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Fixing dangerous intersections, hiring more officers highlight Denver mayor’s budget

DENVER -- Mayor Michael Hancock revealed his 2018 proposed budget on Tuesday, highlighting the issues he would like to see addressed in the coming year.

"You will see in my budget what we value and what we see as a priority," Hancock said at a news conference.

The budget calls for 10 miles of new bike lanes as well as $500,000 for new red light and speed cameras.

City officials said they expect to bring in $1 million in revenue with the new cameras. The exact locations are to be determined.

The budget proposal, which will be voted on and amended by the Denver City Council before November, also calls for studying and reconstructing seven of the most dangerous intersections in the city.

  • West Kentucky Avenue and Federal Boulevard
  • 13th Avenue and Broadway
  • 12th Avenue and Broadway
  • Franklin Street, Park Avenue West and East Colfax Avenue
  • 20th and Market streets
  • West Eighth Avenue and Zuni Street
  • West Eighth Avenue and Wyandot Street

Denver Public Works is also looking at a few other intersections in the vicinity of 13th and Broadway but there are seven that are the primary focus.

The Denver Police Department would receive $1.8 million to hire 22 new officers.

The department also will receive funding to quadruple the number of mental health professionals who work with police on overdose calls.

Currently, there are six professionals; it will be 24 if the budget passes.

"Those are the civilians that are well trained to work hand in hand with police officers," police chief Robert White said.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers previously reported on issues and delays with the city's 911 center and understaffing.

Hancock's budget calls for hiring 10 new employees who will make $70,000 a year.

But Hancock acknowledged filling those new positions will be tough. The city hasn't found enough applications for current openings.

"We are finding it increasingly more competitive to fill positions in the city of Denver. We continue to work with our human resource office to fill positions," Hancock said.