Denver mayor OKs extra money for program pairing police, psychological well being suppliers


After the Denver Metropolis Council requested Mayor Michael Hancock to spice up investments in police reform, inclusionary and housing applications, amongst different issues, the town’s chief administrator gave just a little.
Hancock launched his draft funds for 2021 final month, which included thousands and thousands in cuts as Denver faces historic tax shortfalls — together with worker furloughs and smaller investments in social providers. It additionally included modifications to legislation enforcement practices.
Council reviewed the doc and advisable seven top-line modifications, suggesting the place the additional cash might be discovered. The mayor informed the council Friday that he’d tweak his funds to satisfy a few of their requests.
Council’s largest request was for a $three million enhance to the extensively lauded STAR Program, which pairs psychological well being specialists with cops on sure calls. The group additionally requested Hancock to switch the operation out of the Division of Public Security to the town’s Division of Public Well being and Surroundings, which has higher infrastructure and staffing to run this system.
Hancock and others inside his administration have touted the STAR Program as a beacon of success in a metropolis clamoring for sweeping police reform. He repeated that reward once more in his Friday letter, although he fell in need of absolutely funding council’s request.
In his draft funds, Hancock penciled in a $1 million funding to this system. Now he’ll ask for one more $1 million from the Caring for Denver Basis, which had a stockpile of $41.5 million of unspent money in Could, Denver Auditor Tim O’Brien stated in a Thursday report.
Plus, Hancock stated he’ll add one other $500,000 to this system from elsewhere within the funds and request a bit extra from a funding match program. That will convey the whole funding into the STAR Program to about $three million, he stated. Nonetheless, it’s unclear whether or not he’ll transfer its operation to the town’s public well being division.
Whereas Hancock fell about one million in need of assembly council’s request for the STAR Program, he did agree so as to add an additional $1 million in authorized assist for these dealing with evictions — an growing downside as the town slogs by way of an financial recession.
He additionally agreed so as to add $391,800 for a rental registration and licensure program. It is going to assist guarantee properties observe metropolis code and are maintained in a protected and wholesome manner, council stated.
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Hancock additionally stated he’ll approve $300,000 for the Denver Public Library or Workplace of Youngsters’s Affairs to supply historically underserved, Black, indigenous and different individuals of shade with higher entry to laptop and web providers.
“I need to reiterate my appreciation in your enter and proposals,” Hancock wrote. “We have been in a position to make these modifications whereas nonetheless sustaining our monetary stability and staying true to our Denver values.”
Hancock will submit a revised funds subsequent week, and council will maintain public hearings on it.
If council members aren’t happy with Hancock’s funds, they will make modifications with a easy majority, topic to the mayor’s veto energy.


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