Speaking on the issue of public safety, most of the candidates agreed that the next mayor must enable the hiring of significant amounts of new police officers.
Johnston specifically said he wants to bring 200 more onto the payroll, while other candidates said the key is to step up recruiting that has left recent cadet classes short of hoped-for numbers. Johnston said that he would seek to make incoming cadet classes 50% female to make the city’s security force look more like its population, and Herod said she specifically hopes to beef up the number of investigators in the city police department.
But several candidates said too that a key to lowering the rising levels of crime downtown would be to bring more people back to the city center and make it livelier, as the number of workers occupying downtown offices remains at 56% of pre-pandemic levels. Brough, the former president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said she would push to offer tax incentives for companies seeking to convert office space to residential space, while Herod said that she would spend her first 100 days bringing in businesses that have left the city and see what the city can do to bring them back.
“The businesses shouldn’t be doing this alone. Downtown Denver Partnership shouldn’t be doing this alone,” Herod, a Democratic state representative said.