Louisville’s White Becomes Denver’s 1st African-American Police Chief


Robert White, Denver’s incoming police chief, plans to change the culture of a department staggered by a string of firings in excessive-force cases and restore trust between the community and police. “I do have an agenda: That is to help prevent crime and make this a safer community,” White told the Denver Post. “The key to making that happen is the men and women of the Police Department and the 600,000-plus residents that live in our community. The two have to become one; that requires a collaborative relationship.”

Mayor Michael Hancock picked White after a national search that turned up 61 applicants. White, 59, has been police chief in Louisville since 2003. Pending City Council approval, he will be Denver’s first African-American police chief and only the second chief from outside the department in 50 years. As long as things are done in the open, the community will accept a chief’s decision when controversy erupts, even if many disagree, White said. When he takes over from outgoing Chief Gerry Whitman, his first priority will be to listen, he said.

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