Hickenlooper Re-appoints Whitman as Denver Police Chief
(DENVER) Mayor John Hickenlooper officially announced on Monday his re-appointment of Gerald R. Whitman as Denver’s police chief. Whitman, who has served as Denver’s police chief since February 2000, has served as acting chief since Hickenlooper took office on July 21.
“During my campaign, and in the past four weeks since taking office, I have had the opportunity to listen to a large number of people from different parts of the community as well as members of the police department,” Hickenlooper said. “I have reviewed recommendations for modernizing the department - including the implementation of a decentralized community-policing, problem-solving philosophy throughout the department - as well as a system of strict but fair accountability for implementing that philosophy and all other department policies. I wholeheartedly support these recommendations. They, as well as all other information gathered, have been invaluable in forming my mission and mandate for the police department and its chief.”
“After lengthy consideration of this input and information, I have decided to reappoint Gerald Whitman as Denver’s Chief of Police. Chief Whitman has my complete confidence and support to continue this challenging task of managing and guiding the process of modernization. In this vein, I have given Chief Whitman specific tasks, which I believe, will allow us to continue offering the very best in police service to the citizens of Denver.”
The Mayor’s directives to Chief Whitman include the following:
“The past three years have seen marked change in the policies and procedures of the Denver Police Department,” Hickenlooper said. “With rapid change comes discomfort. This is not unique to a police department, but is experienced by all organizations endeavoring to change. This progress shall continue, but we must endeavor to minimize the discomfort associated with change by involving employees, employee groups and the community in the process.”
- Ensure that the Denver Police Department represents the diverse community it serves and operates with the most modern and effective methods and equipment.
“We will seek people for leadership positions that desire advancement as an opportunity to contribute to the professional mission of the department,” Hickenlooper said. “As part of this mandate, we will seek a fair promotional process that identifies this type of leader. Those placed in these positions of leadership will be empowered to make decisions within their area of responsibility to accomplish the department’s mission.”
- Install a leadership team that can meet high expectations and serve the diverse needs of the community.
“Chief Whitman, who has long been a proponent of partnering with the community, has assured me that he will continue his efforts to involve citizens, wherever and whenever possible, in the activities of their police department,” Hickenlooper said.
- Encourage and facilitate the active community participation in the community policing effort.
“Equally as important as collaboration between the department and the community is collaboration and communication on issues of mutual concern between all of the managers of the department and all levels of the organization,” Hickenlooper said.
- Seek every opportunity to ensure that, where appropriate, all affected members or groups within the police department are active participants in formulating and implementing the strategic objectives of the department.
“Police officers, as well as the public, are entitled to open, fair, and rapid resolution of complaints,” Hickenlooper said. “Any internal disciplinary process must fair and equitable and inspire the confidence of both the public and the members of the police department.”
- Identify opportunities to streamline the complaint and disciplinary process, and if necessary, revise existing policies of the department and make recommendations about other city policies that may facilitate this change.
“All policies and procedures must work to ensure the safety of both the officers and the public,” Hickenlooper said.
- Reassess current policies and practices addressing and impacting the use of force to include how officers are selected to serve on the department, how officers are trained, and the review of use of force incidents.
“The trust and support of the community is the foundation that grants the police the ability to complete their mission,” Hickenlooper said.
- Encourage each member of the department to be part of the endeavor to promote the police department to the public.
“Meeting these challenges will require cooperation, involvement and effort by myself, the Manager of Safety, the Chief of Police, as well as every member of the Denver Police Department and the citizens of the City and County of Denver,” Hickenlooper said. “Together, we will strive to continue to make our police department a source of pride to its members and to make this city a safe place to live and work.”
Chief of Police: Gerald R. Whitman
Whitman has been a police officer for 27 years, beginning his career as a foot patrolman with the Ames (Iowa) Police Department. He later served on the Lakewood (Colorado) Police Department as a patrol agent, field training officer, and crime scene investigator. Whitman joined the Denver Police Department in 1982 as a patrol officer. He served as a Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and then Division Chief - all within the Denver Police Department’s Patrol Division - before being named Chief of Police in February 2000 by then-Mayor Wellington Webb.
Whitman currently serves on the Executive Board of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which represents the 50 largest police departments in the United States and Canada. He is also a member of Police Executive Research Forum, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and is a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute in Quantico, Virginia; the Denver Community Leadership Forum and the Senior Commanders Program, both through the University of Colorado at Denver.
Whitman has been a member of the Mile High Optimist Club of Monaco South since 1989. He currently serves on the boards of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, Police Activities League (PAL), Police Officers Standard and Training (P.O.S.T.), and Denver Police Officers Foundation, which he chairs. He was a founding member of the Denver Police Department Front Rangers Cycling Club, a non-profit youth cycling club for at-risk children, and serves on the Denver Commission for People with Disabilities.
Whitman obtained his bachelors degree in law enforcement administration from Western Illinois University and his Masters degree in criminal justice from the University of Colorado at Denver.
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