Chief Paul Pazen, Public Safety Fellow

Paul M. Pazen is the former Chief of Police in Denver, Colorado where he rose through the ranks of the department up to his appointment in 2018 as the Chief.  During his tenure as Police Chief, Paul Pazen (retired) led the creation and expansion of innovative solutions to address complex public safety issues. These programs include spearheading the creation of the Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) program, Outreach Case Coordinators (case managers) and the Domestic Violence Prevention Program. He directed a significant expansion of the mental health clinician Co-Responder Program, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), the implementation of a forward-thinking use-of-force policy and training curriculum.  Paul also created new specialized units; the Firearms Assault Shoot Team (FAST), Bias Motivate Unit, and the Human Trafficking Unit to drive measurable results. Paul expanded annual department training from 24 hours to 80 hours, including implementing Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) and Integrating Communications Assessment and Tactics (iCAT). Chief Pazen also demonstrated compassion for Denver Police Officers and Professional Staff by creating the Reintegration program for officers involved in critical incidents and expanding the department’s Resiliency and Wellness program to ensure full and productive careers and personal lives for those who serve their community.

Chief Pazen is excited to join the Common Sense Institute as a Fellow, Paul believes in utilizing research, innovation, data, and evidence-based methods to improve the quality of life, vibrancy and public safety for the people of Colorado.

Chief Pazen graduated magna cum laude from Colorado State University – Global with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership, holds a Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Defense from the Naval Postgraduate School, and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Executive Institute (NEI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBINA) and the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) through the Police Executive Research Forum. Chief Pazen served in the United States Marine Corps and is a Veteran of the Gulf War.