By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – For seven months, a community task force in Denver has been gathering recommendations to present to the mayor and city council to re-imagine a new approach to policing and public safety. On Monday, they gathered at the spot where they knew their message could not be ignored – the seat of city government, on the steps of the City and County building.

(credit: CBS)

Pastor Robert Davis, a leader of the group told those gathered, “How do we come up with some solutions to these problems that have been plaguing us for too many years?”

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Since the death of George Floyd and social unrest that followed the task force of community leaders and others has been at work. They put together 112 recommendations for policing, the courts, jails and social services.

“It’s a way for policing to change in the city so that police in Denver approach citizens in our community in a healthier and safer way,” Xochitl Gaytan, a task force member told CBS4.

(credit: CBS)

The recommendations fall within multiple strategies:

  • Providing for their own public safety
  • Minimizing Unnecessary law enforcement interaction
  • Support reentry of those who have been incarcerated
  • Expanding Community Oversight

They were here the same day Mayor Michael Hancock outlined his strategy for public safety recovery.

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“Here is my message to Denver we will continue to work against racism and crime and for crime prevention and reform always,” Hancock said.

He said city departments would team up focusing on five high violent crime areas:

  • Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue
  • Colfax Avenue and Broadway
  • Colfax Avenue and Yosemite Street
  • MLK Boulevard and Holly Street
  • 47th Avenue and Peoria Street

There will be more on street visibility of police according to Chief Paul Pazen.

“Getting officers out of police cars, we can connect with people preventing crime from occurring in the first place,” he said.

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Hancock indicated he will look at the recommendations which are also being presented by the task force to the city council.

Rick Sallinger