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Profile image of Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman

Patrick Firman is the Sheriff for the City and County of Denver, the largest Sheriff Department in the state of Colorado. He was appointed by Mayor Michael Hancock on Oct. 15, 2015.

Firman is responsible for overseeing the many divisions and diverse operations of the Denver Sheriff Department including uniformed and non-uniformed staff members. These operations include two separate jail facilities, security for the District and County court systems, state inmate transportation, extradition duties, fugitive and K-9 units, a Community Corrections and Work Release facility, and managing the detainment of inmates receiving services at Denver Health Medical Center.

Firman has over 27 years of uniformed and jail management experience. Before coming to Denver, he served as Deputy Chief of Corrections for the McHenry County, IL Sheriff’s Office from 2009 to 2014, and as Deputy Chief and Chief of Corrections for the Lake County, IL Sheriff’s Office from 2000 to 2009. In these roles, Firman oversaw jail systems of hundreds of inmates and department staff and was instrumental in bringing American Correctional Association (ACA) accreditation to the two organizations.

Firman carries significant expertise in corrections, penology and criminology, along with a keen eye for process improvements and organizational accountability. He served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Correctional Association, as well as a certified American Correctional Association auditor and executive and a Department of Justice PREA auditor. He is also certified in Approved Instructional Expertise in Human Behavior by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. Firman shared his expertise as an adjunct professor at the Chicago area’s College of Lake County and Trinity International University.

Firman is a sought-after expert in analytics, recommendations and implementation of operational solutions for many of the challenges facing today’s correctional facilities. He has made it a priority to focus on programming, community involvement and treatment solutions to ensure inmates have the resources necessary to successfully transition back to the community. His department’s reform efforts in opioid and medical-assisted treatments have become a national model for correctional systems, as is his implementation of a community advisory board that provides ideas, concerns and feedback to the Sheriff.

Firman is an active member of the Denver community, and serves on the City and County of Denver Community Corrections Board and is a board member for the Salvation Army Denver Metro Advisory Board.

The Denver Sheriff Department is committed to being a model law enforcement agency by:

•Being dedicated to our employees, maintaining a department based on a solid foundation of open, honest communication, quality leadership, training and mutual support, and

•Earning the respect and the confidence of our diverse communities, by maintaining a covenant of public trust, and

•Being committed to best practices.

The mission of the Denver Sheriff Department is to provide safe and secure custody for those placed in our care and to perform all of our duties in a manner that is responsive to the needs of our diverse community.

  • Safety: We continually maintain and improve core competencies and specialized skills so as to enable us to fulfill our obligation to protect department personnel, other law enforcement agencies, service providers, detainees and the public from harm.
  • Humanity: We treat everyone humanely.
  • Ethics: We set positive examples in both our personal and professional lives, and consistently behave in accordance with the highest standards expected of the law enforcement community.
  • Respect: We acknowledge the dignity of every individual.
  • Integrity: We demonstrate the highest standards of honesty and accountability in both our personal and professional lives.
  • Fiduciary: We hold a position of trust and act at all times with the highest standard of care to those placed in our custody.
  • Fairness: We treat everyone in a manner free from discrimination, favoritism and bias.
  • Service: We work together to maintain an environment that fosters customer service and professionalism.


Strategy 1


We will provide staff with the resources, tools and support needed to be top performers.

Strategy 2


We will work to ensure best practices in inmate management, care and rehabilitation providing safety and security for those placed in our care.

Strategy 3


We will engage with our community to create understanding and work collaboratively to solve problems

The Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) was created on December 2, 1902 with the creation of the City and County of Denver. In 110 years, DSD has seen changes in facilities, locations, inmate populations, personnel, etc. However, the one thing that has remained constant is the commitment and dedication of DSD personnel.
Since 1902, DSD has moved from facilities made-up of a few hundred square feet to the hundreds of thousands of square feet that make up both the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center and the Denver County Jail. We have gone from handwritten forms and typing on typewriters to a virtually paperless state-of-the-art Jail Management System. In 1902, DSD started with a handful of employees and has grown to over 890 dedicated men and women, both uniformed and civilian. 


The Denver Sheriff Department is accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA) and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). We are a proud agency that is committed to employing the best practices for the community that we serve while being fiscally responsible.

Triple Crown Award shield logoThe  Triple Crown Award was established by the National Sheriff’s Association to recognize those sheriff offices that achieve simultaneous accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, the American Correctional Association, and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.  Achieving these accreditations individually is a daunting task; aquiring all three at the same time is an extraordinary feat. In fact, the Triple Crown distinction is so rare, that since the establishment of the award in 1993, fewer than 35 sheriff offices have qualified.

American Correctional Association logoThe American Correctional Association is the oldest and most prestigious correctional membership organization in the United States. Founded in 1870, ACA currently represents more than 20,000 correctional practitioners in the United States and Canada.  

Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) logo

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®) was created in 1979 as a credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement's major executive associations:

  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP);
  • National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE);
  • National Sheriffs' Association (NSA); and the
  • Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).

The purpose of CALEA’s Accreditation Programs is to improve the delivery of public safety services, primarily by: maintaining a body of standards, developed by public safety practitioners, covering a wide range of up-to-date public safety initiatives; establishing and administering an accreditation process; and recognizing professional excellence.


National Commission on Correctional Health Care logoThe National Commission on Correctional Heath Care is dedicated to improving health services in jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities. Incorporated in 1983, its roots are in the early 1970’s as a project of the American Medical Association. 


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The top-to-bottom review of the Denver Sheriff Department has delivered thoughtful recommendations for reform. To ensure the process was comprehensive, input was gathered from independent consultants, law enforcement experts and engaged community members.

Read the reports the recommendations came from, as well as progress reports on where the reform effort stands now.


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P.O. Box 1108  
Denver, CO 80201

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