Independent Monitor

City and County of Denver, CO | Full-time

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The Position

The City and County of Denver is looking for its next Independent Monitor to provide exemplary leadership, ongoing oversight, and direction to the Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) for the City and County of Denver. Working in concert with the Citizen Oversight Board, Mayor’s Office, City Council, Executive Director of Department of Public Safety, Denver Police (DPD), Sheriff (DSD), and Fire Departments (DFD), District Attorney’s Office, community leaders, the general public and media, the Independent Monitor provides fair and objective oversight of uniformed personnel (defined below) and ensures public confidence in such uniformed personnel and their accountability systems.  

The Monitor serves at the pleasure of the Citizen Oversight Board. The Citizen Oversight Board recommends the appointment of the Independent Monitor to the City Council who must confirm the appointment. The Citizen Oversight Board is a nine-member board composed of community members that meets twice monthly and holds quarterly public forums.

The OIM was created by the Mayor and City Council in 2004 and has several essential functions:

  • Receiving and processing community complaints about DPD’s approximately 1,600 officers, DSD’s approximately 875 deputies, and DFD’s approximately 15 fire investigators (together “uniformed personnel”);
  • Monitoring investigations into complaints, officer-involved shootings, and in-custody deaths involving uniformed personnel;
  • Making recommendations about the findings and discipline associated with complaints involving uniformed personnel;
  • Publicly reporting on patterns of complaints, findings, and discipline;
  • Making recommendations regarding potential law enforcement, corrections, and oversight related policy issues; and
  • Engaging the community and law enforcement in the work of the OIM through outreach.

The duties and functions of the Independent Monitor are as follows:

Plans, organizes, and directs the operations of the OIM and establishes programmatic priorities and procedures to include preparing and administering the OIM budget. The Independent Monitor develops goals, documents performance, provides performance feedback and formally evaluates the work of OIM employees. As part of those responsibilities, the Independent Monitor assists staff in achieving performance standards and establishes standards of professional conduct, including ensuring confidentiality and implementing a comprehensive training program for the OIM staff.

Oversees investigative and analytical work that is difficult, highly complex, and often involves issues that are highly sensitive and confidential. The Independent Monitor directs staff who monitor investigations of uniformed personnel, including citizen complaints alleging the use of force, other serious misconduct, and other citizen concerns. Monitoring responsibilities include responding to crime scenes, attending witness interviews, reviewing other types of evidence, engaging in ongoing dialogue with investigators, ensuring internal investigations are thorough, fair, and complete, and recommending or conducting additional investigation, to include issuing subpoenas.

Directs staff charged with assessing training, policies, and practices in the DPD and DSD, analyzing data and information about complaints, officer-involved shootings, and in-custody deaths, and preparing semi-annual, annual, and other special reports for the Citizen Oversight Board, Mayor, City Council and the public.

Partners with the Citizen Oversight Board to promote the mission of the OIM and keeps the Board informed of the status of key investigations being monitored and actions taken. The Independent Monitor also provides the Board with information concerning plans, programs, policy, training, and procedures of Denver law enforcement that significantly impact the oversight function of the OIM.

Establishes, serves as a liaison to, and maintains effective working relationships with diverse groups, including city staff, outside agencies and community-based organizations, employee unions, the general public, community leaders, public officials, and professional organizations. The Independent Monitor conducts and directs staff to conduct public outreach to educate the community and the media on the role of the Independent Monitor and the processes for investigating complaints and administering disciplinary actions, policies, practices, and training. The Independent Monitor ensures that the complaint and commendation process is accessible to all community members. 

Priorities

  1. Collaborate with the Citizen Oversight Board, Mayor, City Council, and OIM staff to continually develop and evolve the vision, priorities, and goals for the OIM.
  2. Analyze data, trends, and policies to identify public safety systems that could be improved. Highlight disciplinary trends with the Citizen Oversight Board and seek input on policy changes needed to address identified issues.
  3. Continually keep all stakeholders informed of relevant actions and operations to increase the credibility and visibility of the OIM, as well as the community’s trust in its work. Develop a strategy to provide broad communication of the OIM’s role in public safety reform.
  4. Foster a welcoming and collaborative team environment within the OIM, build trust and empower staff to bring fresh ideas, develop innovative strategies, and provide creative solutions to meet the growing and changing needs of the organization.
  5. Actively champion and support the City’s ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Collaborate to create a more inclusive workplace, advocate for equity in City services, and embrace the growing diversity throughout the Denver community.
  6. Provide timely and proactive annual and semi-annual public reports and assessments of how the safety departments are policing themselves to keep stakeholders engaged in the OIM’s role, actions, outreach campaigns, current policies, proposed policy changes, and initiatives.

The Successful Candidate

The City of and County of Denver’s next Independent Monitor will be a strategic, diplomatic, and seasoned leader with demonstrated knowledge of the principles, practices, and techniques related to conducting internal law enforcement or corrections complaint investigations and review for a large municipal organization. With a strong background in policy, civil rights, and social justice, the successful candidate will set high standards internally for delivering quality and timely results and providing data to back up recommendations for changes in policy and practice.

The successful candidate will be a skilled and talented communicator who excels in public speaking, making presentations to large groups, and interacting with the media. The next Independent Monitor will build positive relationships and trust with the community and within the Denver Police, Sheriff and Fire Departments. The ideal candidate is a builder of community relations and is able to effectively interact with the public, media, and political leaders to garner support and enable positive reforms of public safety systems.

The next Independent Monitor will excel at explaining and interpreting complex laws, ordinances, enforcement principles and practices, regulations, policies, and procedures. With a good understanding of the techniques of law enforcement training, instruction, and evaluation of work performance, the next Independent Monitor will make clear decisions and provide sound reasoning to all stakeholders. The ideal candidate will also bring a high level of understanding and knowledge of theories, principles, practices, methods and techniques of data and legal research and analysis coupled with an understanding of federal, state and local laws and regulations and procedures applicable to internal law enforcement investigations and review responsibilities and jurisdictions.

With a collaborative leadership style, the next Independent Monitor will work closely with staff giving clear direction, motivating, and empowering the team to provide the highest level of service internally and externally while acting as an advocate for staff, providing access to professional development opportunities, and continually building a cohesive culture within the OIM. The next leader shall be both transformative and purpose driven as well as politically savvy and an advocate for the OIM. The ideal candidate brings a positive example of competence, professionalism, energy and work ethic to the OIM and recruit staff of high caliber to continually evolve and advance the goals and vision of the OIM.

Qualifications

Qualified candidates will have a master’s degree or Juris Doctor from an accredited college or university, plus three (3) years of executive level work experience in civilian oversight of law enforcement, including investigating allegations of misconduct by law enforcement or correctional officers, or comparable legal or investigative experience. Two (2) years of the appropriate type and level of experience may be substituted for each required year of post-high school education. A combination of appropriate education and experience may be substituted for the minimum education and experience requirements. Colorado Bar membership is not required. The position will not act as a legal advisor or otherwise function as a lawyer for the City and County of Denver. A successful candidate will be required to pass a rigorous background investigation.

Preferred qualifications include extensive knowledge of public safety, oversight or auditing work, and demonstrated experience working to improve public safety systems. In addition, experience with enhancing community engagement, leading organizational transformation, and using data to advocate for policy changes is also preferred. 

The City and County of Denver

The City and County of Denver is consolidated city and county and the capital of the state of Colorado. The form of government is a strong mayor/city council made up of a non-partisan elected mayor, auditor, and a 13-member city council, all of whom serve four-year terms, with a maximum of three terms. Denver has over 14,000 employees in over 35 agencies. The City and County of Denver has a current FY 2022 operating budget of $1.49 billion. The Denver Department of Public Safety includes the Denver Police Department, Denver Fire Department, Denver Sheriff Department, and the 911 Communications Center.

The Office of the Independent Monitor

The OIM is a civilian oversight agency that was created by the City and County of Denver in 2004 and began its work on August 1, 2005. The OIM’s mission is directed at transparency and accountability of Denver’s sworn safety personnel and the policies which govern them and ensure that the complaint and commendation processes are accessible to all community members. Candidates are encouraged to review the history that led to the formation of the OIM, including the death of a 15-year-old with developmental disabilities.

The OIM has fifteen (15) employees, including administrative, monitoring, policy, and outreach staff. There are currently eight (8) direct reports to the Independent Monitor: Senior Deputy Monitor, five (5) Deputy Monitors, Policy and Operations Director, and Community Relations Director.

The OIM is charged with monitoring the disciplinary systems in the Denver Police and Denver Sheriff Departments, making policy recommendations to those departments, and conducting outreach to communities throughout Denver. The FY 2022 budget for the Office of the Independent Monitor is $2.1 million.

Mission of the Office of the Independent Monitor

Promote accountability, effectiveness, and transparency in the Denver Police and Denver Sheriff Departments’ disciplinary processes by:

  • Monitoring investigations into citizen complaints, internal complaints, and critical incidents involving sworn personnel
  • Making recommendations on findings and discipline; publicly reporting on patterns of complaints, findings, and discipline; making recommendations regarding potential policy issues
  • Conducting outreach to the Denver community and stakeholders in the disciplinary process
  • Promoting alternative and innovative means for resolving police complaints, such as mediation

The Community

The City and County of Denver is Colorado's capitol city and home to more than 715,000 residents with nearly 3 million people in the Denver metro area. Nicknamed the "Mile-High City," Denver is the nation's 19th largest city. Denver is also the heart of state government and an epicenter for the arts, music and professional sports. It serves as the primary financial, transportation, and distribution center of the region and is home to the Denver International Airport, the fifth busiest airport in the country.

With over 300 days of sunshine, a thriving cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods, and natural beauty, the City and County of Denver and Colorado as a whole, combine for the one of the world's most spectacular playgrounds. The Mile High City is located on high rolling plains, 12 miles east of the "foothills," a series of gentle mountains that climb to 11,000 feet. Just beyond is the "Front Range of the Rocky Mountains," a series of formidable snowcapped peaks that rise to 14,000 feet. Denver might not be in the mountains, but the mountains still dominate the city. The picturesque mountain panorama from Denver is 140 miles long. There are 200 visible named peaks including 32 that soar to 13,000 feet and above.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 715,463
  • Median Annual Household Income: $72,661
  • Median Home Value: $427,600
  • Median Age: 34.7 years

All demographic information was sourced from the 2020 U.S. Census.

Compensation and Benefits

The expected hiring range is $117,325-$175,987, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package. Relocation assistance will also be available for the successful out-of-area candidate.

Learn more about our options and employee-based benefits here.

Benefits offered include the following:

  • Medical, dental, vision, life, and short-term and long-term disability insurance
  • Holiday, vacation, sick, and parental leave
  • The Denver Employee Retirement Plan (DERP)
  • 457(b) Plan
  • Education refund program
  • Employee assistance program
  • Employee volunteer program
  • Flexible spending accounts

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Any application received prior to October 3 will receive full consideration.

Questions

Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at ctuckparrish@raftelis.com and Robert Colichio at rcolichio@raftelis.com.

 

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