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Mayor Hancock and the Denver Sheriff Department Mark an Important Milestone in Reform

A Report to the Denver Community Released Outlines Next Steps to Embed Reform into the Department and Continually Improve Operations

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Executive Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs joined Sheriff Patrick Firman today to mark a major milestone of implementing nearly 400 recommendations to institute reform in the Denver Sheriff Department’s (DSD). A report to the community, termed Beyond Reform, was released today highlighting the reform efforts undertaken and outlining DSD’s transition into continuous process improvement.

The Mayor and safety officials thanked the Denver Sheriff Department employees and the numerous community members who worked to reach this major milestone.

“As a community, the Sheriff Department and the residents of this city, embarked on significant reformation that has set this department on a transformational path, and I am proud of the progress we have made together,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “This was no small feat and it will prove successful overtime as reform takes hold and a new culture is embedded into the department. The work is not over and we’re all in this together, moving forward together. Thank you to everyone that went above and beyond throughout this process and for the continued dedication to these efforts.”

Mayor Hancock ordered a review of the DSD in 2014, which resulted in over 400 recommendations for improvement. Today, the significant effort of reviewing, prioritizing, implementing and independently validating the recommendations is complete and the department is now focused on maintaining and instilling the reform. Only three recommendations associated with a multi-year software roll-out are pending.

There has been a tremendous amount of work put into implementing these changes and although there is still work to be done, it’s important that we take the time to acknowledge and celebrate what has been accomplished. 

“I am extremely proud of the men and women of the DSD for their efforts to support reform implementation and for their continued serve to our community.  Without their hard work and dedication, none of this would be possible,” said Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman. “As we continue to evolve and move beyond reform into continuous improvement, we will utilize data to drive decisions as we continue to evaluate and modify our processes and procedures while fostering a safe and healthy environment within the DSD and the community we serve.”

The reform work touched every corner of the sheriff department, impacting its culture and organizational structure. Notably, the effort resulted in a new Use of Force (UOF) Policy centered on de-escalation; improved UOF reporting standards; enhanced training for staff including mandatory Crisis Intervention Training for all deputies; a new DSD employee wellness program; improved Internal Affairs processes; a new Data Science Unit; the creation of a citizen Sheriff Advisory Board; increased Denver Health mental health providers; and civilianization of various uniform positions.

“The reform process has been an enormous collaborative effort between the sheriff department, criminal justice stakeholders and community members,” said Executive Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs. “The work that transpired during the process helped establish a strong foundation from which the Sheriff and his team can continue to build upon the department’s progress and success.”

The Beyond Reform document is located here.