Denver Sheriff's Position Posted With No Mention of Job Security

Need a job? The position of sheriff for the City and County of Denver is open, and the job description was just posted yesterday on the site of the national company leading the search. “Hillard Heintze is uniquely positioned to ensure the candidate pool reflects the characteristics Denver desires in its next sheriff,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in announcing the posting. “They spent considerable time meeting directly with community members, sheriff employees and stakeholders during their assessment period and have a strong understanding of the type of leader Denver needs to implement meaningful change.”

Fair warning: Given the amount of public scrutiny, there may not be a lot of job security in the top slot; after all, the posting notes that th sheriff "will be expected to build trust and facilitate effective internal and external communications with Denver’s diverse communities." Still, judging from all the settlements paid out over the last few years for bad behavior on the part of sheriff's department underlings, it takes a lot to be pushed off the lower rungs. Because of public outcry over the incidents leading to those settlements,Denver conducted a series of studies of the sheriff's department over the last year, including hiring Hillard Heintze to do an assessment and lead the job search.

A recruitment committee will be assisting with screening the applicants; the members include Thomas Frank, retired deputy sheriff; Reverend William Golson, chair of the Safety and Well-being Committee; City Attorney Scott Martinez; Stephanie O’Malley, Executive Director of Public Safety; Grayson Robinson, retired sheriff of Arapahoe County and author of one of the sheriff's department studies; former Denver City Councilmember, longtime public official and current Michael Bennet staffer Rosemary Rodriquez; Joseph Sandoval, Metropolitan State University criminal justice professor; Catherine Shea, GLBT Commission; and Janice Sinden, Mayor’s Chief of Staff.

And they'll be working fast — at least compared to the glacial pace that brought the city to this point. "Barring unforeseen circumstances," according to the city's announcement, Denver will have a new sheriff in the next 90 to 120 days. “Securing a leader with the necessary talents to drive the reform that members of both the community and the Denver Sheriff Department deserve and want is our top priority,” promises Hancock.

Interested in knowing more? Here's the job posting at hillardheintz.com.

Denver Sheriff Department
City and County of Denver, Colorado

The City and County of Denver, Colorado is seeking candidates for the position of Sheriff to lead the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD), which is responsible for Denver’s Metropolitan detention system. Founded in 1858, Denver is the capital of Colorado and has a consolidated city and county government. Denver is known for its natural beauty, great food, amazing weather, a diverse and flourishing cultural scene and a true focus on quality of life.

Denver is seeking a Sheriff to lead and transform the largest sheriff department agency in the state of Colorado which has responsibility for the care, custody and transport of prisoners for the City and County of Denver. The DSD currently manages two jails, processes court-ordered civil actions and provides security for Denver’s district and county court systems. The Department has close to 900 uniformed and non-uniformed staff members and a daily inmate population of approximately 2,300 with an annual budget in excess of $108 million. The operations and management of the DSD is divided into two distinct sections; Sheriff Administration, which provides policy direction and management of the Department; and Sheriff Operations, which operates and maintains the detention facilities, inmate programming and services, and the vehicle impound facility.

The new Sheriff will serve as a change agent for DSD and have the task of creating a world-class department. This leader will have the ability and past performance to provide strategic direction and vision for a large correctional institution, establish organizational priorities, and demonstrate an ability to incorporate ethics and fairness throughout the Department. He or she will need to guide the transformation of the Department’s culture in support of the mission: to provide safety and security for the community by ensuring the care, custody, transportation and reentry services for detainees, and by operating safe, secure, efficient and humane facilities that adhere to all applicable laws.

The Sheriff will serve as a model leader for embracing and valuing excellence in performance, respecting individual human dignity, teamwork, collaborating and ensuring organizational accountability. The Sheriff will be expected to build trust and facilitate effective internal and external communications with Denver’s diverse communities, as well as transform DSD into a best in class correctional institution using recent audits and reports, such as the comprehensive assessment that can be found at: http://www.hillardheintze.com/DSD assessment-report.

Requirements include:

Bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred).
Minimum of five years of executive level experience in a corrections agency of similar size or complexity as the City and County of Denver correctional facilities.
Knowledge of industry best practices and national correction association standards, leadership and management principles and practices, and conflict resolution techniques sufficient to be able to negotiate, arbitrate and resolve conflicts as they arise.
Skills in conflict resolution, negotiation and establishing goals, objectives, policies, standards and procedures to ensure the Department’s mission is fulfilled.
Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with employees, community groups, the business community, policy-making bodies and the public.
Ability to create an environment that promotes and supports ethics, professionalism, respect, accountability and safety.

Sheriff Operations Overview:

Operating and maintaining the County Jail, the Downtown Detention Center, Court Services and the Vehicle Impound Facility. Also, operating a Work Release Program for sentenced misdemeanants and Juvenile Offender Work Program.
Directing the Care and Custody of Inmates (security) program to provide a safe and secure environment for inmates and staff. The program reduces jail violence and suicide attempts by ensuring that inmates are protected and/or separated from other detainees based on need or behavior.
Overseeing inmate programs to reduce recidivism by providing services to inmates that address issues in their lives that result in incarceration.
Managing the Care and Custody of Inmates (medical) program to efficiently provide quality health care services to detainees. These services are provided by a contract with the Denver Health Medical Center.
Administering the Court Services program to provide a safe and secure environment within courtroom settings for the public, inmates, and court and jail staff. This program transports incarcerated defendants between trial and detention facilities, transports prisoners to and from institutions designated by the courts, and extradites offenders from other jurisdictions.

The Sheriff is appointed by the Mayor and reports to the Executive Director of Safety. Mayor Michael B. Hancock was recently re-elected to a four-year term. The salary is $167,000 and is complemented by an excellent benefits package. The City and County of Denver champions diversity and is committed to equality in its government, community and its workforce. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

For more information about this opportunity, please contact Ken Bouche.

To apply, send a cover letter and resume summarizing your qualifications, along with the names of three professional and personal references by August 15, 2015 to [email protected]