Sheriff Department Top-to-Bottom Reform Overview

The top-to-bottom review of the Denver Sheriff Department will require a great deal of work to deliver thoughtful recommendations for reform. To ensure this is a comprehensive process, input is being gathered from a wide range of law enforcement experts and engaged community members. The following are the final reports that will be taken into consideration as a plan is created to reform the department.

Task Forces & Reports

The top-to-bottom review of the Denver Sheriff Department ordered by Mayor Michael B. Hancock has been completed. A copy of the assessment report prepared by consultants Hillard Heintze and the OIR group can be found here -

READ THE REPORT: "New Vision, Brighter Future: The Denver Sheriff Department - Transforming the Leadership, Operations and Culture of the Department

Upon completion of the report, an internal Implementation Team, led by Executive Director of Public Safety Stephanie Y. O’Malley, immediately began to work to develop an action plan that prioritizes the multitude of recommendations received from the Independent Monitor, the 2015 Jail Operations Audit conducted by the City Auditor, the Phase 1 reform effort, and the assessment report. In all, over 400 recommendations are under consideration. 

The Implementation Team has convened six Action Teams comprised of community members, city employees and public safety stakeholders to evaluate the recommendations and to prioritize appropriate implementation. Priority will be given to those recommendations focused on: Leadership and performance accountability; Professional correction services; Accountability for violations of department policies, procedures, department and post orders; Staffing related to reducing overtime and properly deploying existing sworn personnel; and Safety for deputies and inmates.

The team is comprised of individuals who will be tasked with implementing the recommendations. Members of the team are:

  • Stephanie O’Malley, Executive Director of Public Safety
  • Sheriff Elias Diggins, Denver Sheriff
  • Nick Mitchell, Independent Monitor
  • Scott Martinez, City Attorney
  • Brendan Hanlon, Budget Director
  • Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez, Dist. 3 and Chair of the Committee on Safety and Well-being
  • Deputy Mike Jackson,  President of Denver Sheriff Lodge 27
  • Shawn Smith, Peak Performance staff

Implementation Team Meeting Minutes: June 1, 2015 | June 9, 2015 | June 17, 2015 | June 22, 2015 | June 29, 2015 | July 6, 2015 | July 13, 2015  | July 20, 2015 | July 27, 2015 | August 3, 2015 | August 10, 2015 | August 17, 2015 | August 28, 2015 | August 31, 2015 | September 8, 2015 | September 14, 2015


Use of Force and Internal Affairs

  • Members: Alfonso Suazo, Andrea Lucero, Anthony Thomas, Armando Saldate III, Captain Jaime Kafati, Captain Kelly Bruning, Captain Phil Swift, Captain William Thomas, Christopher M.A. Lujan, Cisco Gallardo, Commander Ron Thomas, Denise Maes, Deputy Adele Angers, Deputy Carla Tatum, Deputy Eishi Yamaguchi, Deputy Mike Jackson, Deputy Robert Pablo, Division Chief Connie Coyle, Division Chief Gary Wilson, Dr. Dellena Aguilar, Grayson Robinson, Jess Vigil, John Riley, Major Bryan Moore, Major Rick Guererro, Matt Butice, Mike Wright, Pastor Del Phillips, Pastor Terrence Hughes, Phil Cherner, Rick Stubbs, Sergeant Jamison Brown, Sergeant Kenneth Juranek, Sergeant Michael Jordan, Sergeant Shayne Grannum, Shannon Elwell, Sheriff Elias Diggins, Steve Chavez, Teniqua Pope, Wendy Shea, Al LaCabe, Nick Mitchell, Lisa Calderon, Jennifer Jacobson
  • Meeting Minutes: June 23, 2015 | June 30, 2015 | July 7, 2015 | July 14, 2015 | July 21, 2015 | July 28, 2015 | August 4, 2015 | August 11, 2015 | August 18, 2015 | August 25, 2015 | September 1, 2015 | September 8, 2015 | September 15, 2015 | September 22, 2015


Staffing and Performance Optimization

  • Members: Stephanie O’Malley, Sheriff Elias Diggins, Brendan Hanlon, Captain James Johnson, Deputy Annette Grimes, Deputy Sonya Leyba, Division Chief Venessie Brown, Dr. Mary Davis, Jay Flynn, Jennifer Jacobson, Laura Wachter, Mark Valentine, Rory Regan, Sergeant Ilya Telesin, Shawn Smith, Stephen Jaye
  • Meeting Minutes: July 9, 2015 | July 16, 2015  | July 23, 2015 | July 30, 2015 | August 6, 2015 | August 13, 2015


Leadership, Supervision and Strategic Planning

  • Members: Stephanie O'Malley, Shawn Smith, Captain Chris Brown, Chad Sublet, Deputy Calvin Willingham, Deputy Denise VanDyke, Division Chief Connie Coyle, GMDMA Rep, Patsy Hathaway, Rob Nespor, Sergeant Frank Rolando, Sergeant Janelle Orozco, Sergeant Steven Koch, New Sheriff (when hired)
  • Meeting Minutes: July 8, 2015 | July 15, 2015 | July 22, 2015 | July 29, 2015 | August 5, 2015




Human Resources

Denver officials have released  40 draft recommendations for reform from several task forces convened earlier this year to review policies, procedures, discipline, training and staff well-being within the Denver Sheriff Department. 

Staffing/Staff Well-Being Task Force
Identify and assess the mental, physical and emotional challenges of the Denver Sheriff Department staff and recommend compassionate and sustainable solutions to enhance and strengthen their overall well-being. 
Staffing/Staff Well-Being Report

Training Task Force
Conduct a review of the training policies, procedures and practices of DSD. The workgroup will review the effectiveness of its current training program and determine if improvements can be made.
Training Report

Policy and Procedure Task Force
conduct a review of written policies and procedures within the agency to determine if improvement is necessary. The workgroup will make recommendation for improvement where necessary.
Policy and Procedure Report

Discipline Task Force
Assess the effectiveness of the conduct principles and disciplinary guidelines; review statistics, trends and patterns to identify opportunities for improvement; and develop comparisons to other similarly situated Sheriff Departments to evaluate norms and processes. Example: The impact of Career Service Rules on the Denver Sheriff Department’s Disciplinary Matrix.
Discipline Report

The Denver Peak Performance team will provide a comprehensive workload buildup and organizational assessment report on how every position and function operates within the Denver Sheriff Department.

The Denver Sheriff Department Reform Steering Committee will provide a summary report of the feedback received during the four community dialogues held throughout September as well as the email input submitted online.

The Mayor welcomes Denver community organizations to submit recommended changes to policies, procedures, discipline, training and staff well-being at the Denver Sheriff Department as well as desirable qualities for a new sheriff. Please submit them in written form to

Would you like to weigh in on the Sheriff Department Reform Effort?

Mayor Michael Hancock has ordered a top-to-bottom review of the Denver Sheriff Department. Through this review, the city will create plan that will set a new standard of accountability, strengthen protocols for impropriety and help chart a new direction for the Sheriff Department. The Mayor will also appoint a new Sheriff.

To ensure we make this department something Denver can be proud of, Mayor Hancock wants to hear from you.

Weigh in. What changes in policies, procedures, discipline, training and staff well-being at the Department would you recommend?

Weigh in. What characteristics would you like to see in the next Sheriff of Denver?

For those who were unable to attend the public meetings, or for those who have additional comments, you can email us at  or fill out the form below.