Volume 7 | February 2019
Message from the Executive Director
It is hard for me to believe, but it has been a year since I raised my right hand and Judge Spahn administered the oath to make me the Executive Director of Public Safety. I can certainly say that Mayor Hancock has given me a tremendous opportunity to serve with 4,500 of the finest public safety professionals in America.

In just 12 months, every one of you has helped the Department accomplish far too much to list in this limited space. I do, however, want to thank you for the work that has led to much success in 2018. For the coming year, we have an aggressive agenda. The two main priorities for Public Safety are the Denver Opportunity Index and the Public Integrity Division.  

The goal of the Denver Opportunity Index is to utilize data to identify issues that lead to a degradation of the quality of life for some of our city’s residents. These factors, many of which have been decades in the making, contribute to unsafe conditions across the city. We have attended many community meetings that tell us we’re on the right track. In the coming year, we are going to be taking the data and all the information we learned from the community to launch a response plan that will include all seven of our departments. We will be working in partnership with faith-based, community, neighborhood and nonprofit organizations to effect meaningful, sustainable change. It is a major undertaking and will take focus and commitment on all our parts. Each one of our safety leaders will be tasked with helping move this initiative forward. I look forward to us all working together to make a difference in the lives of the residents we serve.

The Mayor and I launched the Public Integrity Division (PID) last December. This new division of Public Safety will be a fully civilianized department responsible for investigating misconduct complaints against sworn members of the Denver Sheriff Department and high-ranking, sworn members of the Denver Police Department.The decision to launch this division was made following a thorough review of data that was part of a performance improvement review of DSD’s Internal Affairs Bureau and Conduct Review Office processes. The goal of this department is to enhance investigatory abilities, reduce the time frame of investigations and to be available to investigate any administrative complaint of mayoral appointees in Public Safety if necessary. I certainly want to thank those currently assigned to the unit. They have done a remarkable job and have helped identify the issues that need to be improved in the process. For this professionalism, we are all grateful. 

We will keep you updated as these two important initiatives move forward.

In closing, I want to thank Denver Police Officers Rich Jaramillo and Steve Gameroz who selflessly stood between a man firing his weapon and the community members we all serve. Their commitment to duty and sacrifice has been noticed by the city and our citizens are grateful. I also think it is important to recognize the DPD officers and SWAT team who responded to the scene, along with DFD. The firefighters fought a house fire while placing themselves in harm’s way of a potential shooter. And a thank you to Denver Health for providing top notch care to our officers.

May God keep all of our public safety employees safe,

Meet our newest Deputy Director of Public Safety, Mary Dulacki
We are pleased to introduce Mary Dulacki as our newest deputy director. She will be assuming the role currently held by Jess Vigil when he retires at the end of March. Mary will be responsible for reviewing investigative files, making recommendations and overseeing disciplinary proceedings and other administrative matters for the Denver Police and Denver Fire Departments. Additionally, she will prepare and present public reports on use of force and other disciplinary actions and develop, implement and maintain training programs.

Mary brings a wealth of experience to the role and has been with the Executive Director’s office since 2007. During her tenure, she established herself as the utmost expert on all things related to CORA/CCJRA, presenting extensively on the topic across the state; convened city and state agencies and stakeholders to address arrest identification issues; drafted policies for the Denver Sheriff Department in support of reform efforts; and, advised on policy matters as a member of the city’s Information Governance and XO Committees. Prior to joining the Department of Public Safety, Mary was a judge for 20 years and the Deputy District Attorney in Jefferson County.
Facts About Supervised Injection Sites
While it was just reported that Colorado lawmakers don't expect to be introducing a bill in 2019 to allow supervised injection sites also known as Safe Injection Facilities (SIF); many of you have been asking about it. Here’s some background information.

  • Until earlier this week, Denver was one of roughly a dozen U.S. cities considering establishing a Safe Injection Facility (SIF) program. City Council passed a measure last November by a 12-1 vote approving a Supervised Injection Facility Pilot Project. However, Council members acknowledged that the Colorado General Assembly would have to pass a law enabling any municipalities, including Denver, to move forward with these facilities, which are illegal under federal law.

  • A bill was supposed to be introduced into the Colorado Senate this year by Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, and Sen. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, after a similar bill was rejected last year. 

  • More than 100 of these facilities operate in Europe, Canada and Australia, where they were developed to promote safer drug-injection practices away from public spaces — and to help drug users connect with health and social services.

  • Proponents of SIFs claim that they effectively reduce harm to people who already inject drugs. Opponents say it normalizes and perhaps encourages illegal drug use.

Six DPD Officers Receive Awards for Acts of Kindness 
On January 9, the nonprofit organization, Citizens Appreciate Police, recognized six Denver Police officers who demonstrated extraordinary kindness and compassion in helping Denver community members. 

Captain Sylvia Sich
For more than 17 years, Captain Sich and her husband, Phil, have delivered boxes of wholesome snacks to the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC). The DCAC serves more than 100 children each month, many of whom do not have enough food in their homes. Captain Sich and Phil also support DCAC through fundraising efforts.

Detective Louis Estrada and Detective Bruce Gibbs
Homicide Unit Detectives Estrada and Gibbs began an investigation into an attempted suicide. When the young female victim was placed on life support, the detectives contacted the victim’s mother who lived out of state. Knowing the extreme amount of stress she was under, they picked her up at the airport and transported her to the hospital to say goodbye to her daughter. They also assisted the mother by helping with her transportation and hotel needs while in Denver. 

Office Cheryl Smith
Officer Smith responded to a call of a restraining order violation and witness intimidation stemming from a domestic violence incident. When she arrived on scene, she learned the suspect allegedly threatened to burn the victim’s house down if she testified against him. Office Smith attempted to find a safe house or shelter for the victim and her four children but was unsuccessful. After exhausting all options, she personally paid for the family of five to spend the night in a nearby hotel.

Officer Michael Torsney and Officer Adriel Torres
Officers Torsney and Torres responded to a call for assistance at Denver International Airport. They encountered a gentleman who was blind and deaf who had flown to Denver in search of some assistance. The officers spent hours with the gentleman trying to find someone who could further explain his needs. They eventually connected with a friend who was willing to help, but lives in Texas. To ensure the gentleman got the help he needed, the officers split the cost of a plane ticket to Texas to get him safely back to his friend and family members.

Police Chief Paul Pazen said it best. “Police officers carrying out their normal duties frequently encounter people experiencing challenges or crises and they often go out of their way to make a positive impact. These acts of kindness often escape the spotlight, so I thank the CAP Board for honoring our officers as I also extend my gratitude to them for their generosity.”

We echo the Chief’s comments. We’re proud to work with you.
Public Safety Youth Programs Receive State Funding to Help Runaway Youth
In a partnership with Denver Human Services and the Denver Collaborative Partnership, Public Safety Youth Programs received funding through former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Pay for Success program to assist runaway youth in Denver. 

Titled the Denver Project, the three-year pilot program will connect runaway youth with evidence-based, in-home services. These age-appropriate services will be made available to young people and their families before they enter the juvenile justice or child welfare system, thereby improving their opportunities to succeed as they grow up.  

Congratulations to PSYP’s Pat Hedrick and Cassandra Shook for their work securing this project.
Denver Sheriff Department’s K-9 Unit Visits Elementary Students
Be a tree or rock? That’s what the kindergarten and first-grade students learned at Tozer Elementary School this month from members of the Denver Sheriff Department’s K-9 Unit. 

Deputy Clark Jones and Deputy Michelle Padilla along with their K-9 partners, Koda and BOLO, explained their jobs to the students and talked with them about dog safety. One of the techniques is to be tree or rock when encountering an aggressive dog. The students also had a great time interacting with Koda and BOLO on the playground, in addition to drawing and writing thank you notes to the deputies and their four-legged partners. 

Thank you for bringing this great program to our youngest Denver residents!
DOI Partner Spotlight: Volunteers of America
The Denver Opportunity Index (DOI), a philosophical shift in public safety, requires partnerships with community groups to address the social harms facing some of our Denver residents. One such partnership is through Volunteers of America. 

VOA Division Director Brenton Hutson attended a DOI presentation last fall and, armed with the information that being homeless after leaving jail makes a former inmate more likely to end up back behind bars, decided to get involved. 

Only a few months old, the VOA program, COR3 (Colorado Rapid Rehousing for Re-Entry), connects people coming from jail or from the streets with criminal backgrounds with housing. Since gaining access to the Downtown Detention Center and the Denver County Jail, Hudson’s team has connected with eight people. Across the state, 64 individuals have been contacted. 

Read more about the VOA program on our new Denver Opportunity Index website .
Denver 9-1-1 Academy Graduation
On January 31, Denver 9-1-1 welcomed 15 new emergency communications technicians and three new police dispatchers into their ranks. Congratulations!
Office of the Independent Monitor Ordinance
Many of you have heard about the Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) ordinance that just passed City Council. The OIM’s role is to monitor investigations and citizen complaints made against the Denver Police and the Denver Sheriff Departments. The most notable changes include an expansion of the Citizen Oversight Board, which now allows for half of the board to be appointed by City Council and half to be appointed by the Mayor’s Office. It also clarifies the language in the City Charter to allow the OIM to monitor investigations into Public Safety staff appointed by the Mayor. 
Tactical Training Symposium 
Last Friday, members from Denver Police, Denver Fire and Denver Sheriff Departments participated in half-day, hands-on tactical fitness workshop at the Pepsi Center. Over 100 participants learned about tactical fitness and participated in lectures and group training sessions. Guest speakers included members of the U.S. military, LAPD, SWAT, New Brunswick FD and the CIA. 

Special thanks to DOS staff Austin Hartman and Emily Lauck, along with Amanda Schoultz from the Denver Fire Foundation, who worked hard to put this event on for our staff. 
Did You Know?
The Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) is comprised of a variety of operations, with over 1,000 uniformed and non-uniformed staff members. Although the core duties include the operations of two separate jails, there are other areas of responsibility. These operations include security for the District and County Court systems, state inmate transportation, extradition duties, Vehicle Impound Facility, Civil Process Services and security at Denver Health. The department also consists of a variety of specialty units, such as the K-9 Unit, Emergency Response Unit, Fugitive Apprehension Unit, Gang Unit and Recruitment Unit, to name a few. Overall, the DSD is an organization of extraordinary employees doing extraordinary things that take pride in providing safety and security to the community and those in custody. 
You Have Questions, We Have Answers!
I heard the Executive Director is attending roll calls. How do I invite him to our office for a visit?

Yes, he makes it a priority to connect with all members of the Public Safety team. To invite him to attend one of your roll calls or staff meetings, please send an email to PublicSafety@denvergov.org.
I have been hearing about quarterly reports. What are they?

For all seven DOS divisions, Executive Director Riggs will be holding quarterly report meetings to review budgets, Denver Opportunity Index goals and strategic planning reviews. Deputy Director Laura Wachter is heading this initiative and has already scheduled dates for upcoming meetings. Please direct any questions to your leadership teams.
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