FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, December 1, 2005
Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Mayor's Office
Mayor Hickenlooper Unveils Multi-Pronged Approach to Improve Public Safety
Expert Analysis and Strategic Recommendations will Benefit Police Officers and Citizens
(DENVER) Mayor John Hickenlooper unveiled a multi-pronged approach to improving public safety Thursday, including (a) the retention of internationally recognized police management and crime reduction consultants to identify strategies for crime reduction and police effectiveness, (b) a concurrent systems analysis of patrol and investigative operations by the U.S. Air Force Academy, and (c) the creation of a staff position to help the Denver Police Department implement these strategies and enhance data collection and analysis.
These strategic efforts will leverage the City’s $17.4 million investment in training 465 new police recruits between 2003 and 2006 and $22 million investment in new safety-related technology enhancements.
“Since 2003, we have made significant investments in enhanced police training, equipment, staffing levels and technology,” Hickenlooper said. “Now we must ensure that these investments deliver the intended results: reduced crime and increased public safety. Challenges that could impede these results will be identified through objective expert analysis and remedied through a strategic action plan.”
Mayor Hickenlooper was joined by City Council President Rosemary Rodriguez, City Auditor Dennis Gallagher, Manager of Safety Al LaCabe and Police Chief Gerry Whitman, demonstrating that all three branches of Denver City government and the Safety Department are committed to this effort.
HANOVER JUSTICE GROUP
A New Jersey-based team from the Hanover Justice Group, led by renowned crime control strategist Dr. George Kelling, has been contracted to create an action assessment identifying the strategies and organizational support needed to reduce crime, increase citizens’ perception of safety, and ensure that police have the staffing levels and tools they need.
“Our citizens and our police officers deserve the most effective law enforcement agency possible, and we are hiring the best safety strategists in the country to ensure that Denver is on the right track,” Hickenlooper said. “Rather than simply accepting the status quo or blindly throwing more money at perceived problems, we are bringing in outside, highly credentialed experts to analyze our systems and needs and create an action plan for immediate improvements.”
The Hanover Justice Group will review current Denver Police Department activities, conducting an analysis of current crime patterns, current DPD strategies for addressing crime and their impact, and DPD’s current crime analysis capabilities. They will also review the department’s staffing levels, organizational structure, and supporting systems to assess how well they meet the Department’s crime reduction objectives. Based on the review and analysis, the Hanover Justice Group will provide observations and recommendations in the following areas:
- The nature of crime in Denver, its patterns and projections for the future
- The strategies of the Denver Police Department in addressing crime and disorder, including crime analysis capabilities
- Organizational issues in the Denver Police Department that impact crime reduction efforts; internal organizational changes to meet those requirements
- Staffing analysis of the resources required for effective crime reduction efforts; internal organizational changes to meet those requirements
- Recommended anti-crime strategies and performance measures for adoption by the Denver Police Department; implementation strategies
The Hanover Justice Group’s six-month contract begins on December 1, 2005, and ends on May 1, 2006. Understanding the importance of this endeavor for police officers and the fiscal constraints of the City’s budget, the Denver Police Foundation has generously agreed to pay for the Hanover Justice Group’s $75,000 contract and expenses. No tax dollars will be used.
In addition to Kelling, the Hanover Justice Group’s Denver team will contain Robert Wasserman and Michael Wagers – both of whom attended the press conference on Thursday.
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY
- Dr. George Kelling is one of the country’s best known crime control and police strategy theorist and a co-author of the “broken windows” theory of crime control – which contends that unchecked disorder and other signs of crime lead to fear, withdrawal from public spaces, and ultimately more crime and urban decay – one of the strategies credited with New York City’s crime reduction success. Among other projects, he is currently consulting with the Los Angeles Police Department on issues of crime reduction and disorder control strategies. Chairman of the nationally recognized Police Institute, he has consulted with police agencies around the world on crime control issues and is presently a criminal justice professor at Rutgers University.
- Robert Wasserman has previously served in a number of police executive positions, including Commissioner of the United Nations International Police Task Force in Bosnia, Director of Public Safety for the Massachusetts Port Authority, Chief of Staff of the Houston Police Department, and Operations Assistant to the Police Commissioner in Boston. Currently the staff director of the Camden (NJ) Commission of Public Safety, he has overseen implementation of reforms aimed at sustaining a reduction of over 20% in crime levels over the past year. He has previously served as Chief of Staff of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and has been a Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
- Michael Wagers, a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University’s School of Criminal Justice, is the executive director of the Police Institute at Rutgers, where he oversees problem-solving, action-oriented research and technical assistance to help police departments reduce crime. Recently appointed by Acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey to the New Jersey Gang Land Security Task Force, he also consults with the Los Angeles Police Department.
In November 2005, the United State Air Force Academy’s (USAFA) Operations Research and Systems Engineering Management senior classes began working with the Denver Police Department (DPD) to complete two studies related to patrol operations and criminal investigations of assaults. Two teams of five cadets are working under the oversight and mentorship of Major John Dulin, an associate professor at USAFA and career Air Force Officer. This work is being provided to the City and County of Denver at no cost.
- The goal of the patrol study is to better understand and improve patrol operations, to increase patrol efficiency and effectiveness, and to identify patrol service standards. The patrol study will determine factors that may be hindering optimal use of staff efficiencies and resources.
- The study of the Criminal Investigations Division will focus on assault investigations, concentrating on workload capacity and investigative processes. The goal of this process analysis is to create a matrix for prioritizing cases and identify other resources or tools that could improve investigative time.
The USAFA will work with the Hanover Justice Group to provide integrated analyses and recommendations, concluding its work in May 2006.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE MAYOR FOR PUBLIC SAFETY
Mayor Hickenlooper also announced his appointment of Jeremy Bronson as Special Assistant to the Mayor for Public Safety. Bronson will be housed in the Safety Department, where he will bring his strategic planning and policy experience to bear in helping to move the Denver Police Department to more a data-oriented approach to crime reduction, while working with the Department to coordinate the progress and eventual outcomes of the Hanover Justice Group’s analysis, the USAFA research, and an anticipated performance audit by the Auditor’s Office.
Bronson was most recently Strategic Planning Manager at Sun Microsystems in Broomfield, where he has created and implemented strategic management systems, led business and strategic planning efforts with cross-functional executive groups. He established and managed major partner relationships delivering multimillion-dollar revenues, conducting complex negotiations, and developing new business models. In addition to previously serving as Director of Business Development for Denver-based RMI Net, Inc., and Vice President/Director of Business Development for Greenbar Corporation, Bronson has spent the last 11 years as an independent consultant advising public entities and private corporations on policy issues, business strategies and operational decisions. Previously a senior legislative analyst and advisor to U.S. Senator Bob Graham, Bronson received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Brown University and his MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Bronson begins work with the City as a mayoral appointee on Thursday, December 1, 2005.
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