Few people in Colorado have not directly experienced crime. From property offenses to violent crimes, every crime leaves a traumatized victim. Whether the wounds are physical, psychological, or financial, it is important to acknowledge the profound effects that a crime can have on its victims. At Common Sense Institute, our goal is to address the economic impact of crime while remaining conscious of the suffering that it causes.

Our recent report The Cost of Juvenile Crime and its Economic Impact on Colorado analyzes the cost of juvenile crime in Colorado and its economic impact. This study encompasses the period of 2010 to 2023 and the data comes from Colorado Crime Statistics (2023).

Colorado’s juvenile crime trends tell a mixed story. On the one hand, youth crime rates have fallen in the last 15 years as property crime rates fall, follow. On the other hand, violent youth crime has risen. Meanwhile, the number of juveniles held in arrested and detained has fallen from a combination of alternative sentencing, diversion programs, and increased parole.

Chairman and Host Earl Wright welcomes our Public Safety Fellow Chief Paul Pazen to discuss the report and the crime statistics therein. They talk at length about the contributing factors, approaches to law enforcement, what the trends mean and much more. Crime touches us all in some way, and this is an overview of what’s happening, possible causes, and perhaps a path forward.

Thank you for listening to Common Sense Digest. Please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcatcher. All of our podcasts can be found here.

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. 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.