by Chanel Ward
Denver’s new Chief of Police, Paul Pazen, was honored by the Denver Police Officers Foundation at the 2018 Luncheon held in the Denver Athletic Club’s Grand Ballroom last week.
The Denver Police Officers Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has provided financial and emotional support to Denver police officers, retired or active, since 1999, helping over 600 officers in that time. The organization is the only one of its kind and is 100% volunteer based.
Over 150 community leaders, Denver businesses, officers of the Denver Police Department and their families attended the luncheon to welcome and honor Chief Pazen, but it was attorney Marshall Fogel who had the privilege to introduce him.
“Men and women that speak about the Chief call him the Mustang, because that’s a term of affection for someone like you chief,” said Fogel addressing Pazen. “You started out in life a little behind zero and in talking to you, I learned why you joined the Marines; you are the keeper of so many distinguished awards to match your career.”
Chief Pazen is a Denver native and graduate of Denver’s North High School, after which he served with the United States Marine Corps and is a Gulf War Veteran. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University-Global and graduated with magna cum laude honors. Chief Pazen continues building his skills through training and education including the Senior Management Institute for Police, Police Executive Forum at Boston University, Federal Bureau of Investigation-National Academy (FBINA), West Point Military Academy-Leadership in Police Organizations Instructor, Criminal Justice Certificate from University of Virginia, and 2018 Fellow at University of Denver, Latino Leadership Institute.
Chief Pazen has received various high-level department awards and commendations for managing critical incidents, implementing strategic planning and full-scale preparedness exercises, execution and evaluation. Commendations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Leadership Award, Superior Tactics and Response Award, Police Merit and Department Service Award.
Pazen thanked the foundation, the community leaders and the women and men of the police department for their attendance. “What an honor it is to be amongst you,” said Pazen. “I want to start by thanking the original founders and board members that put together the Denver Police Officers Foundation 20 years ago; a foundation that is dedicated to helping our officers particularly, in times of need.”
“The Denver Police Department is built on a very rich history and it has a solid foundation. That foundation will continue,” said Pazen. “The foundation is that of treating people with respect and dignity and to prevent crime from occurring in the first place.”
Pazen added, “Because our department is in such a good place, this gives us an opportunity to reach, grow and try new things. To better serve this community and the people that make up this city.”
The Chief laid out the ways in which he will accomplish this outreach and growth plan. “The way that we’re going to do that is by reducing social harms. We’re going to get out there, in the community, identify people that we can help, hot spots, and people, and treat unique neighborhoods just like that.”
This plan, through a model that they call ‘Precision Policing’ is already underway. An initiative focusing on domestic violence, another key area of focus for Pazen, begins November 1st.
“I think it’s an amazing organization that supports the people who support the community,” said Deborah Takahara, a Fox news anchor, who emceed the event. “Unfortunately, they run into situations that happen where they need a little more support, so it’s good to have an organization that does support them.”
If you or someone you know is an active or retired Denver police officer and is in need of additional assistance please visit the Denver Police Officers Foundation at www.DenverPoliceOfficersFoundation.com.
Chanel Ward is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
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