DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 has learned that Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman has signed up for Denver’s Deferred Retirement Option, or “DROP” plan, which means his career with the Denver Police Department will be over in five years, at most.

“By doing this, he has made a decision about when to retire from the Denver Police Department,” said Lt. Matt Murray, an aide to Whitman.

Murray confirmed Tuesday evening what multiple sources told CBS4 — that Whitman announced to subordinates earlier this month that he had signed up for the “DROP” plan, essentially capping his Denver police career in 2015, at the latest.

Asked why Whitman decided to put a cap on his DPD reign, Murray said, “It’s a personal decision.” He said Whitman was not available to discuss his decision. Murray emphasized Whitman’s decision was made earlier in the summer, prior to a recent spate of police controversies.

“This is not related to anything happening in the news today,” Murray said.

Deferred Retirement Option Plans have become increasingly common in the public sector in recent years. According to the publication “Government Finance Review,” “Originally conceived to retain retirement-eligible police officers and firefighters, DROPs have been offered to teachers and other public sector workers, allowing retirees in a defined benefit pension plan to receive a portion of their pension in a lump sum in exchange for additional years of service and lower pension payments over the rest of their lives.”

Whitman has been with the Denver Police Department since 1982. Murray said the action is irrevocable.

“It’s an official action he took. He can’t take it back.”

Asked if Whitman intended to stay with the police department the entire five years, Murray said, “He has not said anything to the contrary.”

— Written by Brian Maass


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