Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will conduct a data-driven overhaul of the police department that he expects will drive down homicides and assaults by 10 percent over the next 18 months, says the Denver Post. As previously reported, the city will hire the New Jersey-based Hanover Justice Group, led by criminologist George Kelling, to guide the effort. The city also is hiring Jeremy Bronson, a former strategic planning manager at Sun Microsystems, to fill a new $90,000-a- year post of special assistant to the mayor for public safety.
Hickenlooper aims to arm police with the data they need to pinpoint hot crime areas. “Rather than simply accepting the status quo or blindly throwing money at perceived problems, we are bringing in outside credentialed experts to analyze our systems and needs and create an action plan for immediate improvements,” he said. Denver has logged 59 homicides this year, down from 84 at this time last year. For all of 2004, there were 94 homicides. In 2003, there were 73 homicides. Those numbers are up significantly from 2001 and 2002, which saw 53 homicides each year, and 2000, when there were 34. As of Nov. 23, the city had logged 2,018 aggravated assaults. It had 2,207 aggravated assaults in 2004 and 1,590 in 2003.