Street Engagement Team (SET)

The Street Engagement Team (SET) is an unarmed civilian team that conducts outreach, facilitates service connection, and offers quality-of-life resources to Denver's unhoused population. By fostering relationships and building trust, the goal of this team is to promote public safety and service connection through consistent interactions and relationship building. While this team is empowered to enforce a small number of ordinances through citation, enforcement is not this team's priority. Since the team's inception, SET has not given a citation. 

What is the SET?

The Street Engagement Team (SET) is a program housed by the Department of Public Safety. Community complaints have increased in relation to local ordinance violations. The SET program is a direct response to the community’s call for innovative action that encompasses both a trauma-informed approach and addresses concerns using well-trained civilians to facilitate service connection and conduct wellness checks.

Like the civilian enforcement models of Right of Way personnel and Park Rangers, SET has the authority to issue citations related to specific low level city ordinances. SET team members are not armed nor do they have the authority to make arrests. SET staff will engage with individuals who are violating the ordinances and in some cases, will issue a ticket if that individual refuses services and/or non-enforcement options.

How is the SET trained?

SET team members are subject to a robust four-week training that is both classroom and field-based. The training will be led by a variety of providers including the City Attorney’s Office, Housing Stability (HOST), Public Health & Environment (DDPHE), DPD Homeless Outreach Team, CROs and Co-Responders, Department of Transportation (DOTI), Harm Reduction Action Center and first responders. SET staff also participate in quarterly presentations on emerging practices in outreach and resource navigation, as well as wellness support. 

Training Curriculum

  • Legal training (multiple topics)
  • STAR emergency mental health response
  • Report writing
  • First Aid awareness and CPR certification
  • Crisis intervention training and de-escalation
  • Mental health first aid/trauma-informed care
  • Homeless sensitivity and resources
  • Early Intervention Team (EIT), Wellness Winnie and Solutions Center
  • Encampment hazards and safety
  • Harm reduction
  • Right of Way Abandoned vehicles
  • Naloxone administration
  • Park enforcement
  • Encampment complaints
  • Human trafficking awareness
  • Unconscious bias (EDI)

FAQ

Why was the SET formed?

The Street Enforcement Team (SET) was designed to address low-level ordinance violations utilizing an unarmed civilian team and allows for Denver Police resources to be re-directed to more urgent calls for service.

 

What does the SET do?

SET is an unarmed civilian team that enforces low-level city ordinances that have the potential to affect residents’ quality of life, such as trespassing, destruction of property and unauthorized camping.

What ordinances can SET enforce?

  • Destruction of private property
  • Destruction of public property
  • Damaging trees on public property
  • Trespass
  • Graffiti
  • Littering
  • Illegal dumping
  • Unauthorized camping on public or private property
  • Possession or consumption of marijuana
  • Scooter/parking ordinances
  • Obstruction of a passageway

How do I request the SET's assistance?

Assistance from the SET team can be requested by calling 311 or 720-913-2000.

What hours is the SET available?

SET uses staggered shifts to be available during daytime hours seven days per week.

Are members of the SET part of the Denver Police Department?

No. Members of the SET are not police officers, nor are they employed by the Denver Police Department. The SET pilot program is housed in the Public Safety Department. Denver Police will provide back up to SET staff, if needed.

What authority does SET have to handle violations?

SET has the authority to issue tickets for a specific set of Denver ordinances. SET team members do not have the authority to make arrests.

Will the SET be dressed in police-style uniforms?

No. Set members wear City and County of Denver polo shirts that do not resemble traditional law enforcement uniforms.