|Rough road ahead for boss|
|Written by APB Staff|
According to a recent article in the Denver Post, Denver Police Chief Robert White is about to get very popular. The downside is that he’s also about to become very unpopular. That’s the price tag that comes with the authority to reorganize the rank and file in ways that will make some cops poorer and others richer.
"Obviously I am concerned about the reaction," White told Post reporters.
"This is very significant. It is absolutely moving a whole bunch of cheese. There will be officers who will be getting less money. The flip side is there will be other officers who have been working their tails off who thought they would never have an opportunity who will be selected because they deserve a shot."
White, who’s only been in his post for a year, has a total of 428 positions of detective, corporal and technician that are up for grabs. Denver PD has 1,139 eligible officers seeking those positions.
Those jobs pay up to 64 percent more than the lowest paid officer.
A whopping 90 percent of the eligible candidates have applied for the new positions and supervisors have conducted nearly 2,000 interviews.
"We're doing it for the right reasons," White said. "This opens it up for everybody. I am always concerned about morale, but at the same time I am probably more concerned about doing the right thing. If people think you are doing the right thing, it quells some of the angst."
Last spring, White reorganized the upper ranks in the agency and replaced three of the department's six district commanders.
White said the reorganization is to "right-size" the department.
"The primary job of detective is to detect crime, but there are some in those positions who have nothing to do with detecting crimes," White told reporters.
"Helicopter pilots, other individuals, they are not doing detective work. Part of our review was to right-size that."
There’s also the fact that the department hasn't had a new class of recruits for the past 4½ years.
"Complacency has set in," White said. "There are many members with 10 years or more experience who have never had the opportunity to compete for those jobs."
Under his plan the department will save about $1 million by giving 35 positions staffed by uniformed police officers to civilians the chief says.
White also transferred 16 officers to Denver International Airport- a move that White says will save another $1.5 million from the general fund.
The cops transferred to the airport will be paid out of DIA's budget, which is supported entirely from airport revenue.
Denver International Airport officials say they also plan to save money by reducing the number of sworn police officers who work curbside pickup and drop-off locations.
That would eliminate police overtime which typically costs the airport about $1.7 million a year.
The airport is also looking at outsourcing police functions in stages to contracted security guards.