March 24, 2023
Contact: Cinamon Watson

Former Denver Police Chief Pazen Named as CSI Public Safety Fellow

Denver, CO – “We are pleased to announce former Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen as the 2023 Public Safety fellow,” said Common Sense Institute (CSI) Executive Director Kelly Caufield. 

“Rising crime rates have driven public safety to the top of the priority list for every elected official, policy maker and individual in Colorado,” continued Caufield. “Our charge and the focus of this fellowship is to quantify the economic impact of public safety issues and spark thoughtful debate centered on policies that keep Coloradans safe and prosperous.”

According to Caufield, CSI will release a public safety study later this year.

“I am excited to join Common Sense Institute as a Fellow,” said Pazen. “I believe in utilizing research, innovation, data, and evidence-based methods to improve the quality of life, vibrancy and public safety for the people of Colorado and CSI strives to do exactly that.”

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, 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.

Pazen also created new specialized units including the Firearms Assault Shoot Team (FAST), Bias Motivate Unit, and the Human Trafficking Unit to drive measurable results. He also expanded annual department training from 24 hours to 80 hours. Chief Pazen 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.

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.


Common Sense Institute is a non-partisan research organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of Colorado’s economy. CSI is at the forefront of important discussions concerning the future of free enterprise in Colorado and aims to have an impact on the issues that matter most to Coloradans. CSI’s mission is to examine the fiscal impacts of policies, initiatives, and proposed laws so that Coloradans are educated and informed on issues impacting their lives.