Chief of Police-City of Durango (CO)

Date Posted: January 19, 2024

Employer: City of Durango


The City of Durango, Colorado offers a stellar career opportunity to collaborative law enforcement leaders as it seeks to identify its next Chief of Police. The next Chief will have the opportunity to build on past successes in this innovative and modern police department located in an area renowned for its recreational offerings.

Durango is home to 19,500 residents and is located along the Animas River in southwestern Colorado at the foot of the San Juan Mountains and east of Mesa Verde National Park. Durango is in the four corners region of the United States; a region consisting of the southwestern corner of Colorado, northwestern corner of New Mexico, northeastern corner of Arizona, and southeastern corner of Utah. As the county seat for La Plata County and a regional hub for commerce, Durango is easily accessible by land and air. Durango offers modern city amenities with stunning natural surroundings, rugged geography, and world class recreational opportunities. Durango is a cultural hotspot and offers ample opportunities to indulge in theatre or music venues, art galleries, museums, as well as dining at Durango’s many restaurants.

The Durango Police Department employs 82 dedicated employees who are solely focused on service to the community. Of these employees, 57 are sworn officers and 25 are professional staff. The professional staff are essential to the department mission and include administrative services, records management, property management, crime analysis, emergency management, code compliance, CORE team members, police service technicians, and open space rangers. Dispatch services are provided by the Durango/La Plata Emergency Communication Center, also a city entity that reports to the Chief of Police. The FY 2024 budget for the Durango Police Department is $11.2 million.

The Durango Police Department is organized into three bureaus: Patrol, Support Services, and Administration. The Patrol and Support Services Bureaus are each led by a Commander, and the Administrative Bureau is led by a Police Administrative Manager, all of which report to the Deputy Chief of Police.

Appointed by the City Manager, the Chief of Police leads the department and its staff in the delivery of public safety services to those who live, work, and visit Durango. The next Chief will be a visible leader in the community and in the Police Department. Some of the essential functions of the Chief of Police include assuming full management responsibility for all-public safety services and activities; managing the development and implementation of public safety goals and objectives, policies, and priorities for each assigned service area; and overseeing and participating in the development and administration of the Police Department budget and directing the forecast of funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies.

The ideal candidate will have fluency and proven experience with today’s modern policing methods and challenges, including interactions with unhoused populations; investments in diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the ongoing evaluation and adoption of new technologies is desired. In addition, they will be committed to preserving and enhancing the healthy and positive culture that exists in the Durango Police Department; have a demonstrated record of collaboration and dedication to community connection; and be a strong, engaged, and honest communicator who embraces collaborative leadership efforts within the Department and the City organization.

Any combination of related education, experience, certifications, and licenses that will result in a candidate successfully performing the essential functions of the job is qualifying. The most attractive candidates will possess the following:
Education: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in law enforcement, criminal justice, public administration, or a closely related field. A graduate degree and successful completion of a nationally recognized police management/administration leadership course is strongly preferred.
Experience: Fifteen years of increasingly responsible command-level experience including supervisory experience.
Certification: A valid Peace Officer Standards and Testing (POST) certificate for the State of Colorado, or an equivalent certification from another state with the ability to obtain certification in Colorado.

The salary range for the Chief of Police is up to $160,000, with placement in the range dependent on qualifications. In addition, retirement is provided through a 401(a) plan, with employee contributions set at 9%, with a City match of 11.2%. Employees are fully vested after five years. Additional benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance options for its employees, as well as life insurance, accidental death & dismemberment, and long-term disability insurance; PTO accruals from 23 days to 31 days per year, depending upon years of service; and the selected candidate will have use of a city-provided condominium for up to six months to provide time to secure housing.

For a complete listing of benefits please view the City’s 2024 Benefits Enrollment Guide.

Interested candidates should submit a comprehensive résumé and compelling cover letter online no later than Monday, February 26, 2024, to:

Confidential inquiries are welcomed to:

Chief Greg Nelson (ret.) | [email protected] | (916) 550-4100
Chief Bryan Noblett (ret.) | [email protected] | (916) 550-4100

This recruitment incorporates existing rules and regulations that govern public sector recruitments in the State of Colorado. In accordance with public disclosure/open record laws, information submitted for consideration may be made available to the public upon request by interested parties.

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