FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Denver Police Museum
DENVER, CO (May 16, 2022)—Today, the Denver Police Museum released a report summarizing feedback on improving police-community relations. The Museum’s Report to Our Community raises awareness about what Denver’s citizens view as important community needs regarding relationships between law enforcement and the community—youth, in particular.
“Our goal with this listening project is to gather ideas and input from our community about how the Museum can play a positive role in strengthening police-community relations,” President Mike Hesse said. “We heard that community members are particularly interested in programming that humanizes police officers and opportunities for the Museum to create positive interactions between youth and law enforcement.”
The following are highlights from the Museum’s Report to Our Community:
- There is an increasingly strained relationship between police and low income and minority communities. Increased community participation, out of uniform, is desired to help build trust and positive relationships between communities, youth, and police.
- Programming in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and career exploration are needed.
- While historical exhibits align best with perceptions of a museum, there is an expectation from the public that exhibits will tell both the positive and negative side of police history.
- Interviewees believe that the Museum has an important role to play in improving police and community relations, especially helping to build trust between youth and law enforcement.
The report details findings from a comprehensive stakeholder listening project that the Denver Police Museum has undertaken, including a series of in-depth interviews with community members throughout the Denver Metro area. To date, dozens of interviews have been conducted with educators, law enforcement officers, parents, youth, nonprofit professionals, residents, faith-based organizations, government representatives, local businesses, and community leaders. “We have an obligation to respond to the needs of our community and we’ve gained many important insights through this process that will help to shape the Museum’s future direction,” Hesse said.
Based on this feedback, a number of areas have been identified in which the Museum plans to focus its efforts to strengthen the connection between law enforcement and the community, including:
- Programming that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and career exploration for students in grades 6th through 8th.
- Formation of a Youth Advisory Council and partnerships with other Denver-based nonprofits and community leaders.
- Recognition of the public trust that has been placed in the Museum’s care, and that the community expects inclusive, relevant, honest, and broader stories about the history of policing in Denver.
The release of the report coincides with the beginning of National Police Week 2022. For more information about the Museum’s Report to Our Community, please visit: denverpolicemuseum.org/report-to-our-community
About the Denver Police Museum
The Denver Police Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to promoting social impact. Through its focus on youth crime prevention education, historic preservation, and community outreach, the Denver Police Museum builds bridges between citizens and the law enforcement of Denver and creates opportunities for community understanding and engagement. More information at denverpolicemuseum.org.