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Public’s input sought on ways to fix Denver Sheriff’s Department

DENVER — The city of Denver wants the public’s input to help make changes to the troubled Denver Sheriff’s Department.

The city is seeking input about department policies, discipline, training, staff well-being and characteristics in the next sheriff.

The first of four community meetings will be a Manual High School on Sept. 6. The city also set up a website, Denvergov.org/DSDreform.  And input can be submitted via email at weighin@denvergov.org.

Trouble in the Sheriff’s Department came to light after surveillance video showed issues with inmates. Inmate Jamal Hunter recently sued after he says a deputy chocked him and another ignored his cries for help as inmates attacked him.

After other allegations of excessive force, Mayor Michael Hancock ordered a top-to-bottom review of the department and forced Sheriff Gary Wilson to step down.

The city is now trying to make changes and by the end of the year, it hopes to create a plan to set a new standard of accountability, strengthen protocols and help chart a new direction for the department.

The city will compile all of the community feedback in a report and give it to an independent firm that will review the department and search for a new sheriff.

Three task forces made up of law enforcement leaders and other community members have already made their recommendations for changes to the department. The city will also put its recommendations in a report to give the firm by the end of September.