DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Sheriff Department has been troubled for years. Now, it has a new leader, and she hopes to turn things around. Fran Gomez is the first woman to lead the department. She took over as Interim Sheriff last week.

Fran Gomez shares her goals as the Interim Sheriff of the Denver Sheriff’s Department. (credit: CBS)

Gomez says she’s working to improve the department’s public perception.

“The population in both of our jails runs about 50% for inmates with mental health issues. It’s a very challenging population to deal with. About 75% of assaults on deputies are done by the inmates with the mental health alerts,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

Gomez wants to address those mental health issues and decrease fights with new policies.

She also said she’d be interested in taking over the position permanently.

(credit: CBS)

“I would like the buy in of the sheriff’s of the agency. I would like them to want me as their sheriff, that’s very important to me. I’d also like the community to be on board and for it to be a mutually beneficial situation for everybody.”

Gomez says she wants the public to have a better understanding of the good work her deputies do in the jails.