Patrick Firman is out as Denver sheriff after nearly four years on the job overseeing the city’s jails.
“When I came here four years ago, it was to take action on over 400 reform recommendations that touched nearly every aspect of the Denver Sheriff Department,” Firman said in a statement released Wednesday night.
“With the help of our partners and the tireless efforts of staff, we were successful in implementing those changes. It has been an honor to serve with these amazing men and women. I wish them the best as they continue to move forward.”
Firman will step down Oct. 14, according to city officials.
The resignation follows weeks of intense media scrutiny after a woman sued the sheriff’s office because she was left to give birth alone in a jail cell and the city reached a $1.5 million settlement with multiple female jail deputies who alleged the sheriff’s office did not protect them from sexual harassment from inmates.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock appointed Firman to the position on Oct. 15, 2015. Firman moved to Denver from Illinois, where he worked for sheriff’s departments.
Firman was hired to guide the sheriff department through reform after a series of high-profile excessive-force cases, mismanagement issues and controversy. In his first months, he reorganized the command staff of the department, changed how deputies were scheduled and brought in new deputies to deal with understaffing. He later rolled out a new use-of-force policy focused on de-escalation that was more strict than standards set by federal law.
Last year, Firman and Hancock declared that the department had completed nearly all of the 400 reforms suggested by consultants, community groups and the city’s independent monitor after the mayor ordered a review of the department in 2014. In a news release at that time, Hancock said he was proud of the progress made in the department.
The mayor also was complimentary in a news release Wednesday night, while noting that Firman “weathered criticism, fair and unfair, over his tenure.”
“For the past four years, Sheriff Firman has taken on the challenge of driving and implementing one of the most complex and critical reform efforts any of our safety departments has ever attempted,” Hancock said in the statement. “Undertaking a cultural shift of this magnitude is never easy, but the Sheriff never wavered in his commitment to implementing these needed reforms.”
- Long-serving Denver sheriff bomb dog retires after years of protecting presidents, responding to high-profile incidents
- Denver sheriff’s deputy accused of using Wingdings font to forge Army orders
- St. Patrick's Day in Denver: It's Not Easy Being Green
- FBI looks for woman ‘infatuated’ with Columbine shooting, as Denver schools close due to threats
- PHOTOS: Denver Keggs & Eggs 2019 at Jackson’s
- Sheriff: Cambridge man arrested for filing false information
- County Sheriff’s Office obtains arrest warrant for Berthoud man
- Adult education teacher at Denver jail accused of smuggling meth to inmate
- Suspect in Denver City Hall threat identified as a person in “crisis,” police say
- Denver City and County Building on lockdown over “credible threat”