May 12, 2017
The Denver Sheriff Department today announced the establishment of its new Sheriff Advisory Board. Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman has selected 10 community representatives to serve as board members, with a broad range of expertise, who represent Denver’s diverse neighborhoods.
“We are very excited to have our new board members begin work and are looking forward to gaining their input as we move along this journey together,” said Sheriff Firman. “The DSD greatly values community input and engagement. We have involved the community in our ongoing reform process, and in recent years, have held community forums. The newly established advisory board will take the concept of community engagement to a new level, creating a formal mechanism for the community to build stronger ties with the DSD.”
The newly selected board members are Andrea Borrego, Lawrence Left Hand Bull, Christopher Geggie, Leon Kelly, Brad Meuli, Michael Miller, La Toya Petty, Anastacia Rodriguez, Frances Simonet and Dianne Tramutola-Lawson. (Bios are attached.)
With the assistance of the City’s Office of Human Rights and Community Partnerships, the DSD created a review committee to ensure the process of selecting the board members was thorough and transparent. The DSD wanted to ensure the board provided diversity across a broad spectrum of areas including experience and expertise, race and ethnicity, gender and geographical representation of Denver’s neighborhoods.
The process included a public request for applications, which described the purpose of the board and included a formal application and questionnaire. The applicants were entered into a matrix document which identified their backgrounds, race/ethnicity, gender, expertise and neighborhood. The review committee decided to exclude applicants who either worked for the City and County of Denver, or didn’t live or work within the City limits, because the board is intended to maintain a community focus.
Interviews were conducted with the remaining applicants. Interview panels included the Sheriff, representatives of the Denver African-American Commission, the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance and the Crime Control and Prevention Commission. At the end of the process, invitations were extended to 10 people to join the board and all accepted. The size of the board was kept small intentionally so board members could identify any gaps in representation and add additional members at a later date.
The next steps in onboarding the board members will involve two orientation sessions where members will get a chance to meet and learn from senior staff members and take tours of DSD facilities. The first formal meeting of the board will likely be held in July. At the meeting, board governance infrastructure will be discussed. This will include establishing by-laws for the board, bringing on ex-officio board members with particular expertise, and will allow for question and answer discussion. Ex-officio members will include representatives from the City Attorney’s Office, a representative from the City’s Office of Human Rights and Community Partnerships, as well as rank-and-file DSD staff members.
“With the permission of board members, we’d like the direction and priorities of the board to be guided by the members themselves. As we move forward we’ll ask for input on what issues, concerns, and challenges the board wants to focus on as priorities,” said Sheriff Firman.
The board will continue to meet regularly during which time the Sheriff will keep board members apprised of activities and issues concerning the department, as well as provide an opportunity for board members to provide the Sheriff with ideas, concerns, feedback and suggestions. Board meetings will subscribe to a pre-set agenda with recorded meeting minutes and action setting. The board will provide advisement to department decisions. An outside facilitator will be engaged to assist in setting up initial board discussions that will lead to priority setting and other governance business.