Volume 5 | October 2018
Message from the Executive Director
Next month, I celebrate my one year anniversary in Denver, working with the Department of Public Safety. As I reflect on the past 12 months, I want to express my gratitude to each and every one of you. I’ve been fortunate to work with good teams in the past, but the tremendous level of talent I get to work with on a daily basis in this department is extraordinary. 

In my tenure as Executive Director, we’ve made some great progress across all the safety agencies. We worked with the Mayor to appoint a new police chief and rolled out a new use of force policy. The Sheriff Department completed reform and has a solid plan in place to move beyond reform and into a process of continuous improvement. The Denver Fire Department was accredited by the Fire Accreditation International/Center for Public Safety Excellence and became one of the first major metropolitan cities to achieve this recognition. GRID hosted multiple community gatherings in partnership with Safe Haven, including two city-wide prayer rallies, to support community-government connectivity. Denver 9-1-1 partnered with Uber and RapidSOS to improve location services for emergency response. Community Corrections began providing pretrial services 24/7 to enhance service delivery. Public Safety Youth Programs provided support services to many young people and their families struggling with dependency and mental health considerations.  

Earlier this week, we launched the Denver Opportunity Index (DOI). A component of Mayor Hancock’s Equity Platform, the DOI is a philosophical shift in public safety service delivery focused on proactively enhancing quality of life opportunities in Denver through strategic collaboration and data analysis. Using census data to understand the challenges some residents of Denver are facing, we will work to connect Denver residents with resources before they reach a state of crisis. The development of the DOI has been in progress since I joined the department and I am excited to now be sharing our work with the community. 

Finally, the Department of Public Safety is now on Facebook. Stay informed about all things public safety and help us grow our audience by following our page and interacting with our posts!

May God bless and keep you safe.

Someone You Should Know: Amber Diagostine – Denver 9-1-1 
Amber is a dispatcher at the 9-1-1 Communications Center. She has been with Denver 9-1-1 for two years and demonstrates professionalism with every interaction. Amber believes in public service and realizes the importance of staying emotionally healthy and resilient as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, which is why she volunteered to become certified in Yoga for First Responders. She teaches classes to her colleagues twice a month and more often when a new hire academy is in session.

Amber is a friendly, engaging employee and talented dispatcher who has been recognized by her peers numerous times as Denver 9-1-1’s Employee of the Month. She understands the enormous impact her work has on the safety of our officers, residents and visitors. Amber, we’re pleased you’re a part of the public safety team!
Public Safety Cadets Keeping Busy This Fall
Our Cadet Program Manager, Austin Hartman, and the Cadets have had a busy fall!

The Cadets recently had the opportunity to spend a day with the Metro SWAT unit. After an introduction to unit operations, they participated in part of the SWAT fitness test and some hands-on training activities, including how to clear a building, K-9 operations and strategies for managing hostile situations.

On October 20th, they hosted a recruiting event to share information about this highly-competitive academic, training, fitness and leadership development program. First responders also attended to inform attendees about careers in public safety.
Director for a Day 
On Friday, September 21, we hosted our first Director for a Day program. Approximately 30 community members participated in the event and had the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the Denver Crime Lab, the Downtown Detention Center, Denver 9-1-1 and the Denver Police Academy. 

They also participated in a panel discussion over lunch with Executive Director Riggs, Deputy Chief Barb Archer, Sheriff Patrick Firman, Crime Lab Director Greg LaBerge, Denver 9-1-1 Director Athena Butler and Director of DSD Inmate Programs Carrie Stanley. 

A special shout out to Elexes Storie, Michael Sapp and Leslie Monigan for planning the event and ensuring the day went smoothly! 
DSD Enrolls Inmates to Vote

The Confined Voter Pilot Project is a partnership between the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD), Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition and the Denver Election Division to educate those in Denver jails about their right to vote.

Teams all three organizations have been visiting those in DSD’s care and educating them about Colorado voter laws and their right to vote. If they are eligible, they are registered right then and there. Great work by the DSD staff to ensure every vote counts in November’s election!
GRID Partners with Safe Haven to Host Second City-Wide Prayer 

Denver’s Safe Haven network of faith-based partners held their second inter-faith prayer rally at City Park in September. The city-wide prayer was in response to the growing violence around our city.

Over 300 community members came together to pray for the families of victims, affected children, first responders and elderly residents—and most importantly, for community unity to conquer gang violence
Sheriff Department Graduation

On October 5, the Denver Sheriff Department welcomed 27 new deputies to the department. The new deputy sheriffs completed a 16-week academy and now join a public safety team comprised of dedicated public servants who play a vital role in maintaining the safety and security of the individuals in DSD"s care and detention facilities. Welcome to our new deputy sheriffs!
Denver 9-1-1 Graduation

On October 12, Denver 9-1-1 welcomed 18 new employees who graduated from a rigorous 23-week training program. Denver 9-1-1 gained 12 new emergency communications technicians, five new dispatch support specialists and one new police dispatcher. Welcome to the public safety family!
Safety Agencies Host CareerX Event with Denver Public Schools
CareerX Industry Exploration Program is an event hosted by Denver Public Schools for ninth graders to give them exposure to a wide variety of careers. It’s a half day event geared towards bringing excitement, context and understanding about different industries.

At the October event, over 40 young adults learned about career pathways, interacted with first responders, and got a chance to see how public safety equipment, vehicles and service dogs are used to protect people and save lives in our community. Before the event ended, students got the opportunity to ask questions about starting salary, training and education requirements, work-life balance and why careers in public safety are important.
DECC is Underway!  
This year marks the 30 th anniversary of the Denver Employees Charitable Campaign (DECC)—a special program just for city of Denver employees. Through the DECC’s cost-efficient, employee-focused model, employees’ donations deliver meaningful service to those most in need as a year-round source of funding for nonprofits. The 2018 campaign runs from September 4 to December 31 and the DECC is offering anyone who pledges the chance to win some impressive prizes. As an added bonus, Executive Director Riggs has offered to treat the safety agency with the highest participation to a pizza party! Learn how to pledge at www.denvergov.org/decc .
Open Enrollment – Now through October 31, 2018
If you want to elect new employee benefits or make changes to existing benefits, now’s your chance! Any changes made during open enrollment will be effective January 1, 2019. Visit the OHR Benefits webpage for more information on your options and log in to Workday to make changes. If you do not have access to Workday or need assistance, contact Safety HR Office at 720-913-6741 for assistance. 
You Have Questions, We Have Answers
How do we release video information to the media?

A timely question! Executive Director Riggs and District Attorney Beth McCann are both proponents of accountability and transparency in government and they collaborated on a shared protocol for the release of evidentiary video. Mary Dulacki, Public Safety's Records Administrator created the new Department of Public Safety video release policy which was shared during our media availability on October 10, 2018. To summarize, video will be released following a case-by-case analysis that weighs the need to maintain the integrity of ongoing investigations, confidential information and the privacy interests of involved parties against the public purpose to be served by the release of the video.

To submit a question to be answered in a future newsletter, please email publicsafety@denvergov.org
Wellness Corner: Low Back Pain
It doesn’t matter if you twisted awkwardly, sat in the car too long, wear a duty belt or have degenerative arthritis, low back pain can be debilitating and hard to shake.

While most back pain is not life threatening, it is important to seek medical attention if you experience numbness, tingling or sudden weakness in the extremities. For mild back pain, here are some things to try at home.

  • Ice It: 20 minutes of ice (a couple of times a day) for acute back pain during the first 24-48 hours.
  • Move It: Keep up with your daily routine and try to keep that back moving! Avoid overexertion and heavy lifting but keep up with your household chores, work and walking.
  • Strengthen It: When your back pain has cleared/reduced, be sure to keep up with a regular strength program for your core. Having strong hips, legs and back will help you to maintain proper posture and alignment.
  • Stretch It: Regular stretching of the legs and back will assist in reducing stiffness and mobility loss throughout your day. Many individuals find relief from back pain with regular yoga routines.

If you continue to have pain or are seeing a plateau in your progress, consider calling on the DOS Physical Therapy Department for an evaluation. Physical therapists can assist with restoring mobility and reducing low back pain using a variety of therapies.

Denver Police Department PT: Sarah Greytak, PT, DPT and Daniel Jonte PT, DPT (720)913-1376

Denver Sheriff Department PT: Amy Camargo, PT, MSPT and Sarah Greytak, PT, DPT (720) 865-3963

Denver Fire Department PT: Kristy Yarbrough PT, DPT and Casey Stoneberger PT, DPT (720) 865- 4097
Our Safety Newsletter will be distributed bi-monthly. If you have something you’d like to include in a future issue, please send an email to PublicSafety@denvergov.org .  

Department of Public Safety | City and County of Denver | O: 720.913.7458 | F: 720.913.7028 | PublicSafety@denvergov.org | www.denvergov.org/safety