During the Denver City Council Safety, Housing, Education, and Homelessness Committee meeting on March 24, 2021, DPD Chief Pazen provided a community update on the co-responder program and the Support Team Assistance Response (STAR) program. Chief Pazen inaccurately reported that BLM 5280 had representation on the group that aided in creating the STAR program. BLM 5280 nor any of its individual members sit on this advisory board. Chief Pazen nor his team consulted us on this presentation and did not even notify us of the presentation.
We support the need for non-law enforcement community responses to 9-1-1 and crisis calls, such as the STAR pilot program. We would not work with law enforcement-led co-responder models, which send police officers and mostly white social workers to calls. The current co-responder models lack trauma-informed care through sending law enforcement to crisis calls.
We encourage community engagement and involvement in conversations around public safety and policy changes regarding public safety. Oftentimes, Black people and communities (particularly Black women and Black LGBTQIA folx) are not invited to these conversations. As a chapter, we are also not invited to the table in these conversations, or our input is disregarded.
If you want to know about the work that BLM 5280 is doing in the community, please consult our social media pages or our newly revamped website: www.blacklivesmatter5280.com. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org