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About Denver Sheriff


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The Denver Sheriff Department, led by Sheriff Elias Diggins, comprises over 1,100 uniformed and non-uniformed staff overseeing many diverse divisions and operations including two jail facilities, security for the district and county court systems, state inmate transportation, extradition duties, fugitive and K-9 units, a vehicle impound facility, work release facility, and security at Denver Health & Medical Center.

The Denver Sheriff Department has been Triple Crown certified, accredited by the ACA, NCCHC, and CALEA. Additionally, the Sheriff Advisory Board–a formal approach meant to promote collaboration between the community and the Denver Sheriff Department–was created in 2017. Learn more about the board's goals, members, and meetings.

Who We Are

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.

historic illustration of sheriff deputies on horses

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 1,100 dedicated men and women, both uniformed and civilian. 

(Click on image to enlarge in a new tab.)



Triple Crown Award shield logo

The  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 logo

The 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.  

National Commission on Correctional Health Care logo

The 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. 

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.

Meet Sheriff Elias Diggins, MPA, CJM, CCE

Denver Sheriff Elias Diggins

Elias Diggins was sworn in as the Sheriff of Denver (CO) in July 2020. He has been with the Denver Sheriff Department since 1994, holding all uniform ranks with various assignments during his career. He is a staunch supporter of both the community and the men and the women of the Denver Sheriff Department. He is a Colorado native and grew up in the east Denver neighborhood of Montbello. 

He is a nationally recognized law enforcement official and a Past-President of the American Jail Association (AJA), where he is also a Certified Jail Manager. During his term as AJA President, he introduced an initiative titled "Gender Equity in Jails Across America," which has been adopted by the Department of Justice-National Institute of Corrections, as well as facilities around the country. He is the recipient of several honors from various organizations, including the 2019 Legacy Award from the Association of Women Executives in Corrections. 

Sheriff Diggins is a Certified Correctional Executive through the American Correction Association (ACA), where he is also a former auditor, commissioner and the Chair for ACA's Commission on Accreditation for Corrections. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Metropolitan State University of Denver. 


Mailing Address:

Denver Sheriff Department
P.O. Box 1108
Denver, CO 80201

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