Broomfield Police Chief is no longer required to live within city and county limits, the city council voted on Tuesday evening.
The ordinance was passed 8-1 with Councilor Elizabeth Law-Evans voting no and Councilor Sharon Tessier absent.
Police Chief Gary Creager announced in June that he was retiring on January 11, 2022 after 40 years in law enforcement. His retirement and the subsequent recruitment process allowed city and county staff to reconsider the residency requirement, the council’s memo said.
“Given the recent and future difficulties in recruiting and retaining law enforcement positions, the reassessment of the residency requirement is timely,” the note said. “The change in the residency requirement will allow staff to expand the pool of potential candidates when recruiting a new police chief to ensure that the city and county are able to attract and retain the chief.” most qualified police officer, regardless of residence. “
Of the 18 municipal staff police departments surveyed in the Denver / Boulder area, only two have a residency requirement, according to data presented during the first reading of the order on August 24.
City Councilor Deven Shaff said he heard concerns from residents about how a police chief who potentially does not live in Broomfield will be connected to the community of Broomfield.
“Our policing department is deeply integrated into every aspect of everything we do,” said Jennifer Hoffman, city and county manager. “And to think that we would pick a police chief who doesn’t embody that just isn’t going to happen.”
Shaff asked if a police chief would be less devoted to the citizens of Broomfield simply because he does not live in Broomfield.
“Resolutely, unequivocally, I can say absolutely not,” Hoffman said.
Law-Evans said his lack of support for the ordinance was not directed against any person or circumstance.
“I know the BPD is tightly integrated into the community. I think it’s important to consider what the situation would look like several years from now, maybe decades later, ”she said. “The comments I have received from my constituents are that it is very important for the chief of police himself to live in our community, to integrate so closely with our community.
Law-Evans said she was ready to draft an amendment to the ordinance that would give preference to applicants who already live or are willing to move to Broomfield, although the Council is not in favor.
Mayor Guyleen Castriotta noted that this was Hoffman’s hire and not Council.
“We should all facilitate this hire by giving it the most leeway to choose from the largest pool of candidates,” Castriotta said.
Before the ordinance was passed, the chief of police and the city and county manager were the only two employees required to live in Broomfield.
The job posting was posted on Wednesday and applications are being accepted until October 27 at 5 p.m.
“The position will report to the City and County Director and will work closely with all city and county departments, community members, faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations and our regional partners,” indicates the list. “As a visible community leader, the police chief will demonstrate and uphold the fundamentals of community policing, that is, position the department as one that ‘politics with and within the community’, as opposed to ‘community policing’.
The annual salary range is $ 175,000 and $ 200,000. For more information, visit Broomfield.org/ChiefOfPolice.