Episode 131 -- Paul Pazen
Paul Pazen is a Denver cop, through and through. Born and raised in Denver in the shadow of District One, Pazen attended North High School and then joined the Marines where he served in the first Gulf War. He returned to join the Denver Police Department in January 1995.
Pazen took on one top assignment after another. He rose through the ranks to become Denver's police chief from 2018 through 2022. Retiring last October, Pazen is poised at age 52 for his next public service challenge. We discuss what’s next.
Public service was instilled in Pazen at an early age by his grandmother Lola Trujillo. Pazen only wants to succeed in Colorado, and has no plans to move. Although he seriously considered a run for Denver mayor, listen as he explains his family reasons for not running now.
Pazen initiated successful law enforcement programs and had crime going down pre-pandemic. This former Denver police chief created and implemented the STAR (Support Team Assisted Response) which sends mental health professionals, not cops, to certain non-violent calls.
Pazen responds to controversies occurring during his tenure. There was a $14 million judgment in federal court for DPD civil rights violations responding in 2020 to George Floyd protests. Former Chief Pazen brings up that 81 police officers were injured in that terrible week of downtown violence. We also discuss the Lodo shooting incident in which a DPD officer is now indicted.
Chief Pazen explains his fear of mass murder; and preparation therefor. We review horrific crime sprees that went down on his watch. We remember the tattoo parlor victims, and others in Lakewood and Denver, slain by a gunman who wrote it all down. Could DPD have stopped him? Could prosecutors? We discuss.
We also discussed the tragic murder of Shmuel Silverberg at Yeshivah Toras Chaim in August of 2021 and how his five assailants have still not been arraigned in Denver’s congested criminal court system. Chief Pazen showed up at that murder scene and countless others.
Pazen provides behind the scenes details, including how these crimes affected him personally. Discussed also is the tragic murder of Isabella Thallas and the critical wounding of Darian Simon on June 10, 2020.. We try to further solve the mystery of the AK-47 murder weapon which belonged to DPD Sgt. Dan Politica.
We talk about Denver and Colorado's crime problems, and their solutions, including how to combat car thefts and fentanyl deaths. Murder is not at record levels in Denver, but Colorado is setting murder records. What is going on? Pazen has wisdom.
Troubadour Dave Gunders has abundant wisdom, as displayed in his magnificent song, Do What I Say. Dave Gunders contributes to a lively introduction, discussing current events, including the Biden classified documents investigation, Governor Jared Polis’ inaugural, and possible run for president, as well as guitar greats, the late George Harrison, and Jeff Beck.