Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced today that Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex J. Martinez is stepping away from the state’s highest court to serve as the Manager of Safety for the City and County of Denver.
“The Manager of Safety is one of the most important positions in my Cabinet, particularly at a time when we must restore public trust and confidence in Denver’s safety agencies,” Mayor Hancock said. “Justice Martinez brings the highest level of integrity, a deep commitment to fairness and justice, and a well-earned level of respect from the legal and public-safety communities. I am grateful he has agreed to serve the citizens of Denver in this capacity.”
The Manager of Safety provides civilian oversight of the Police, Fire and Sheriff’s departments. Justice Martinez’s appointment will be effective Nov. 1. Interim Safety Manager Ashley Kilroy will continue to serve in this capacity until Justice Martinez assumes his new role. At that time, Kilroy will become Deputy Manager of Safety.
During this time of transition, Martinez will assist in the search for a new police chief for the City.
“I am thankful to Mayor Hancock for this opportunity and for his understanding to make the transition in a way that minimizes the impact on the Colorado Supreme Court,” Justice Martinez said. “For over 25 years, I have worked to ensure the rightful application of the law and a high-level of safety for the people of Colorado, and I look forward to continuing my work within this new and challenging position.”
Mayor Hancock said Justice Martinez will provide strong leadership within the community, building trust and strengthening communications and relationships between city government and Denver’s diverse communities.
Among Justice Martinez’s highest priorities will be to ensure swift and fair discipline, and to maintain the consistent application of professional standards, integrity and codes of conduct.
Justice Martinez was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1996 by then-Gov. Roy Romer and was retained by voters in 2000 and 2010.
"Having served 14 years on the bench with Justice Martinez, I wholeheartedly support him in his new endeavor,” Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael L. Bender said. “Justice Martinez has made enormous contributions to the operation of Colorado’s courts and its jurisprudence. With that, and his long record of service to the state, he will be greatly missed, but I have no doubt he will excel in this position.”
Justice Martinez has been recognized by the Colorado Freedom of Information Council for his efforts to maximize public access to records of the courts, supporting a balance between the public’s interest in access to information and an individual’s privacy interests.
Justice Martinez began his career as a Deputy State Public Defender. In 1983, then-Gov. Richard Lamm appointed Martinez to the Pueblo County Court bench. Five years later he was appointed the District Court for the Tenth Judicial District by then-Gov. Roy Romer.
Serving within the Colorado judicial system for 28 years, Justice Martinez is renowned for being fair and balanced. He has built a reputation of approaching all cases impartially and taking into consideration every aspect of every case.
Justice Martinez has also been a community leader, receiving such accolades as the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and the William Lee Knous Award, the highest award of the University of Colorado School of Law given for outstanding achievement and sustained service.
“I am confident Justice Martinez will carry on his reputation of bringing an independent approach to his work,” Mayor Hancock said. “He will be a key asset as we strive to rebuild and restore the trust between our residents and our departments of safety.”