We all know Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to the political realities of government spending, raising the salaries of his appointed cronies amidst a budget crisis. Unable to deal with his number one responsibility as Mayor, Hancock apparently believes the second most important duty, managing the police, is also unworthy of his attention. In his entire State of the City address to the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Hancock not once mentions anything about the black cloud of police corruption and beatings that hang over the city. (No, Terrance Carroll, black cloud isn't racist)
For a city that in 2010 ranked #1 in the nation for excessive force complaints, it might have been something the Mayor would want to address in his first speech on his mayoral priorities. In 2011, the city of Denver has already approved over a million dollars in settlements stemming from police brutality cases. To put it in terms Hancock might understand — that's how much more he's already paying his political appointees compared to then-Mayor Hickenlooper in his first year.
What was important, based on the content of the speech, was that Hancock intends on getting a direct flight to Asia from Denver.
Worry not, Denverites. The police may beat you senseless on your way to DIA, but at least you won't need to get a connecting flight to get to the Far East.
Instead of solutions laid out in the speech, the only thing Hancock has done with the police, other than denying his name and number show up in their investigative files, is drop off some suggestion boxes to "open a dialogue" with the police officers. Not sure how you open a dialogue on police brutality when officers are beating people for taking their picture with their cell phone camera.
No, Mister Mayor, suggestion boxes are not going to solve this massive and embarrassing issue for Denver. It's called taking a stand, or in a word, leadership.
And on that issue of leadership over the police, Hancock is still searching.
Hancock is openly looking for a new police chief, for which he's seeking $36,000 in private donations to pay a Washington, DC firm to find a suitable applicant for the job. He's promised to disclose the donor when he finds one, but we all know Hancock has a well known history of backing off promises of transparency.
The lack of transition funding transparency is quickly wearing thin the patience of observers far more admiring of Hancock than we at the Peak. The Denver Post again smacked Hancock in an editorial this morning, saying "the failure of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to reveal the finances of his transition team is a disappointing stumble for the city's new leader."
More like more of the same.
At this point, what the hell has Hancock gotten right?