Hot SheetPublic Safety

Denver mayor taps new head of public safety

Author: Adam McCoy - February 7, 2018 - Updated: February 7, 2018

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, near left, with public safety chief Troy Riggs, at podium, and then-outgoing head of public safety Stephanie O’Malley. (

A former police chief from Indianapolis will take over at the helm at Denver’s Department of Public Safety. Mayor Michael Hancock announced the appointment of Troy Riggs on Monday.

As the executive director of public safety, Riggs will oversee Police, Fire and Sheriff’s Departments, Denver 911, Community Corrections, Safety Youth Programs and gang reduction initiatives. Riggs joined the department last year as deputy director.

“Sharing the Mayor’s commitment to public safety and meeting the needs of residents, I am excited to serve the people of Denver and to lead this great city into the future,” Riggs said, in part, in a statement.

The timing of the appointment could be characterized as awkward, as Colorado Public Radio notes, with an ongoing independent investigation examining whether Denver Police Chief Robert White and his no. 2, Matt Murray, violated rules relating to open records in a sexual assault case.

The new appointment means Stephanie O’Malley is out as the current department executive director, where she served four years.

Hancock said, O’Malley, who has also served as Denver’s clerk and recorder, will now transition into a new role as special assistant to the mayor to “strengthen the city’s work with minority- and women-owned businesses and better connect Denver residents and communities to jobs, skills training and other economic opportunities.”

“Stephanie is a valued and trusted leader who has risen time and again to take on some of the toughest challenges facing Denver,” Hancock said.

Riggs recently moved to Denver from Indianapolis where he served as the police chief of a department with some 1,600 officers and 200 civilian personnel. Before that, he was executive director of public safety for Indianapolis for three years.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.