022 action plan outlined today by Mayor Hancock, interim Safety Director Armando Saldate, Police Chief Paul Pazen and other administration officials includes:

Preventing Crime and Improving Policing

  • Adding three new place-based, precision policing “Hot Spots” to the five established in 2021
  • Deploying DPD Community Outreach Teams in high-crime areas
  • Focusing enforcement efforts in the downtown core, including the 16th Street Mall and Denver Union Station
  • Granting sheriff deputies the authority to file criminal charges, allowing police officers to spend more time on the street addressing and preventing crime
  • Deploying two Street Enforcement Teams to address lower level crimes and freeing up police officers for more crime-prevention work
  • Utilizing federal recovery dollars for police overtime, security grants for businesses, demolition of abandoned buildings, improved street lighting and community outreach
  • Improving customer service and communication with the public
  • Strengthening youth-violence prevention programming with Aurora

Addressing the Proliferation of Illegal Guns

  • Focusing on removing illegal firearms and “ghost” guns from our streets, in partnership with regional, state and federal authorities
  • Implementing a conceal-carry ban in city-owned facilities

Behavioral Health & Alternatives to Police Response

  • Establishing an Assessment Intake Diversion (AID) Center that will operate 24/7/365 to connect those in need of mental health and drug-addiction services with resources
  • Expanding STAR and co-responder programs to cover more areas of the city
  • Expanding partnerships to provide intensive mandatory mental health treatment for qualifying criminal offenders in jail
  • Adding a second Wellness Winnie to enhance community outreach
  • Improving supports and transition services from city jails and the Solution Center so that inmates and clients don’t return to the streets

Police Recruitment & Retention

  • Recruiting 144 new cadets to join the Denver Police Department, plus 40 lateral officers, budgeted for nearly $10 million
  • Hiring a civilian academic director to bolster DPD training and educational opportunities for law officers
  • Opening a professional policing and leadership center in partnership with a local university that can be a resource for enhanced training across the region
  • Increasing recruitment of women officers to 30 percent by 2030, known as the 30×30 initiative

State Partnerships

  • Monitoring multiple legislative bills, including those relating to personal recognizance bonds, fentanyl distribution and possession, catalytic converter theft, and mandatory mental-health treatment

Under the Hancock Administration, Denver’s public safety agencies have established a national reputation for reform, better training for law enforcement, improved community engagement and innovation.

Denver has led on use-of-force training and policies, body-worn cameras, de-escalation training, co-responders, STAR, Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement training, and community-based policing. These efforts have improved police-community collaboration and established alternative response models that free up officers to address crimes while connecting people who need them with services and support. The Mayor’s 2022 action plan builds on these efforts.