Denver Sheriff Department Draft Reforms Release Tries to Stem Tide of Negative PR

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Deputy Thomas Ford's punch out of an inmate is just one of several recent incidents reflecting poorly on the Denver Sheriff's Office. Video, photos and more below.
As we've reported, the Denver Sheriff Department has received negative attention aplenty in recent months owing to numerous excessive-force complaints, a huge lawsuit payout and more; see a previous post outlining five of the incidents below.

The City of Denver is eager to be seen as tackling the issues with the DSD. Example: The highly unusual release of reform recommendations while they're either still in draft form or currently incomplete.

See also: Video: See Thomas Ford, suspended deputy, knock out non-violent inmate

After Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson stepped down, news broke that his interim replacement, Elias Diggins, had a criminal record.
The document released by the Department of Public Safety, shared here in its entirety, lists four separate groups assigned to consider ways to fix the DSD: the policy-and-procedure task force, the training task force, the staff-well-being task force and the discipline task force.

The assorted groups include past and present city officials, members of the faith community such as Reverend Del Phillips of the House Worship Center and assorted stakeholders, including representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Colorado Progressive Coalition and other organizations that have been critical of the sheriff's department in the past.

The task forces haven't been around for long, but their schedules suggest that they've been busy: Staff well-being has already met sixteen times, with both discipline and training getting together fifteen times, and policy and procedure gathering thirteen times.

Such sessions have resulted in forty proposed recommendations thus far. They're all listed in the aforementioned document, but here are some highlights:

Reverend Del Phillips.
Policy and procedures:

• Make changes to the taser policy.
• Makes changes to the inmate handbook.
• Send the Office of the Independent Monitor automated


• Include special training curriculum for leadership.
• Include remedial training in discipline, where appropriate.
• Allow deputies to access their own training records.

Staff well-being:

• Change shifts from 12 hours to 10 hours.
• Change employee break structure to first break 45 minutes and second break 15 minutes.
• Create a subcommittee to study the addition of a chaplaincy program to assist deputies with their wellbeing efforts.

What about the discipline task force? Its recommendations are arguably the most anticipated, but the draft says they're "not yet finalized -- work is ongoing."

That's true of the other recommendations, too. A Department of Public Safety release notes that "the draft recommendations will be refined before a final report is submitted to Safety Department Executive Director Stephanie Y. O'Malley, as well as a third-party oversight firm, by the end of September."

With that in mind, the release, which is peppered with complimentary statements from the likes of Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training's Pete Dunbar, Metro State criminal justice prof Dr. Joe Sandoval and Al LaCabe, once Denver's Manager of Safety, appears to be an effort to let the public know Mayor Michael Hancock and other Denver officials aren't sitting on its hands regarding the DSD. Instead, they're doing something -- but they're not finished yet.

Here's the draft-recommendations document, followed by previous coverage.

Denver Sheriff Department Task Force Draft Recommendations

Continue to see a list of five incidents that led to Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson's resignation, including photos and videos.

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Do any of you commentors wonder, ever, how these wonderful people got into prison or jail to begin with?  Do you think it should be a walk in the park?  Do you think clean linens and a hot shower were all that awaited?  Harsh treatment should be expected, you rude behavior is what got you there, did you think you could continue to act like a fool and not be dealt with?  STAY OUT OF JAIL, they are not nice places, the coddling doesn't start until you reach state prison, then you can go to the gym.

muhutdafuga topcommenter

So a criminal assault is CAPTURED ON TAPE and the DA's office is so amazingly stupid that they can't prosecute the criminal behavior of a dirty deputy?

Or is the DA's office a festering cesspool of corruption?

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

DSD = Lowlife Violent Neanderthal Scumbags with badges.

Until these sub-human pigs are brought to justice, convicted and imprisoned for 2x the time that any ordinary citizen would receive for the same crimes, they deserve ZERO RESPECT.

muhutdafuga topcommenter

It isn't about PR, it's about criminal conduct.  How about this for PR:  Prosecute the criminal behavior  of bad deputies/officers. 


@gofastgo Actually, the US locks up more people than any other nation, including the third world crap-holes.....So... it is very EASY to land yourself in jail in the US, it does NOT mean you deserve to be there.


@gofastgo  Some people simply end up there for stupid shit they do under the influence of alcohol.  For that they deserve to be beaten?  What about the people who are actually innocent, but there waiting for trial or to be bonded out or have the charges dropped?  They should be beaten as well?

muhutdafuga topcommenter

@gofastgo In exactly what way does this justify crininal assault by a bad deputy and incompetence/corruption on the part of the DA's office?

One criminal is already in jail, it's time for the other criminals to join him:  The dirty deputy and the dirty DA co-conspirator.


@muhutdafuga The video I watched showed the guy 'mouthing off' to a guard, what did he expect would happen?  A cigarette for your trouble?  A coffee?  No, a smack down.

muhutdafuga topcommenter

@gofastgo @muhutdafuga I hope to be proven wrong.  It is my understanding that they refuse to prosecute what appears to be an obviously unjustified assault from someone that should be held to a HIGHER rather than a lower standard of conduct. 

Or is it they are incapable of holding deputies accountable...maybe they skipped the class in public accountability.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@gofastgo <== your parents beat you, didn't they?

Explains your brain damage and propensity toward violent behavior.


@gofastgo @muhutdafuga The deputy used force because he is too stupid to use his head and mouth in retaliation.  Easier to just punch the guy.  The average citizen does this on the street (punching someone because of what they are saying) and the average citizen ends up in jail facing charges.  These thugs with badges should be treated the same.

RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @muhutdafuga @gofastgo Wow -- it's still going strong five hours later!  This outpouring of hate is not being orchestrated by a Russian botnet, but by (quasi-) individual domestic psychopaths.

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