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COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD

The Denver Police Department values its partnership with the community and recognizes that having public engagement creates a successful law enforcement agency.  Continuing with the Department’s mission to collaborate with the community to make Denver a better and safer place for all its members, the Denver Police Department has initiated a Chief’s Community Advisory Board.  Selected members of the Chief’s Community Advisory Board will advise the Chief of Police on issues, matters, and public policies which influence or impact the ongoing relationship between the Denver Police Department, and the community we serve.

To carry out its duty and responsibility, the Chief’s Community Advisory Board will at a minimum:

  • Demonstrate an ongoing and credible participation and communication within Denver's communities.
  • Engage in two-way communication with their community constituency, advocating for their perspective, ideas, and concerns; serving as a responsible conduit for communicating, and updating their community on police actions and decisions.
  • Promote and engage in ongoing community engagement.
  • Assume an active role in police community discussions, recommendations, and strategy to enhance the social, economic, and political interests of the community.
  • Build coalitions intended to strengthen the ongoing relationships between the police and the community.
  • Function in the role of part think tank and part action group; making recommendations to the Chief about relevant issues in the community.
Current Board Members

Alejandra Acevedo, Esq. is currently an Associate at the Law Offices of Arturo Jimenez, P.C., where she practices immigration law, representing unaccompanied children, families, and victims of crime.  Prior to this position, she was an Equal Justice Work Justice Fellow at the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN), representing unaccompanied children in removal proceedings.  Before joining RMIAN, she was a Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Specialist for the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC).  In this position, she responded to human trafficking related training and technical assistance needs of the OVC grantees, victim service providers, law enforcement, and other affiliated professionals.  Prior to joining OVC TTAC, Alejandra was the Policy and Publications Specialist for the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Reports and Political Affairs section, where she managed the publication of the Trafficking in Persons Report and conducted extensive research on human trafficking issues in countries around the world and relevant governments’ effort to confront it.  Previously, she served as a law clerk for the National District Attorneys Association, National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, researching and synthesizing case law, and state and federal statutes on child abuse. In this role, she also served as a subject matter expert on domestic child trafficking.  During law school, Alejandra was a legal intern and Board Member for Save the Young Organization (SAYO), where she administered seminars on human rights, domestic violence, and child trafficking to neighboring communities of rural Kumbo, Cameroon. She also interned at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, where she argued motions to suppress, conducted trials and preliminary hearings in both municipal court and juvenile court, and the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she conducted traffic trials and criminal preliminary hearings in District Court.  Prior to law school, she was an elementary school Exceptional Student Education Teacher (Self-Contained).  Alejandra holds a bachelor's of arts degree in political science, certificate in international relations, and minor in mass communications from the University of Florida, and a juris doctorate from the Washington College of Law, American University.  She is barred in Maryland. 

Farduus AhmedFarduus Yusuf Ahmed is a resident of Denver, Colorado.  Farduus has more than ten years of experience working with refugees and immigrant communities.  She is community Navigator and office manager at Colorado African Organization (CAO) that exists to support Colorado's refugees, immigrant, and asylum-seeking populations for self-sufficient and local integration in their new Colorado home.  Farduus is an experienced community leader who empowers refugee families to understand and navigate the US school system, fosters the self-sufficiency, and integration of refugee communities.  She provides interpretative and interventional support for refugees navigating day-to-day tasks here in the US.

She presents and discusses new information with communities through home-based meetings, workshops, and lectures.  She is a professional certified interpreter who speaks different languages and provides services for courtrooms, hospitals, conferences, schools, and social services areas.

She has received the Immigrant Liberty Award (2017) for outstanding service to the immigrant community and for illuminating justice for all.

Farduus holds a bachelor's degree of science in business administration and human resource management from Cavendish University in Uganda.  In addition, she holds a certificate of medical interpreting from Colorado Language Connection and a certificate of natural helpers from the City of Aurora.

Her interests include serving refugees, immigrants, and human rights in a global setting.  She loves being active and believes in a healthy lifestyle.  She engages elderly refugees and communities toward activites that target a healthy lifestyle.

Kevin is a Senior Legislative Auditor at the Colorado Office of the State Auditor, where he conducts research on state tax credits, deductions, and other tax expenditures.  He serves on WorldDenver's Young Professionals Board.  In addition, Kevin has organized numerous bipartisan and interfaith meetups - particularly those involving Denver's Muslim community.  Kevin is a frequent blogger for the University of North Carolina's Community Engagement Learning Exchange, as well as a variety of political risk publications.  He obtained his undergraduate degrees at UC Berkeley, and his master's at the London School of Economics.

Anita BanuelosAnita Banuelos is a native of Denver, Colorado and currently lives in southwest Denver in the same neighborhood she grew up in.  Anita has worked for some of the largest organizations in Denver from law and medical to educational fields.  Anita currently works for Denver City Council; she is responsible for constituent services and community outreach.  Her bi-cultural background and focus on community collaboration has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles.  Since 2007, she has volunteered her time with Denver Public Schools on various community committees, Denver Kids, Inc. on their Young Professional Council, and Stand for Children as a southwest Denver community leader.  She graduated from Denver Public Schools and Denver Kids, Inc.  She received her bachelor's of science in health care management from Metropolitan State University of Denver. 

Zee FerrufinoA distinguished leader within the Denver business and Hispanic communities and an accomplished businessman, Zee Ferrufino embodies the spirit of the “American Dream.” A native Bolivian, he first came to the United States more than thirty years ago, thanks to a scholarship awarded by the United States Air Force. Determined to achieve greater freedom and opportunity, Mr. Ferrufino decided to immigrate to the U.S., returning to Denver, Colorado, which reminded him closely of his hometown of La Paz. In 1976, he proudly became a United States Citizen.

Throughout his distinguished career as an entrepreneur, Zee Ferrufino has played a leading role within the community. He owned his first business, Denver Fine Furniture, for more than 25 years. During that time Mr. Ferrufino continued to add additional businesses interests such as Denver Music Distributing and Colorado Latin Promotions to his portfolio. As owner and CEO of KBNO Spanish Radio 1280-AM, 97.7-FM in Denver, he is able to reach out to more than 500,000 Hispanics in the greater Metro Denver area. He also owns 1490-AM, 92.1-FM in Colorado Springs and 1480-AM, 107.5-FM in Pueblo.

For the past thirty-eight years, Zee Ferrufino’s strong commitment to community involvement has driven him to make a difference and promote goodwill. Whether through political activities, business enterprises or other community outreach, he has put aside many personal ambitions to work on behalf of Hispanics. In addition to offering a variety of programming aimed at those in need, the radio station has become a lifeline and one of the most trusted resources for the Hispanic community. Listeners call his station for advice and guidance on a multitude of issues, from something as simple as an address or phone number to the name of a doctor or for financial advice.

In continued support of the Hispanic Community, Zee Ferrufino co-founded the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce which has advanced the growth of Hispanic businesses over the past thirty years and won local, regional and national recognition for its achievements, innovations and leadership. Today the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has a portfolio that exceeds 2,500 members.

In addition to maintaining close ties to his native Bolivia, he has worked closely with the Mexican Consulate to assist the Mexican community and forge better relations between Colorado and Mexico. He has also formed alliances with “Iglesia San Cayetano,” a Catholic church in Denver and Centro San Juan Diego to promote education among Hispanic youth.

When his 10-year-old son, Robby, lost his fight to cancer, Mr. Ferrufino turned one of his most challenging personal experiences into a benefit to the community. Gathering his family together, he embarked on his most significant project, the formation of the non-profit organization, Robby’s Friends, which helps children with cancer. Over the years the organization has grown due to the implementation of signature events such as the “Robby Ferrufino Memorial Golf Tournament” and the annual “Halloween Bash,” which raise the much needed funds to assist hundreds of children throughout Colorado. The organization is staffed completely by volunteers, including the board of directors.

In 1990, Zee Ferrufino’s tireless efforts to bring Major League Baseball to Denver were realized when MLB selected Denver as one of the newest venues for America’s favorite pastime. His contributions were crucial in organizing the special election to approve the tax increase and promote the benefits of Major League Baseball to the Denver community. In addition, Mr. Ferrufino played an important role in the creation of the ownership. He is the only Hispanic to be appointed as “Baseball Commissioner” in recognition for his leadership and community involvement.

Over the past ten years, Zee Ferrufino has been a strong supporter of the Democratic Party as well as fundraiser for numerous candidates. This past election year, he worked tirelessly in support of several candidates. Utilizing his leadership within the Denver community, Mr. Ferrufino organized fundraisers for Senator Bennet, Secretary Salazar, and Representatives Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter. He also helped to recruit new voters from the Hispanic community by promoting the November 2016 elections through his six radio stations.

Zee Ferrufino has served on numerous boards and commissions such as the North Denver Coalition for Better Schools, Stapleton Redevelopment Foundation, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, American Hispanic Owner of Radio Association, Colorado Hispanic Media Association, Independent Spanish Broadcasters Association, Denver Health, Denver Zoological Foundation, Colorado State Fair Authority, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Small Business Administration National Advisory Board and the American Red Cross.

Al Gardner is the Vice President of Information Technology for Denver based Inspirato.  He has held leadership roles in the IT industry for more than two decades and is a thought leader speaking regularly on issues related to technology and resource management.

Mr. Gardner serves his community as a member of the Denver African American Commission, Omega Leadership Academy Co-Chair (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity), Denver Public Schools Equity Task Force Discipline Committee Co-Chair, Sun Valley Youth Center board member, and Denver Christian Bible Church Men's Ministry.  Al has a passion for education and is active with organizations that place emphasis on careers in STEM related fields.  Mr. Gardner holds a master's in business administration and bachelor's in business administration.  His greatest joy is spending time with his family, friends, and mentees.

Diana HigueraDiana Higuera is the Executive Director and founder of the Rocky Mountain Welcome Center, a non-for-profit-organization working with immigrants and refugees in their journeys towards integration, where she oversees all aspects of the development of the center as a shared space and as a service provider.

In 2015, Ms. Higuera was appointed to the Denver Immigrant and Refugee Commission by Mayor Michael Hancock where she serves as co-chair of the commission.  She previously served in the Board of Denver Coalition for Integration.

Diana was born in Venezuela and emigrated to the United States in 2005.  She received her master's in international and intercultural communication from the University of Denver and holds a bachelor's in mass communication and a bachelor's of science in business administration from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracas.  She is a member of the 2012 class of Leadership Denver.


Aubrey LavizzoDr. Aubrey Lavizzo is a retired Denver small-animal veterinarian and a graduate of the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama.  In 2011, he was selected as the Colorado Veterinarian of the Year by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association for his mentorship of veterinarians and veterinary students in relational skills.

Aubrey works collaboratively with the La Alma Lincoln Park community and the officers of the DPD District 1 to promote public safety.  He has also supported educational and recreational opportunities for students in the community's Greenlee Elementary School.  In 2016, he was one of three recipients of a Community Safety Award presented by DPD District 1.

In 2017, Dr. Lavizzo was invited to serve as one of three community representatives on the Denver Department of Excise and License's Social Consumption Advisory Committee.  In the same year, he was nominated by the Dean of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Mark Stetter, to serve as the only community member on the CSUCVMBS Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Aubrey is a co-founder of the annual Armed Forces Day event, the Ainsley Price Day of Service for Veterans', in collaboration with the Volunteers of America Veteran Services Center.  He is the father of four sons who live in Denver and Aurora, and his two granddaughters Laila and Averie are the light of his life.  Aubrey and his wife Gayle Brooks Quick live in the Congress Park neighborhood.

Michael Song is a Chief Deputy District Attorney for the City and County of Denver.  Prior to joining the office, Michael served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

Michael also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Hawaii and Washington D.C. Michael served as a law clerk to The Honorable Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court in the D.C. Circuit.

Michael graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and also has a master's degree in public affairs and business administration.  Michael also served active duty in the United States Army as a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

 

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Police Administration Building
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Denver, CO 80204
Information Desk: (720) 913-6010
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For more information about the Denver Police Community Advisory Board, please contact Lt. Hans Levens at Hans.Levens@denvergov.org