Volume 2 | Apr-May 2018
Message from the Executive Director
Welcome to the second edition of our Department’s Newsletter. Please feel free to send this to your family and friends. It is a great way to introduce those around us to the important work of public safety.

A lot has happened since our last edition. So, I thought I would break this month’s letter into sections:
National Telecommunicators Week  

In April we stopped by the Combined Communications Center to share our appreciation for our colleagues at Denver 911. They are the glue that binds the many moving parts of Denver’s emergency response system together and they do a tremendous job of managing difficult situations daily. 

I was able to visit with officers and employees during my first exposure to 4/20. The police department and other government agencies did a great job providing a safe environment and I have received tremendous feedback from all involved.
Chief White Retirement

Chief White announced his retirement after nearly seven years of filling the post. His outstanding service and commitment to Denver can’t be overstated. He has served as a law enforcement professional for over 40 years and many national law enforcement leaders from across the nation have shared their thoughts and admiration.
Chief of Police Opening

Mayor Hancock launched an internal search for our next Police Chief. We have a tremendous amount of talent within the department and those who have worn or continue to wear a DPD uniform were encouraged to apply by May 27. PERF will review applicant packets and advance those who meet the necessary technical qualifications of the position to a committee appointed by the mayor. The committee will evaluate the interpersonal strengths of applicants based on community feedback, interview officers identified as strong candidates, and advance recommendations to the mayor for appointment consideration .
Director for a Day

Last month the EDOS Team participated in the city’s first Director for a Day – a new program that allows participants an up close and personal view of public safety work. I thought it was important for those working in the office to see our first responders in action. It also let us gain information on how to organize future events for individuals and groups. The goal of this program is to introduce community members to the issues confronting public safety, the capabilities of the various departments, and the men and women (4400 strong) who keep Denver safe. 
Public Safety Spotlight

To complement the Director for a Day program, I will hold periodic Public Safety Spotlights where I will visit various agencies, units and divisions under the Department of Public Safety umbrella to highlight your work and answer any questions you may have. The first Spotlight will take place this Thursday, May 31 . Follow me on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram to see real time posts as I shine a light on some of the great work taking place in the police department.
National Police Week

This month we paid special homage to our fallen officers and their families. I was touched by the comradery our police and sheriff departments, community members, and city leaders demonstrated as we honored the selfless and brave actions of those who paid the ultimate price in service to others. Let us never forget. 
Community Engagement 

Denver is a robust city with many engaged community organizations and residents. I’ve enjoyed visiting with our faith-based and nonprofit partners, community and business organizations, employee groups and unions, and internal and external public safety stakeholders during my three months with the Department. Together we will do great things to support our residents’ quality of life. 
In closing, it has been an honor to meet so many public safety professionals within our Department.  I remain impressed by the caliber of your work and look forward to our continued engagement as we work to provide an exemplary level of public safety served to the public. If you would like to invite me to events, roll calls, or gatherings please reach out to Elexes in my office.
May God Bless and keep you and our community safe,

Denver Celebrates National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week 

Emergency telecommunications personnel play a crucial role in supporting the safety and well-being of the public. Each April, their efforts are highlighted during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week . This year, Denver 911 recognized 10 employees (pictured above) from the Combined Communications Center for their extraordinary work:

Administrative/Training/Technology Person of the Year:
Chris Beard, TS

Committee Participant of the Year:
Amber Diagostine, 9-1-1

Communications Training Officer of the Year:
John Shryock, 9-1-1

EMS Dispatcher of the Year:
Matthew Lewis, DHMC

EMS Supervisor of the Year:
Danielle McKelvy, DHMC

Fire Dispatcher of the Year:
Toby Trujillo, DFD

Fire Supervisor of the Year:
Deb Peterson, DFD

Emergency Communication Supervisor of the Year:
Natalie Martinez, 9-1-1

Police Dispatcher of the Year:
Cliff Tanega, 9-1-1

Emergency Communications Technician of the Year:
Monica Lucero, 9-1-1
Congratulations to each of you and thank you for your diligence in keeping Denver safe! 
To demonstrate its appreciation, the Executive Director of Safety’s Office took a field trip to the Combined Communications Center to personally thank staff for their service.
National Police Week
Honoring Our Fallen Heroes
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week (NPW). NPW pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. In Denver, both the Sheriff and Police Departments paid homage to the troops that have made the ultimate sacrifice in poignant Memorial Ceremonies on May 15 and May 17, respectively. 
Denver Sheriff Department Memorial Ceremony held May 15, 2018. Photo by Joe Amon, The Denver Post.
Denver Police Memorial Ceremony held May 17, 2018.
National Officer Appreciation Week
This year the Denver Sheriff Department celebrated National Officer Appreciation Week with food, fun and giveaways. Events were held for employees at both the Downtown Detention Center and the Denver County Jail. It was a great opportunity for the officers to see how much they are appreciated for the hard work they do for our community. A special thanks to the many great local businesses that showed their appreciation by donating giveaways and food to both events!
Introducing the First People’s Patrol Car
This March, The Denver Police Department, along with representatives from Ink Monstr Graphic Design and Print, revealed the first “People’s Patrol Car” in the Sun Valley neighborhood. The car is a product of a collaborative effort between DPD, Ink Monstr, and the youth of the Sun Valley neighborhood, and is the first DPD car designed by the community. 
Cadet Program Leaders
On March 20th, 2018, Mayor Michael B. Hancock invited Denver Public Safety Cadets to a luncheon where they discussed various leadership topics and were recognized for their achievements in the Cadet Program. Cadets often work secondary jobs while participating in the program and attending college full time. We are extremely proud of their hard work and dedication and congratulate the following Cadets on their achievements.

  • Cadet of the Semester, Fall 2017 - Cadet Fernando Cervantes  
  • Community Service Award - Cadet Karla Macias  
  • Physical Fitness Award - Cadet Leader Jesse Martin and Cadet Kayla Stotz 

Keep up the great work!
Yoga for First Responders
The Department of Public Safety cares about the well-being of its employees and held a Yoga for First Responders (YFFR) training last July where 20 employees were certified to teach practices to staff across the Department that treat the stress and trauma public safety personnel encounter on the job. This year, the sheriff department is working to implement the YFFR protocol into its recruit curriculum. On April 13 Olivia Kvitne, creator of YFFR, conducted a training session with DSD Recruitment Class 2018-1, reinforcing how yoga and controlled breathing contribute to emotional wellness and mental-resiliency. 

 Badges the Bunny

The young patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado were all smiles the week of Easter, when Badges the Bunny and Denver Sheriff Deputies visited them to hand out Easter Bunnies. The sheriff department has partnered with the Easter Bunny Foundation for years to participate in this rewarding annual event.

Colorado Rapids Public Safety Night

On Saturday, May 12 Denver Police PPA and IAFF Local 5124 co-hosted the Colorado Rapids Public Safety Night. The Department of Public Safety supported the event and troops from Police and Fire played in a “Guns & Hoses” match directly following the Colorado Rapids’ match against the New York Red Bulls. Thank you to everyone that helped make the event a success!
Denver Hosts 24th Annual Safe City Youth Summit
The Department of Public Safety’s Youth Leadership Team hosted Denver’s 24th Annual Safe City Youth Summit on April 13. The Youth Summit, which was planned and coordinated by the Public Safety Youth Leadership Team (PSYLT), is a free, fun-filled event where youth 13 – 18 years of age can attend interactive workshops on the latest youth topics identified by the PSYLT and its partners. The theme of this year’s Summit was “Life…….You Get Out What You Put In!” Participants wishing to compete for available scholarships was asked to submit an essay, poem, artwork, or music piece that illustrated what the selected theme means to them. Great job PSYLT! Your hard work and dedication continue to help Denver youth engage in positive relationships with their peers, adults and the community as a whole.
Denver 911 Partners with Rapid SOS and Uber
Denver 911 call-takers frequently receive incomplete or inaccurate location descriptions from callers who are in distress, unable to verbally communicate, or unfamiliar with their location. This can be frustrating for wireless callers who assume emergency responders use technology like GPS to immediately locate them based on their cell location. To date, public safety answering points (PSAPs) have had to rely on network-based location information to locate wireless callers. To tackle this challenge, Denver 911 is working with Rapid SOS to get more location information through direct data links from connected devices. Denver is the first city in the nation to partner with Rapid SOS and Uber in a 911 location-sharing pilot. "We are excited to be one of the initial cities to utilize this technology from RapidSOS and Uber," said Athena Butler, Executive Director Denver 911. "We know how important accurate location is for 911 calls, especially for calls placed from moving vehicles where the location is constantly changing. This partnership will help keep our citizens safe and truly has the potential to save lives."
Bond Update

Safety received $77 million in the GO Bond approved by the voters in November, 2017. Approved projects include:

  • New District 5 Police Station;
  • New District 6 Police Station;
  • County Jail sprinklers;
  • Fire station renovations; and
  • General maintenance to Safety facilities 

On May 1, 2018, the City announced its first proposed project list and debt issuance to provide the foundation for the next several years of project delivery. Department of Safety projects encompassed in this round of projects are design work for the District 5 Police station; the County Jail sprinklers; and certain Fire Station design improvements. The next debt issuance will be in 2019 with additional projects entering the design or construction phase. Although the District 6 Police Station is not included in the first debt issuance, a Programming Study is underway, using separate funds, in preparation for future design and construction.
Farewell, Division Chief Heiss!
Congratulations to Safety & Training Division Chief Scott Heiss on his retirement after more than 27 years of service with the Denver Fire Department and Department of Public Safety. We wish you the very best!
Safety Honor Roll
Emerging Leaders Program Participants Selected
Congratulations to four future super stars selected to participate in Safety’s Cohort for the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program (pictured left to right)!

  • Nicole Monroe, GRID 
  • Jessica Tresch, Denver 911 
  • Matthew Lunn, Denver Police Department
  • Eliel Villalobos, Denver Sheriff Department

The Emerging Leaders Program (“ELP”) is a 10 session, 80-hour program designed to prepare a pool of diverse leaders who aspire to move into supervisory roles within a few years of their participation. ELP provides a comprehensive approach to support each participant’s personal and professional development by incorporating classroom instruction, simulated application, career development and networking opportunities with city leaders. The program kicked off on April 11th.  
Ten Denver Police Officers Receive Citizens Appreciate Police Award for Acts of Kindness
On April 11, 2018, the nonprofit organization Citizens Appreciate Police (CAP) recognized 10 Denver Police officers for going beyond the call of duty to help members of our community.

Officers Alicia Martinez and Monique Sedberry were honored for providing support and encouragement to a visually impaired teenager who was being bullied at school and had suicidal thoughts. The officers continue to visit the teenager at home on a regular basis and have provided needed school supplies to him and his siblings.

Lizuly Torres was diagnosed with cancer and passed away weeks before the Christmas holiday last year, leaving behind a husband and two small children, ages 7 and 1. Sergeant Timothy Hyatt and Officers Alexis Aranda, Fernando Benavides, Rueban Garduño, Joseph Heckenkamp, Kyle McNabb, Christopher Parton and Christopher Valderrama banded together and contributed their personal money to buy Christmas gifts for Lizuly’s family and a meal large enough for 10 people.

These officers embody the spirit of public service and positive police-community relations that define Denver’s police department. We share CAP’s recognition and appreciation of their efforts to make a difference in the lives of our community members!  
Denver Fire Department Achieves ISO Class-1 Rating
The Insurance Service Office (ISO) has awarded the Denver Department a Class-1 rating, the highest status available. The ranking of ISO Class-1 represents superior fire protection and is awarded after evaluating an agency’s fire protection capabilities. The formal ISO 1 designation change becomes official on August 1, 2018, and Denver residents and business owners will likely see a reduction in their insurance rates as a result. DFD continues to set the bar for fire departments across the country!
Wellness Corner
Do you know the 5 signs?
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
-Ian Maclaren

We all struggle with daily stresses, but it is important for us to be able to recognize when we or someone else is in emotional pain and needs help. America is at a crossroads when it comes to how our society addresses mental health. We know that one in five of our citizens has a diagnosable mental health condition, and that more Americans are expected to die this year by suicide than in car accidents. While many of us are comfortable acknowledging publicly our physical suffering, for which we almost always seek help, many more of us privately experience mental suffering, for which we almost never reach out. The Campaign to Change Direction has been launched to change the culture of mental health in America so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. Become familiar with the Healthy Habits of Emotional Wellbeing and Know the Five Signs so you can recognize if someone in your life needs help. Most importantly, remember that our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being.
Don't let a friend, loved one, or yourself suffer in silence. Receive free and immediate help by texting SIGNS to 741-741.

Please visit http://www.changedirection.org/ to learn more. 
Department of Public Safety | City and County of Denver | O: 720.913.7458 | F: 720.913.7028 | PublicSafety@denvergov.org | www.denvergov.org/safety