Chief Pazen was appointed Denver Chief of Police in July of 2018 and has served the Department and residents of Denver since 1995. And as a Denver native, his roots and understanding of the city, its history and its cultures run deep. Chief Pazen believes in sustainable community/police relations through transparency, accountability, and empowering residents.

Thus far during his tenure, Chief Pazen has overseen the creation and/or expansion of innovative programs with a public health focus, including the Domestic Violence Prevention Program; Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion; mental health clinician co-responders; Support Team Assisted Response (STAR), which sends a clinician and paramedic to calls for service instead of an officer; and Outreach Case Coordinators who follow up on co-responder and STAR contacts to provide residents with ongoing care and resources. Chief Pazen has overseen the update and implementation of a progressive use-of-force policy, updated the early intervention program aimed at providing additional training and resources to officers, and expanded the Department’s Resiliency and Wellness program.

Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police, Chief Pazen served as Commander of District One, where he led an ambitious effort to enhance police services through collaboration and innovation. During his 25-year Denver Police career, he received numerous department awards and commendations, including the Distinguished Service Cross, Leadership Award, Superior Tactics and Response Award, Police Merit, and Department Service Award.

Chief Pazen’s educational background includes graduating from Denver’s North High School and graduating magna cum laude from Colorado State University – Global with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership. Chief Pazen is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBINA), the Senior Management Institute for Police through the Police Executive Research Forum at Boston University, and Center for Homeland Defense and Security -- Naval Post-Graduate School. Chief Pazen served in the United States Marine Corps and is a Gulf War veteran