Monday, June 26, 2017

What's holding you back from participating in Bike to Work Day?

Bike to Work day is Wednesday, June 28, 2017. You can sign up to join the CDPS team here, and find all sorts of resources including prizes, maps and locations of breakfast stations.

There are many reasons people say they can't participate. Although these barriers are valid, we aim to take them away with these helpful resources. Before you say, "I can't," please read below and start thinking about how you can change it to "I can do this!"

It's too far for me to bike/would take too long/I'm physically unable to bike.
A: You don't have to bike to qualify and make a difference! Any combination of bike, walk, bus, transit, carpool or vanpool counts. 
  • Transit: Colorado offers an RTD FlexPass Program that allows CDPS employees to purchase monthly RTD passes at a 20% discounted rate. RTD's Trip Planner makes it easy to plan your route. 
  • Carpool: Several programs already exist to match you with carpool partners with similar schedules and locations. Or, you can use this CDPS Google map to indicate your starting/ending points for each day, and the Green Team will help connect you to other carpoolers. NOTE: for the purposes of this map, we recommend picking a nearby public location or intersection as your starting point rather than your home address. 
  • VanPool : If you travel 15 miles or more each way on your commute, you can start or join a vanpool today. Vanpools give access to a van for 5-15 people, complete with insurance, maintenance and fuel. You split the cost between all members of your vanpool, saving you money and keeping stress levels low.
2. I don't want be all sweaty/I have to dress nicely at work.
A: See answer 1 above, or check out this list of CDPS locations that have shower/locker room facilities. Expert tip: Take your supplies to work in advance of your bike-to-work day(s);  keep a towel, soap, brush, change of clothes and toiletries at your workplace so that you don't have to worry about packing/remembering these items on the day of your bike ride.

3. I don't feel safe biking to work.
A: Safety is a top concern, for sure! Here's the great news: our Green Team ambassadors are happy to sit down with you to map out the safest route for you to take and to talk through steps you can take to reduce your risk. Also, here are helpful tips to keep you safe on your ride. Finally, participating on Bike to Work Day greatly improves your safety because there will be so many other cyclists on the road, raising driver awareness and attentiveness. 

4. I don't want my bike to get stolen.
A: At CDPS, we welcome you bringing your bike into the building and stowing it in your office or in another space that doesn't interfere with safe exits. Most buildings also have a few bike racks where you can lock your bike.

5. I have to pick up kids after work.
A: Bike to Work Day is intended to be for all ages! What a great way to introduce your kids to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Our Green Team ambassadors can work with you to see if it's feasible to plan a route for the whole family. If the kiddos are too young or the distance is too far, consider working with a carpool partner who is flexible. 

6. I just don't like riding a bike.
A: See answer No. 1. Or consider this: do you like flossing? Eating healthy? Getting up to go to work in the morning? Wearing your seatbelt? Working out?  Lots of people enjoy these things, and lots of people don't. But we do them because they're good for us and have long-term benefits. Biking to work saves money, is great exercise, and contributes towards cleaner air and reduced carbon emissions. It's worth a little discomfort to do so much good!

7. Other excuses: Click here for more solutions

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What are Communities of Practice and what is CDPS Doing with Them?

The Colorado Department of Public Safety is taking a page out of implementation science and launching groups called "Communities of Practice" in order to achieve more consistent, measureable outcomes. But what exactly is a Community of Practice?

Etienne Wenger, widely known as the leading authority on Communities of Practice, describes them this way: “Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”

Simply put, it is a group of people who gather on a regular basis to learn together about their mutual interest. It could be any type of group, such as coworkers, community members, single organizations, partnering agencies, cities, concerned citizens, etc. And the topic could be anything that they share—a value, a process, politics, agency procedures, a love of something like books—anything they collectively want to learn more about. They do a variety of activities that they mutually agree upon such as talk about the topic, bring examples to discuss, practice, review recorded sessions of someone trying out the learning, read and discuss, etc.

The groups at CDPS are being led by the experts at EPIC within the Division of Criminal Justice. EPIC works with its partner agencies to implement best practices in evidence-based ways, specifically using implementation science as its backbone. Implementation science is the study of methods to promote the use and integration of research evidence into policy and practice. Implementation science indicates that there are three main buckets of consideration for effecting the outcomes agencies are hoping to impact: staff competency, leadership, and organizational/administrative operations and interventions.

Communities of Practice are one component within the staff competency bucket, as are training and coaching. These ingredients, along with selecting the right people to engage in them, are contributors to a learning culture where people don’t just attend a training with the expectation that they will understand it and deliver it every single day. Instead, with ongoing learning structures, they become fluent in that practice and outcomes are therefore impacted and sustained over time. Over these past few months, EPIC has been partnering with other units within the division and other divisions within the department to create a learning culture around two initiatives, described below.

Fierce Conversations
Fierce Conversations is a curriculum designed to enhance relationships and work output based on authentic communication. It is a Department-wide training priority and, to date,  more than 130 employees from every Division and the EDO have participated. In order to make course curricula come to life and become part of the CDPS culture, a Fierce Community of Practice has formed and is meeting monthly. The Fierce CoP has met twice. The group utilized Trello to track topics and “aha moments,” applied the “Lean Coffee” concept for group agenda-design, and explored elements of Fierce Conversations most important to participants.

"We are thrilled to have this tool at our disposal that we hope will drive effective integration of course material deeper into the collective organization," said Beth Roome, who leads Fierce Conversations training for CDPS and is organizing the Fierce CoP.

Curriculum Development
How many of us have been to a training where we listened to a speaker read from PowerPoint slides for hours on end? The Curriculum Development Community of Practice is working to make this training style a thing of the past. This CoP meets twice a month to brainstorm ideas for converting “training” into learning experiences, emphasizing adult learning theory and the creation of interactive programs. Participants bring existent curricula that needs to be updated or improved, and the group works together to make the learning accessible and transferable. That last concept, “transfer of learning,” is a big focus of the Community of Practice. The community is interested in how to help learners convert training into practice on their jobs, and ultimately to a better-performing agency.

CDPS Members Join Forces to Support Special Olympics

The informal motto at CDPS is "Safer Together." Those two words are shorter than our mission statement, but capture its essence well. Working together, we make Colorado a safer place. In June,  CDPS members' combined efforts to support the Special Olympics also proved that we are stronger and more successful together -- it's amazing to see the outcomes when we unite to achieve a common goal!

CPDS members representing every Division in the department joined forces to support the Special Olympics through the Law Enforcement Torch Run on June 1, 2017. A total of 90 CDPS members joined the team and donated a total of $4,315 -- Making CDPS by far the No. 1 agency participating the Torch Run event. CDPS donations accounted for about one-third of the total donations raised by all agencies participating in this event. This was the first year CDPS participated as an entire agency, and the outcome far outpaced prior participation by any single CDPS division.

Deputy Executive Director Spiess prepares to give a medal
to an athlete at the Special Olympics Summer Games.
In addition to the Torch Run, CDPS Deputy Executive Director Rebecca Spiess and a number of Western Slope State Patrol members attended the Special Olympics Summer Games in Grand Junction June 9-11. Spiess and local Troopers cheered on the athletes, helped to present medals, and joined other local law enforcement agencies in a show of support.

Team events like these reflect the values and mission of CDPS. Internally, participating in collaborative efforts to give to the community strengthens our bonds and builds employee engagement; externally, CDPS involvement in community events like these enhances our relationships with those we serve and demonstrates our commitment to core values of service to others, community involvement, hard work, honor, duty, respect and unity.

CDPS members' next charitable efforts in support of the Special Olympics will be the Tip a Cop event at Chili's restaurants throughout Colorado on July 9, 2017.

DHSEM Recognized, Honored at Estes Park "Tribute Trail"

DHSEM Regional Field Manager Kevin Kuretich and
Paul Acosta of the Colorado State Firefighters Association
pose next to the plaque honoring DHSEM.
On June 15, 2017, the town of Estes Park commemorated the opening of its Tribute Trail. The Tribute Trail is a civic landmark that honors the service, bravery and courage of first responder agencies and their members who risk their lives unselfishly to help others in the State of Colorado.

Inspired by the lifesaving actions of first responders during the devastating floods of 2013, the Tribute Trail features plaques honoring agencies and individuals who have rendered aid to the community. Each year, the Colorado State Fire Association will choose 20 first responder agencies or an individual within an agency to be honored with a plaque at the Tribute Trail.

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) was among 20 inaugural inductees unveiled at the event on June 15.

"I was humbled and honored to attend the Commencement Service where DHSEM was recognized and honored with an etched plaque at the launch of Tribute Trail," said DHSEM Northeast Regional Field Manager Kevin Kuretich.

"It is a great honor for the Division to be permanently recognized at the Tribute Trail," DHSEM Director Kevin Klein said.
A close-up look at the plaque honoring DHSEM.

According to the Tribute Trail brochure:
In 2013, Estes Park was devastated by unprecedented flooding. Cut off from the world, first responders provided a lifeline that saved the lives of thousands of families. Tribute Trail is a gathering point of first responders and visitors from across the US to celebrate and commemorate the heroic actions of first responders past, present, and future. Located in a stunning location donated by The Stanley Hotel, the Tribute Trail is a partnership with Colorado State Firefighters Association & Safeway to support the ongoing needs of first responders across Colorado.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Colorado Division of Criminal Justice Worker Receives National Award in Washington, DC

Meg williams accepts national award on June 15 2017
Meg Williams, left, accepts the Tony Gobar
Outstanding Juvenile Justice Specialist Award
on June 15, 2017, in Washington, DC.
On June 15, 2017, the national Coalition for Juvenile Justice presented the 2017 Tony Gobar Outstanding Juvenile Justice Specialist Award to Meg Williams of the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ).

Williams is the manager of the Office of Adult and Juvenile Justice Assistance (OAJJA). She received the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The Coalition for Juvenile Justice is a member-based organization that promotes improvements in juvenile justice and federal Legislation. The award, named in honor of the late Tony Gobar, a long-time Juvenile Justice Specialist
from Mississippi, recognizes a state Juvenile Justice Specialist
who has exemplified the following characteristics:

  • Excellence in service to others
  • Dedication and commitment to improving the juvenile justice system
  • Compassion and concern for juveniles and advocates
  • Agreement with the core positions held by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice.
"This award is a national honor that recognizes the enormous contribution that Meg - along with her remarkable team - has made on behalf of troubled and at-risk youth across Colorado," said DCJ 
Director Joe Thome.

The last time a Coloradan received the honor was more than a decade ago, when Pat Cervera earned the award in 2006.

Williams has spent the past three decades providing social services and juvenile justice services in Colorado. She has served as the manager of OAJJA since 2004 and has traveled nationally and internationally providing expertise on improving juvenile justice systems.

CBI Partners with Multiple Agencies to Arrest Sex Offenders & Child Predators

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation participated in two multi-agency operations that aimed to make Colorado safer by locating un-registered sex offenders and identifying sexual predators in a number of Colorado communities.

19 Arrested in Sex Offender Roundup
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies conducted a four-day operation in an effort to locate sex offenders who have failed to register in the Denver metro area. CBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, Colorado State Patrol, and multiple law enforcement partners  arrested 19 individuals on more than 30 outstanding warrants during “Operation Spring Cleanup” May 4-7, 2017.

Several significant arrests took place during the four-day sweep, including the arrest of Linc Blair in Aurora on May 6. Blair was wanted for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. Blair has a lengthy arrest history including arrests for attempted sex assault on a child and resisting arrest.

“The efforts of the 50 law enforcement personnel who worked tirelessly to identify and locate sex offenders who have failed to register in this operation shows the commitment of our teams to help safeguard our communities through shared resources and extraordinary collaboration,” said CBI Director Mike Rankin.

This is the first large-scale, multi-jurisdictional operation coordinated by the US Marshals Service and the CBI to locate wanted sex offenders this year. Similar operations are planned in the near future.

Participating Agencies in the Operation:
• Colorado Bureau of Investigation
• Colorado State Patrol
• Lakewood Police Department
• Thornton Police Department
• U.S. Marshals Service—Denver
• U.S. Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General
• Westminster Police Department
•Assistance from several other Denver-area law enforcement agencies

Western Slope Child Predator Operation Nets Multiple Arrests
On March 30, 2017, CBI Agent James Fuller assisted fellow federal, state and local law enforcement with "Operation Predator Strike" on the Western Slope. The focus of the operation was to identify sexual predators.

During the operation, law enforcement (acting in an undercover capacity) used social media to place online ads offering sexual encounters/prostitution with underage children. Additional communication with the suspects provided confirmation the suspects thought they would be meeting with underage juveniles for the purposes of sexual contact in exchange for money or items of value, including drugs and/or alcohol.

Suspects were offered to meet with the “juveniles” at an area motel to consummate the illicit act. In anticipation of the suspect’s arrival, surveillance and arrest teams were established to gather additional evidence and secure the arrest of the suspects.

The operation netted three arrests in Montrose. All of the suspects were charged with Internet Luring, Solicitation of a Child Prostitute, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Patronizing a Child Prostitute and Pandering of a Child.