Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has offered the job of police monitor to Richard Rosenthal, who currently holds the same position in Portland, Oregon. Friday, Rosenthal accepted the position. The job pays $110,000. a year.
Denver’s police monitor and a handful of staffers will track and critique internal police investigations and make recommendations for policy changes to city leaders. Hickenlooper opted to create the new oversight office after two controversial fatal shootings by police in 2003 and 2004.
Rosenthal has three primary objectives for his new post:
First, he wants to establish a mediation program for resolving citizens’ complaints against officers.
Second, he wants to commission an outside agency – perhaps the L.A.-based Police Assessment Resource Center – to study Denver’s policies governing shootings by officers.
Third, Rosenthal intends to establish ties with Denver communities, in part through impaneling a citizen advisory board to notify him of community concerns.
This has the potential of becomming a win-win situation.
Rosenthal was well-respected in Portland, even by police. The Police Protective Association have said they will cooperate with Rosenthal.
The creation of the positon has the potential to be a win-win situation. It’s clear that police need more training and guidance on appropriate reactions to dangerous situations. When a suspected perpetrator is about to be arrested, it’s better for all concerned if he is brought in peacefully, rather than dead.
200 applicants applied for the job, and Mayor Hickenlooper has stated that 75% of them were qualified.