DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says he has chosen a candidate for a new police chief who will bring “a new level of accountability to the department.”
“Robert White will be Denver’s next police chief,” said Hancock enthusiastically on Friday afternoon with the members of the search committee behind him.
White has been police chief in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2003 and has managed a department with 1,200 officers and about 400 civilian personnel. He was Louisville’s first black chief and now becomes the first black police chief in Denver.
Watch Brian Maass’ report in the video below:
Hancock said White was picked for his professional demeanor and his experience turning around police departments that have had a history with low morale.
Hancock said there were great candidates from within the department and outside the city and state. He said the decision was the toughest he’s had to make as mayor since he took office slightly more than 100 days ago.
Learn more about White’s background in the interview below:
Many saw Denver Division Chief Tracie Keesee as a frontrunner for the position. She told CBS4 she was disappointed to not get the promotion and that the mayor called her to pass the news on.
Hancock started out his news conference Friday by thanking current Denver Chief Gerry Whitman for his professionalism through the transition so far. Whitman said earlier this year he would remain in his position until the new chief was picked.
White said in a prepared statement that he had a great experience leading Louisville’s force.
Valerie Castro reports on the problems White will inherit coming to Denver in the video below:
“I’m leaving Louisville in great hands — and I want to thank the men and women of the Louisville Police Department who are dedicated and passionate public servants. I also wish to thank the citizens of Louisville who have made my job enjoyable every day the last nine years.”
Watch Hancock’s complete news conference in the video clip below:
Nick Rogers, the president of the Denver Police Protective Association, shared the following statement with CBS4 after hearing the news:
“I hope the selection process found the best candidate. Time will tell if he is a good selection. I look forward to meeting him and making the Denver Police Department a better agency for the citizens of Denver.”