The Denver Post
Mayor Michael Hancock's selection of Louisville Police Chief Robert C. White to take over the drew applause from many, although some were disappointed that he was plucked from outside Denver.
White, 59, will be the city's first African-American chief and the first to be chosen from outside the department in 50 years.
"I have always known (Hancock) to look at all areas and pick the best, not because of a person being black or white or brown," said the Rev. Leon Kelly of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives.
"I think Mike looked at all parts of this and listened to all the advice and said this is who I am going with. I feel good about the choice," Kelly said.
White's selection renews Kelly's hope that society can become color-blind.
"This is not going to become a black town, it is not going to be like that. When you take race out of it and just look at the resume, blacks and people of color can compete," he said.
White has said he plans to reach out to people all over the city: attending community meetings, stopping at church services and listening to concerns from the community.
Police Chief Gerry Whitman already does many of those same things, said the Rev. Paul Burleson, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church of Christ Jesus.
"He is wise to continue what Chief Whitman has done."
Burleson said White's experience as a career cop, who spent his first 25 years in the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., makes him a good choice.
In picking White, Hancock bypassed an applicant favored by rank-and-file cops, Division Chief Tracie Keesee.
"I am somewhat disappointed the mayor didn't feel there were enough qualified officers within the police department," said Sgt. Joe Unser.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
The Denver Post