Mayor Johnston Creates New Office of Neighborhood Safety

Published on May 13, 2024

Dr. Nicole Monroe, Dr. Ben Sanders, Mayor Mike Johnston and Denver sign language interpreter Noah Blankenship stand in front of a crowd at a press conference.

Mayor Mike Johnston today announced the establishment of the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS), a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Office of Social Equity (OSEI) & Innovation and the Department of Public Safety (DOS).  

The office will encompass current city agency resources such as Safety Youth Programs, the Office of Community Violence Solutions, The AID Center, and STAR 911 Operations. The strategic reallocation of resources, including approximately 65 full-time employees and $11 million, marks a significant shift from the Department of Public Safety to OSEI. 

“The Office of Neighborhood Safety marks a significant step forward in Denver's commitment to creating safer and more equitable neighborhoods,” said Mayor Mike Johnston. “By actively engaging with communities, the office will make a lasting impact on the safety and well-being of all Denver residents.” 

One of the key features of the ONS is the Mayor and City Council Appointed Community Advisory Board (CAB), which will play a crucial role in shaping the office's strategies and initiatives. For further details or to express interest in the Community Advisory Board, please visit The Mayor’s Office of Social Equity & Innovation (OSEI). 

“The creation of an office of neighborhood safety symbolizes the city’s recognition that creating a safer and more equitable Denver requires collaboration with all of Denver, especially communities that have been historically marginalized and underserved,” said Dr. Ben Sanders, Executive Director OSEI. “I couldn’t be more excited about the potential of this incredibly important work!” 

Unlike traditional safety departments, ONS will live within the Office of Social Equity &Innovation (OSEI) with support and resources from the Department of Public Safety. This partnership between OSEI and DOS grounds Denver's Office of Neighborhood Safety in a commitment to racial and social equity.  

"We recognize that law enforcement may not be the answer to every problem," said Armando Saldate, Executive Director, Department of Public Safety. "Through the ONS and collaboration with OSEI, we aim to address the concerns we often hear from communities and increase community involvement in safety initiatives."  

The ONS, backed by extensive conversations with community stakeholders, will work to proactively engage with communities, identify the root causes of violence and crime, and develop focused interventions that prioritize prevention and support through community collaboration. 

Over the next 8-12 weeks, ONS will focus on staff and program implementation, strategic development, and bolstering community engagement.