New Denver sheriff is step toward reforming troubled agency

Mayor Michael Hancock announced Thursday that Patrick Firman will head up the roughly 890-member department that oversees the city's jails


Associated Press

DENVER — A longtime corrections official from northern Illinois has been chosen to lead Denver's embattled sheriff's department, the first step toward major reforms of an agency mired in misconduct and excessive force allegations.

Mayor Michael Hancock announced Thursday that Patrick Firman will head up the roughly 890-member department that oversees the city's jails. Denver had been searching for a new sheriff since Gary Wilson resigned in July 2014 amid a series of high-profile problems. A pair of national consulting firms urged sweeping reforms.

Hancock says he chose Firman because he has more than 24 years of jail experience. He most recently served as the deputy chief of corrections for the McHenry County Sheriff's Office northwest of Chicago.

Firman says he is aware of Denver's problems and is prepared to make changes.

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