DENVER (KDVR) — Crime is a big issue in Colorado and specifically here in Denver. Data from the Common Sense Institute shows that in 2022, Denver’s monthly average crime rate was 43% higher than it was in 2019.

This is something the mayoral candidates, Kelly Brough and Mike Johnston, are both addressing in their platforms.

Like their plans on homelessness, these candidates have some things in common when it comes to their plans for public safety. They both want to hire more police officers, but stakeholders backing their campaigns have different ideas.

Brough and Johnston have gained key endorsements over the past two months.

The Denver Police Protective Association, the Denver Sheriff’s Fraternal Order of Police and Denver Firefighters Local 858 are all throwing their support behind Brough.

“For me, this is not only about keeping you safe in your neighborhood, keeping our kids safe in their schools, but it’s also about preventing crime, and we know how to do it,” Brough said. “What they [the public safety groups endorsing her] all tell you, what they told me, is they are endorsing me because I have experience to do this job on day one. They think there is real work ahead. I agree, but they also trust that I am both capable of supporting them and holding them accountable. I think that’s what they are looking for in their next mayor.”

Johnston picked up two endorsements from former mayoral candidates, state Rep. Leslie Herod and third-place finisher Lisa Calderón. The former candidates are both advocates for police accountability and boosting mental health programs to go along with public safety efforts. Johnston is calling for more mental health services too.

“That is exactly the coalition we are building: the folks who really want to see us reduce crime on the streets. I know that there is a way for us to do that without having violated people’s constitutional rights or having instances of abuse.,” said Johnston. “I’ve come out and said we need to have 200 more first responders I would put back on the street. That’s officers, that’s mental health workers, that is also paramedics and EMTs to make sure we can get back a sense of public safety, and having them actually out walking beats out on the streets, talking to people, handing out business cards, walking the neighborhood. That’s what community members really want is visible officers that are there to help before things go wrong.”