Denver Police Department finishes major reorganization, with many demoted
There's a range of benefits that comes from this reshuffling, according to Department of Safety and DPD officials.
For example, Murray points to basic economic savings due to increased efficiencies that come with restructuring.
For detectives, the DPD went from 269 to 255 officers through this process, which Murray says will result in a savings of $73,780 per year. At the level of technicians, the savings is even greater -- at $347,310 per year, with a drop from 136 to 91 officers. And a decrease of corporals from 102 to 77 equates to annual savings of $263,500.
Sam Levin Robert White addressing reporters in August.
But White would have launched this process even if it didn't come with economic benefits, Murray says, because he believes it will push forward his goal of restoring the public's faith in the department.
"There's been an outcry by the public for many years about the Denver Police Department and the way the public perceived our interactions," Murray says. "Chief White was brought here to change that culture."
Forcing officers to go through that process essentially raises the bar and ideally will improve the quality of the department -- and Murray, who has been at the DPD for more than two decades, says it's the largest reform of this kind he's ever seen. "This is dramatic change. This is wholesale change," he notes.
White's "primary interest is building a police department that serves the needs of the community," White adds. "If it's gonna make officers unhappy...and it's the right thing to do for the community, he's gonna do it."
Plus, Murray says, "When you are rewarding the good employees, that's the right thing to do and they're quietly happy about it."
In a recent e-mail about the restructuring, White wrote:
Change is always difficult and I understand the changes that have taken place this year have impacted you and your families. Thank you for your dedication to our community and your professionalism in carrying out your job responsibilities. We are seeing a difference in our interactions with the community and the recognition, by the media, of good work performed by our employees.
When we spoke with him about the restructuring, Martinez said he hoped it would put better officers in higher positions, which would then have a positive impact on the ranks below as well. "It puts people in charge who are aligned with the mission and values of the department, because it gives those people opportunities to select the people that are working for them," he explained, adding that it allows "people to be held accountable for the actions of those people that they're supervising."
And the positive results could extend beyond the department, Martinez said: "It should begin a process of a more genteel interaction with the public."
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