Chief Paul Pazen Wants To Target ‘Fear Of Crime’ Through Neighborhood Policing

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Photo: Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen (HV)
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen at the CPR studios on Tuesday July 17, 2018.

Paul Pazen was sworn in as Denver Police Chief last week. He succeeds Robert White, who was involved in a number of skirmishes , both within in the department and the community during his tenure.

So far, Pazen is winning over critics, including police union president Nick Rogers, who called the hiring of the new chief a "home run."

During his inauguration, Pazen said his department will not just address crime, but the "fear of crime."

"If [people] don't feel safe going to a park, or to an entertainment district, then we have lots of challenges ahead as a result of it. It doesn't matter if crime is pointing down, it's the fear of crime," Pazen said.

That means tailoring the style of community policing to the neighborhood. That might mean working with mental health organizations in Sun Valley, versus business associations in Cherry Creek.

Pazen will become the second Latino Police Chief in Denver’s history, according to the department. He said he wants to build on White's legacy and add "precision policing" and wraparound services to minimize crime and violence.

Denver's newest chief grew up in the city and attended North High School. After serving with the U.S. Marines in the Gulf War for five years, Pazen joined the Denver Police Department in 1995. Pazen's mother, Stella Madrid, is a long-time official with the Denver Housing Authority.