Denver’s got 22 applicants to be its next police chief — and 14 still have a shot

The city is not sharing names of the applicants at this time, Riggs said, and the goal is to give a list of finalists to Mayor Michael Hancock by the end of this month or early next month.

Allan Tellis. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Troy Riggs, Denver Department of Public Safety's new executive director, speaks at a press conference concerning his appointment, Feb. 5, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Troy Riggs, Denver Department of Public Safety's new executive director, on Feb. 5, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

In the search to find a new police chief to succeed the retiring Chief Robert White, Denver’s received 22 applications, 14 of which were sent to the Police Executive Research Forum for further review.

Troy Riggs, executive director of the Department of Public Safety, gave the update on the search process at a press conference Thursday morning.

The city is not sharing the applicants’ names at this time, and the goal is to give a list of finalists to Mayor Michael Hancock by the end of this month or early next month.  The Police Chief Search Committee will meet next week to go over the 14 names, according to Daelene Mix, Public Safety chief of staff.

We already know our next chief will come from within the Denver Police Department — the application is open to “current and retired members of the Denver Police Department who have held a rank of Lieutenant or higher for at least five years.”

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) has selected those that best meet the requirements and now the Police Chief Search Committee will select finalists based on community expectations gathered via input forums and pass those names on to the mayor. After that, Mayor Hancock will review those candidates and appoint our next police chief from that final batch.

“In my review I saw numerous individuals that were capable of being the next chief of the Denver Police Department. I think the PERF representative was correct when she said that Chief White has done an excellent job of building up the next generation of leaders. Also I’ll be honest, that was the main reason I thought we need to be internal” said Riggs.

The Denver Justice Project said it’s frustrated with what it calls a lack of transparency in the process, and with the makeup of the city’s search committee.

“The process has been frustrating,” said Roshan Bliss, community organizer at the Denver Justice Project. “It was disturbing the lack of transparency in the administration and this has been a recurring problem.”