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Operation Greenprint

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Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper gave his “State of the City” address today. Shorter version: Denver is going green. We’ll have 1 million new trees. City agencies will begin using hybrid or bio-deisel vehicles. Our water usage will drop by 22 percent

“Even if there’s a 2-percent chance that 95 percent of the world’s top climate scientists are right about the dire consequences of global warming we run the risk of being the first generation in history to leave the next generation a problem for which there is no solution,” Hickenlooper said.

The full text of the Mayor’s speech is here.

Changes also are coming to mass transit:

The completion of T-REX this fall and of FasTracks over the next decade presents many opportunities in regards to sustainable urban design and transportation. In the process, we will decrease local reliance on automobiles by increasing public transit use and access, implementing bike and pedestrian enhancements, and promoting transit-oriented development.

This all sounds great. I really like the mayor’s green plans. I have some reservations about his “blue” plans though. Blue as in Denver’s finest, the police department. It sounds like Denver is buying into technology that will provide law enforcement with much more information about us. The mayor said today,

Since 2003, we have invested $17 million to put 465 new police recruits on the streets and $22 million in new safety-related technology enhancements. We also retained the services of the internationally recognized Hanover Justice Group to implement new crime-reduction strategies. Their help is enabling the Denver Police Department to leverage real-time data and new crime analysis tools to prioritize neighborhood crime problems and solve them creatively.

….All of these efforts will be enhanced when the Police Department’s new Records Management System becomes fully operational in 2007, putting more and better information in the hands of street officers and enriching the collaboration across the entire Department.

I’d like to know what these new crime-analysis and real-time data tools are and what information will be placed in the hands of street officers. Will officers making traffic stops have laptops on their dashboards that allow them to call up our credit records, our civil lawsuits or our political associations? That’s the plan of the companies selling the data.

I can wait for those answers, though. Today Mayor Hickenlooper did Denver proud and I’m happy to give him a thumbs up. I’ll take a green town over a cow town any day.

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