The Department of Public Safety (DOS) unifies all the city agencies tasked with ensuring Denver is the safest and most welcoming city in the nation. Our mission is to deliver a full spectrum of high-quality public safety services to individuals who live, work and visit the City and County of Denver.
Under the guidance of the Executive Director, who is appointed by the city's mayor, DOS provides management, discipline, human resources, administrative support and policy direction for Police, Fire and Sheriff Departments, the 9-1-1 Combined Communications Center, Public Safety Youth Programs, Community Corrections and the Gang Reduction Initiative (GRID). The DOS also oversees the Public Safety Cadet Program, a program for high-performing high school graduates who are interested in becoming a police officer, firefighter or deputy sheriff in Denver.
The Executive Director is the highest authority in the Department of Public Safety and provides oversight, leadership and guidance to the each of the divisions through their leadership teams. In addition, the Executive Director's office is responsible for issuing fair and unbiased discipline decisions on behalf of Police, Fire and Sheriff Departments.
During his career, Executive Director Riggs has developed data-based practices to address the degradation of residents’ quality of life, expanded community-government engagement, assisted with the successful merger of government services, and established operational efficiencies while increasing productivity.
He has held the positions of Police Chief and Director of Public Safety in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the positions of Police Chief and Assistant City Manager in Corpus Christi, Texas. He also served as a police officer for 20 years, working his way from recruit to Assistant Chief and Chief of Staff during that time.
Most recently, Executive Director Riggs served as the Vice-President of Sagamore Institute where he oversaw day-to-day operations and advanced strategies to support innovations in criminal justice.
His experience in public service is further complemented by his commitment to community engagement. He has received many leadership and community awards, including recognition by the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People and the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Executive Director Riggs is a Political Science graduate of the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky and he holds an EMBA from Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife Kara have been married for over 25 years and have two sons, David and Caleb.
Laura Wachter joined Department of Public Safety in November 2011 as Deputy Director of Administration. Since that time, Wachter has provided policy oversight and strategic planning for 911 Communications, Community Corrections, Youth Programs and Human Resources.
In addition, she has established department-wide efficiency, saving and performance metrics; helped develop a department-wide strategic plan; and collaborated with the Police and Sheriff Departments to implement Peak Performance and their strategic resource alignment projects.
Wachter began her career as a budget analyst with the City of Kansas City, Missouri and then moved to Phoenix, Arizona to become the Financial Manager for the State of Arizona School Facilities board in 2002, where she successfully prepared an annual $918.8 million budget request for the Governor, and created a 5-year strategic plan that incorporated revenue models, expenditure trend forecasts, and performance measures.
In 2004, Wachter was hired by the City of Phoenix to coordinate a $4.9 billion 5-year capital improvement plan. After the plan was successfully implemented, she joined Denver’s Budget Management Office at the end of 2004 as a Senior Financial Management Analyst.
Over the next six years, Wachter became an indispensable part of the Budget Management Office, and an essential departmental liaison to the Department of Safety. She was promoted to Budget and Management Supervisor in 2007 and served as Manager of Budget Operations from 2009-2011.
Wachter has served on numerous boards and task forces, including the Denver Asset Building Coalition and Property Confiscation Board. She has also been a Collective Bargaining team member since she joined the City of Denver in 2004.
In 1995, Wachter received a B.A. in Mathematics and Political Science with Honors from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Four years later, she earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management, with Distinction, from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Wachter and her husband, Mark, have two children, Zach and Quinn.
Daelene Mix is the Chief Administrative Officer for the Department of Public Safety.
Ms. Mix provides strategic leadership, guidance and direction to support equitable personnel and administrative practices. She maintains oversight of and responsibility for Safety Human Resources, the Public Integrity Division and Government and Community Affairs. The Cadet Program, Public Safety Youth Programs, and GRID also fall under her umbrella of oversight.
Prior to her appointment as Chief Administrative Officer, Ms. Mix served as Chief of Staff to the Executive Director of Public Safety, providing strategic guidance on complex operational, management and organizational priorities and initiatives. Ms. Mix has been with the Department of Public Safety since 2011, previously serving as Strategic Advisor to the Executive Director and Communications Director for the Department. In these roles she advanced efforts of high importance, providing direction and oversight to ensure efficient and timely completion of executive priorities.
Ms. Mix has served on several Mayoral committees, including the Behavioral Health Executive Committee, DSD Reform Executive Committee, DSD Reform Implementation Committee, REDD Executive Committee, Police Chief Search Committee and Sheriff Search Committee.
Prior to joining the Department of Public Safety, Ms. Mix served as Communications Director and City Council Liaison for Denver Public Works, and as the Workforce Investment Board Liaison for the Denver Office of Economic Environment. She is a graduate of Colorado State University, a Denver native, and the proud mother of two girls.
Mary Dulacki is the Deputy Director responsible for discipline of the Denver Police and Denver Fire departments. In her role, assumed in April 2019, she reviews internal investigations, oversees disciplinary proceedings and other administrative matters.
Ms. Dulacki, a native of Denver, is a former prosecutor and judge. During her 11 years working for Department of Public Safety, she established herself as a leading expert in the Colorado Open Records (CORA) and Colorado Criminal Justice Records (CCJRA) acts. She also drafted policies to support reform efforts in the Denver Sheriff Department. And, she brought city and state agencies and stakeholders together to address arrest-identification issues and advised on policy matters as a member of the city’s Information Governance and XO committees.
Her responsibilities as deputy director who oversees discipline requires her to possess in-depth knowledge of the law along with department rules and policies. Ms. Dulacki says that her predecessors worked hard to establish clear disciplinary matrices that identify and communicate what is expected of employees, who often face difficult split-second decisions. Thorough training, education and respectful dialogue are essential for the best outcomes.
Ms. Dulacki also will prepare and present public reports on the use of force, disciplinary actions and training supporting the department's goals of accountability and transparency to the Denver community.
Ms. Dulacki is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Denver Law School.
Director of Safety
1331 Cherokee Street, Room 302
Denver, CO 80204
Phone: (720) 913-6020
Fax: (720) 913-7028
Denver 311 Help Center Call 3-1-1
Outside Denver Call 720-913-1311
TTY Service: 720-913-8479