Street Engagement Team (SET)

Public Safety is implementing the Street Engagement Team (SET) a civilian based, unarmed 6-person unit that will have delegated enforcement authority to issue citations for low-level, quality of life ordinances. This program will consist of six staff members, who will be hired and trained to issue citations under a limited delegation of authority. The SET program is a pilot program, is funded through the end of 2021.

What is 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 in recent months. 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 for enforcement measures. Like the civilian enforcement models of Right of Way personnel and Park Rangers, SET staff will have the authority to issue tickets (citations) related to specific low level city ordinances.

SET team members will not be armed nor will they have authority to make arrests. SET staff will engage with individuals who are violating the ordinances and will issue a ticket if that individual refuses services and/or non-enforcement options. The SET team is a part of the Public Safety Department and will have direct access to law enforcement and STAR should the need arise. 

SET staff will receive robust training including quarterly presentations on emerging practices in outreach and resource navigation, as well as wellness support.

How will SET staff be trained?

SET team members will be subject to a robust four-week training that will be 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 will 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 

Questions about SET

Why was the SET team 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 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.

Are members of SET part of the Denver Police Department?

No. Members of the SET team 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 authority to issue tickets for a specific set of Denver ordinances. SET team members do not have the authority to make arrests.

What ordinances does 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 many staff members are a part of SET?

For 2021, there are a total of six team members, including a supervisor. . 

How much does the SET pilot program cost?

The Department of Public Safety is utilizing vacancy savings from the 2021 budget to cover SET expenditures for this fiscal year. The Department has submitted a budget request for 2022.

What is the difference between the Early Intervention Team (EIT) & SET?

EIT conducts outreach and facilitates connections to services for people experiencing homelessness. SET is primarily tasked with enforcement and has authority to issue tickets over a wide range of low level city ordinances. When SET team members interact with people experiencing homelessness, they will work in tandem with EIT and other outreach providers offering services. SET will engage in enforcement as a last resort.

Will SET team members be dressed in police-style uniforms?

No. SET members will wear City of Denver polo shirts, which do not resemble traditional law enforcement uniforms.

What training will SET staff receive?

Training includes classroom and in-person experiences in legal training, homelessness sensitivity and resources, mental health and first aid, crisis intervention, CPR, abandoned vehicle response and homeless encampment response. The training curriculum is subject to change, depending on identified needs as the pilot is evaluated.

What hours is the SET team available?

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

How do I request SET's assistance?

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