CONTACT: Lindy Eichenbaum Lent
firstname.lastname@example.orgMayor Hickenlooper Announces Independent MonitorConfirmation awaits City Council approval
(DENVER) Mayor John Hickenlooper announced Friday that Richard A. Rosenthal, director of Portland, Oregon’s Independent Police Review Division, has accepted the offer to become Denver’s first Independent Monitor, pending City Council confirmation.
“The tremendous interest expressed in the Independent Monitor position demonstrates that our civilian oversight efforts are headed in the right direction,” said Mayor Hickenlooper.
“All three finalists possessed unique and desirable skills and attributes that would be an asset to this position, but Richard’s proven track record in creating and managing police oversight systems made him the ideal choice to implement our new initiative. I am optimistic that the citizens of Denver will find Richard to be both responsive and proactive, delivering honesty, accountability and constructive change that – in the end – will make our community safer,” the Mayor added.
“I am very much looking forward to working with the Mayor, the Citizen Oversight Board and the community in setting up the best possible program to benefit everyone in the city of Denver,” Rosenthal said from Portland on Friday.
The current Independent Police Review director for the City of Portland, Rosenthal set up Portland’s IPR division which began operations in January 2002. Under his management, the office conducts intake investigations and makes assignment decisions for all citizen complaints against members of the Portland Police Bureau.
The office also monitors, reviews and comments on all police internal investigations, findings and imposition of discipline; reviews officer-involved shooting investigations, findings, policy and training on a continuing basis; processes appeals of Internal Affairs findings; reviews criminal intelligence division files to ensure compliance with state law; and facilitates the work of Portland’s Citizen Review Committee.
In addition to creating Portland’s IPR program and hiring and supervising its staff, Rosenthal’s accomplishments in Portland include the creation of the nation’s largest (per capita) citizen-police mediation program; implementing a shared management information system with Internal Affairs to track complaint investigations and improve timeliness of investigations and complaint handling; conceptualizing an annual review of Police Bureau training and policies with respect to officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths; publishing annual reports increasing the transparency of the disciplinary and administrative investigation process; and implementing formal case handling criteria and processes for intake of citizen complaints and commendations.
Rosenthal previously served as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County where he specialized in the investigation and prosecution of judges, public officials and police officers, receiving commendations for his role in uncovering scandals. He was responsible for uncovering the Los Angeles Police Department Rampart Division scandal and became the primary liaison between the DA’s Rampart Task Force and LAPD’s Internal Affairs Division.
A featured speaker at 2003 and 2004 annual conferences for the National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, Rosenthal is an adjunct professor at Portland State University where he teaches a course entitled “Issues in Police Misconduct.”
He is also an instructor in the Portland Police Bureau Advanced Academy and Citizen Academies teaching IPR-Internal Affairs complaint processes and police ethics. He holds a bachelors degree in economics and history and a law degree – both from the University of California, Berkeley.
If confirmed by City Council, Rosenthal will receive an annual salary of $110,000.
The Independent Monitor Selection Panel was composed of the following individuals: (Chair) Joseph G. Sandoval, chair of the Citizen Oversight Board and chair of Metropolitan State College of Denver’s criminal justice department; Kelly Brough, director of the City and County of Denver’s Career Service Authority; Retired Denver District Court Judge Richard Spriggs; Denver City Councilman Rick Garcia, chair of City Council’s Public Safety Committee; and Sam Pailca, director of the Office of Professional Accountability in Seattle, Washington.
Of the 200 applications initially received, approximately 75 applicants met the minimum requirements established for the Independent Monitor position. After careful review of these 75 applicants, the selection panel identified 12 applicants for personal interviews. (One of the 12 subsequently withdrew because of another job offer.)
Following the interviews and further review of the 11 semi-finalists, the panel identified three finalists who demonstrated the experience and skills needed to be successful in the Independent Monitor position. All three candidates were subsequently interviewed by Mayor Hickenlooper and also met separately with City Council members, community organizations and safety officials.
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