Denver Police Department finishes major reorganization, with many demoted

DPD Chief Robert White.jpeg
Robert White.
Denver Police Chief Robert White's controversial reorganization of the department is now in effect, and top officials say the major restructuring will create a stronger agency -- even if many officers were forced to face demotions. In an effort to reduce "stagnation," White opened up positions, so that many officers had to reapply for their jobs. And at the end of the process, close to one hundred cops stepped down to lower positions.

White, who was named chief last December, has said that he understands the difficulty of the process, but that it will maximize efficiency and ensure that the department is making the most of its talent by rewarding good work.

Police Chief Robert White at Peace March.JPG
Sam Levin
Police Chief Robert White at a peace march over the summer.
"Some officers had been in positions for twenty years and had become somewhat complacent," says Lieutenant Matt Murray, chief of staff to White, explaining that a freeze on hiring for the past several years contributed to the lack of change in the department. "He determined this was the only fair way to do this."

What White did was open up the detective, corporal and technician positions so that anyone interested could have a shot. "He opened them all up for everybody to apply, including people who had the positions," Murray says.

Many began in their new positions on November 4, and data provided by Murray shows that many who applied for their own jobs didn't end up keeping them.

At the detective-level, 41 officers were not retained in the same spots. Of current technicians, 35 were not retained. And at the corporal level, 15 were not retained. That comes out to a total of 91 officers who are now back on patrol.

Additional, 83.6 percent of those who applied at the detective level got positions, while 69 percent of the technician applicants were appointed and 74.6 percent of corporal applicants were appointed.

The process was tough, Murray says: "Change is stress and most people don't like change, and police officers are no different."

In a recent interview, Manager of Safety Alex Martinez, who has civilian authority over the Denver police, fire and sheriff departments, said that the DPD restructuring was an important reform effort in the city -- but that it was incredibly difficult for many officers.

"I'm absolutely happy with [White] and the fact that he took the department through that process," Martinez told us. "There is no question that a lot of people were upset by that. You have to sort of sit back and imagine that...everybody's job is open and people are applying for their own jobs, and you get to apply for your boss's job."

He added, "It's a lot of trauma. Huge attempt to get it done right -- to end any sort of impressions that it's about favoritism and to really do it on a basis that is as objective as possible."

Alex Martinez in his office.JPG
Sam Levin
Manager of Safety Alex Martinez.
But by its very nature, the effort was one that could be hurtful, Martinez noted: "You have winners and losers in it."

The best way to handle the inevitable backlash? Strong communication. "It's about listening and it's about talking and it's about giving people the opportunity to go through the individual process of the usual pattern of denial and bargaining and eventually acceptance," Martinez said. "It's about communicating what an opportunity this is for the whole department."

Continue for more from Murray and Martinez on the benefits of the restructuring.


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12 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

That Alex Martinez looks as if he could succumb to A.I.D.S. any second .....

Aaron LeForce
Aaron LeForce

So not only are cops going to do stupid shit cause of their small penis complex, now they have a chip on their shoulder for being demoted. Very smart!

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

Johnny...I hear that the police in Iran need help. Seems to me you'd fit right in. I despise violent criminals too and, given the opportunity, would certainly prefer to "dispose" of them properly rather than dial 911 but not all of those arrested are violent offenders and not all are guilty. When the police break the rules under the guise of law enforcement, well, then they're fair game too. We don't need that here.

Jonny D Foxtrot
Jonny D Foxtrot

If you're a criminal - the minute you do anything to violate the rights of someone who is abiding by the law or otherwise within the scope of the law in their actions, I believe that you have voluntarily given up any right or expectation of protection under those laws. You shouldn't get to use the law as a shield to be a violent, criminal piece of shit

Jonny D Foxtrot
Jonny D Foxtrot

Hey Josh...the better question is how does this allow the department to deal with ignorant shitheads who commit crimes and expect no punishment or to get away with it because they think the laws don't apply to them? There ARE elements of this city - and this society - that need MORE "police brutality" if that forcible action means that it significantly reduces the number of arrogant thug shitheads, gangbangers, drug dealers, rapists and the like who roam our streets and execute their crimes with relative impugnity because the City Attorney's office, the DA and the City Administration don't want to offend any of them. You know what? FUCK VIOLENT CRIMINALS...personally, I'd like to see the police have shoot-on-sight authorization for gang members, drug dealers and individuals in the midst of violent crimes...it would most definitely be a deterrent if some of these fuckheads - like the guys who shot that bartender over on Colfax and Pearl last Friday - knew that the minute a cop sees them and identifies them, they're fair game.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

All fine and good but uh...how does this address the real problem of DPD officers and excessive rates of police brutality? Oh yeah, it doesn't. Just puts more PO'd cops on the street.

stevebeast
stevebeast

whatever, the bottom line is the citizens of Denver are still waiting for the DOJ to step in and clean up that sesspool. Guess we need someone higher up than the mayor to make that request.

ManeRok
ManeRok

@PederNoir @DenverWestword HAHAHAAHA!!!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Q: What do you call 100 Denver Cops at the bottom of the ocean?

 

 

A: a good start.

 

.

StillMM2
StillMM2

 @DonkeyHotay  The location of police stations are available to the public.  Man up, pansy.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @betweenthelines  Keep lying, chump.

 

No Misdemeanor or Felony Marijuana Crimes have been dismissed in Colorado due to A64.

 

Guess why, moron?

 

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