DENVER (CBS4) — The Denver Sheriff’s Department announced an interim sheriff Thursday — Fran Gomez. She will be the first woman to lead the department.

“Fran is a veteran law enforcement professional. She has 30 years of experience. She’s served at all different levels of policing, from beginning as a recruit all the way to an assistant chief. In the last year, she has been a proud member of the Denver Sheriff’s Department,” Denver Executive Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs said.

“She’s tough as nails,” Riggs said, adding she’s dealt with “tough issues before.”

The announcement came a day after CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass broke the news that Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman was resigning, effective October 14.

Firman faced criticism and lawsuits over several incidents, including how jail officials handled a woman who gave birth in a jail cell in July 2018.

“He will retain his responsibilities until October 14, or a day close to that date,” Riggs stated. “At that point, the interim will take over for the “next few months.”

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“I think the first thing we need to address is morality. It’s a very difficult place to work,” Riggs said.

(CBS)

“I expect all employees, male and female, to be treated with respect and dignity,” Gomez said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Riggs said Gomez would begin meeting with “rank and file” on Friday and throughout this weekend, for the rest of the year.

“It’s time now to thank him (Sheriff Firman) for his service, but it’s time to look to the future,” Riggs said Thursday.

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