Empower the community with resources to adequately address socioeconomic needs and provide their own public safety.

Empower the Community with Resources

The current approaches to public safety and criminal justice by law enforcement are primarily reactive and responsive. This means that there is a failure to address the root causes of crime, violence, and a lack of public safety. The task force recommendations that fall under Strategy 1 are community-centered approaches to violence prevention and community asset-based development. Many of the issues and unmet needs that cause suffering and drive offending can be proactively addressed by adopting best practices around safe and affordable housing, affordable and accessible healthcare, treatment and education on mental health and substance abuse, and trauma-informed services.


Empower the community with resources to adequately address socioeconomic needs and provide their own public safety.

  • 1 : Create an autonomous community-led, non-law enforcement institution that will serve as a platform for public funding of community-based public safety programming.

  • 2 : Create permanent mechanisms with institutionally-stable decision-making roles for community, including disproportionately affected communities, and Department of Public Safety to collaborate in defining, understanding and producing public safety policies, procedures, rules and practices.

  • 3 : Create and fund community workshops led by people with lived experience in the criminal enforcement system that will solicit feedback on City systems that one must engage with for support.

  • 4 : Decentralize trauma-informed referral sources to enable community to help each other rather than having to call police or wait for business hours of a single entity (e.g. motel vouchers, etc.)

  • 5 : Create online trainings and an education resource bank for families and neighbors to learn how to support people with various mental health and/or behavioral health issues.

  • 6 : Broaden free and accessible community-based harm reduction strategies for mental health and substance abuse.

  • 7 : Include effective faith-based community services in the overall public safety plan.

  • 8 : Ensure funding of community-based public safety through set-asides for reconciliation, not just prospective change.

  • 9 : Increase city funding potential for qualified community-based organizations that prioritize community care by streamlining and removing cumbersome barriers to Request for Proposal and Request for Qualifications contracting/granting processes.

  • 10 : Create, expand and publicly promote crisis mediation and violence prevention and interruption through transformative justice principles and processes.

  • 11 : Prevent and eliminate homelessness through a centralized, city-run coordination system across the spectrum of housing needs that reflects real-time data about unit availability and instant ability to pinpoint tailored solutions.

  • 12 : Develop a multi-lingual comprehensive health, wellness, safety, and re-entry map of services and programs that includes eligibility criteria, agency and division contacts and application links.

  • 13 : Ensure that any initial public safety intervention with unhoused people includes a meaningful attempt to house the individual, with verification filed through the city’s coordination system.

  • 14 : Guarantee Department of Safety coordination with housing providers to support long term housing of anyone and everyone involved in the criminal enforcement system.

  • 15 : Devote substantial housing funding that targets historically marginalized people and enables them to live in any and all communities and configurations.

  • 16 : Promote and create permanently affordable housing options supplementary to Denver Housing Authority Housing units.

  • 17 : Eliminate housing barriers caused by racist zoning laws and under no circumstances allow use of law enforcement to address zoning code violation complaints.

  • 18 : Cease all city-sanctioned sweeps, cleanups, or any other variation of forced removal of homeless encampments from public property and invest all cost-savings into Safe Outdoor Spaces, trash pick up, portable toilets, case management, and other harm reduction strategies.

  • 19 : Build interagency collaboration teams between Criminal Justice, Social Work, Human Services, Education, Housing and for profit/not-for-profit business sectors to ensure measurably improved delivery of services.

  • 20 : Track race, ethnicity, color, gender, economic status, and disability status in police-initiated searches, arrests, incarceration, recidivism, and homelessness to study, share with the public, and correct dispro- portionate impacts.

  • 21 : Adopt the Task Force’s definition of “public safety” and “public health & well-being” in relevant source documents including but not limited to charter and legislation.

  • 22 : Guarantee language access in an individual’s native language, including American Sign Language, for all individuals interacting with the Department of Safety or any department or division within. Adopt procedures requiring police use of official, Americans with Disabilities Act compliant language access services when taking enforcement action.

  • 23 : Develop a grant-making division within the Department of Safety that includes community decision- making via a participatory budgeting model to re-allocate any dollars diverted from police budgets or jail bed reductions. This could mirror the Crime Prevention & Control Commission with more community representation rather than the status quo of heavy City agency representation.

  • 24 : Dedicate Community Engagement budgets in all Department of Safety entities to public awareness campaigns about alternative emergency responses (e.g., STAR, Colorado Crisis System, Suicide Prevention, etc.) and streamline emergency triaging of calls by 911 operators to appropriate first responders.

  • 25 : Provide aligned or joint trainings to community-based, City-based and state-based emergency responders and victim’s services responder teams that connect and build cross-entity capacity to minimize and/or eliminate a child’s trauma and family separation; and connect caregivers to community-based support services in child protection and immigration cases.

  • 26 : Increase the number of co-responder and STAR teams citywide based on demand and eligibility of citizen-initiated requests for service as indicated by historical 911 and crime type data.

  • 27 : Strengthen protections for immigrants from any nexus between Denver Police Department and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • 28 : Determine “authorized strength” and Department of Safety needs by annually conducting Public Safety, Health & Well-being assessment which will include an independent, statistically valid survey of community members and frontline police officers in each police precinct about community needs, community satisfaction and overall safety, health and well-being perceptions. Survey will gauge public perceptions based on newly adopted definition of public safety & well-being.

  • 29 : Decentralize and fund courts embedded in communities that are based in restorative practices, transformative justice, and conflict resolution, with community input into judicial assignments through evaluations of procedural justice.

  • 30 : Ensure sufficient investment in both inpatient and outpatient treatment and services for mental health and substance abuse disorders.

  • 31 : Remove limits to long term health, mental health and substance abuse services.

  • 32 : Expand employment opportunities for mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring clients.

  • 33 : Incubate employment programs for people with disabilities, including programs for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • 34 : Require that behavioral health and primary-care physicians, and mental health clinicians, complete trainings on serving people who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and TGI.*

  • 35 : Conduct a study that measures demographic disparities in provision of social services over the last 10 years of our City’s peak growth.

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