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Chief of Police-City of Leadville (CO)

Date Posted: May 28, 2024

Employer: City of Leadville


The City of Leadville is seeking a law enforcement professional with command-level experience and a community-oriented policing philosophy to serve as a working chief in a small but strong and beautiful mountain community.

KRW Associates, LLC is assisting with this search. Application materials are to be submitted by email to: [email protected]
Deadline: June 28, 2024 (5:00 pm Mountain Time)

The City and Surrounding Community

The City of Leadville, Colorado (pop. 2,633) is a statutory city, and the county seat of Lake County, Colorado. At an elevation of nearly 10,200 feet above sea level, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States. Located 101 miles west of Denver on Interstate 70, and less than an hour drive from the world-class ski resorts of Vail and Copper Mountain, Leadville has easy access to all the best Colorado has to offer.

Leadville was officially founded in 1877 by mine owners, Horace Tabor and August Meyer. Its rich mining history is still on display at its many museums and historic sites, including the National Mining Museum and Hall of Fame.

Preserved and restored turn-of-the-century homes and commercial buildings line the streets of the town and contribute to Leadville’s historic beauty. Residents and visitors enjoy breathtaking views while simply strolling the historic downtown area, which is home to a variety of unique and locally owned shops, boutiques, and dining establishments.

Leadville is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Situated between two mountain ranges, and surrounded by more than a million acres of national forests and public lands, the area is rich with options for outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, biking, trail running, skiing and even golf. It is also a destination for those seeking to climb some of Colorado’s tallest 14ers, and for the elite and endurance athletes who benefit by training at a high elevation.

Leadville may be small, but residents still have access to valuable community services and amenities. The Lake County School District, a small, rural school district, offers high-quality education through its Early Childhood Education Center, the Colorado Preschool Program, and the Expeditionary Learning Schools (serving K- 6th grades). A 26-million-dollar high school was recently built to serve students in grades 7-12. The St. Vincent Health hospital system offers 24/7 emergency services and is staffed by board-certified ER physicians. A new surgical suite provides service by visiting surgeons and specialists from regional and Front Range hospitals. Residents may also enjoy the amenities such as the Lake County Public Library and Mount Massive Golf Course, to name a few.

Residents of Leadville are cooler than most, quite literally! Leadville experiences mild-cool summers and cold winters. The average high temperature in January is 29 degrees, and in July, it’s 71 degrees. On average, there are 271 mornings with freezing temperatures, and can occur year-round.

If you are looking for cool mountain living, in a tight-knit community, with quality schools, a low crime rate, and a vast array of outdoor activities- Leadville Colorado just may be the place for you!

To learn more, go to: Home | City of Leadville ( or LEADVILLE LAKE COUNTY - Home (

The Police Department

The Chief reports to the City Administrator and oversees the work of one (1) operations sergeant, (1) administrative sergeant, three (3) full-time patrol officers, one (1) part-time patrol officer, one (1) non-sworn administrative supervisor; (1) non-sworn administrative assistant and (2) non-sworn community service officers (under current staffing). Under the city’s 2024 budget, a fully staffed model would be 8 sworn patrol officers.

The City of Leadville and Lake County have formed a volunteer citizen oversight board made up of community members who meet six times per year. Their purpose is to build trust, facilitate communication, and create a healthy partnership between law enforcement and the community.

The Position

Appointed by the City Administrator, the Chief of Police serves as a key member of the city’s leadership team and is responsible for the overall direction and leadership of the Police Department. The Chief is the “face” of the department and needs to be a visible and experienced leader, with demonstrated administrative, operational, and tactical skills.

The Chief exercises sound judgement when managing personnel, the budget and other resources, and when evaluating and making key decisions in emergency and law enforcement related situations.

The Chief is responsible for officer recruitment, training, and retention. He or she must be well-versed in current federal, state, and local laws and ordinances, and remain current with understanding and applying best practices in law enforcement. The Chief needs to understand and be well-versed in Eforce and general technology.

The Chief builds trust within the community, is accessible and transparent with officers and the public, and maintains effective working relationships with their staff, elected/appointed officials and other department leaders. The Chief is expected to forge professional partnerships with key stakeholders, including the Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, other emergency service providers, and neighboring agencies.

This is both an administrative /operational leadership role, as well as a “working chief” position. The Chief assists on calls as staffing needs arise, or as the call load demands. The Chief must be physically able to acclimate to a high elevation and safely live and work at 10,200 feet above sea level, where weather conditions can sometimes be a challenge.


• A bachelor’s degree with major course work in criminal justice, public administration, or a related field.
• A minimum of ten (10) years of experience with progressive advancement in a municipal police department or law enforcement agency; including at least (5) five years of command-level experience. A combination of education and experience may be considered.
• Demonstrated experience in leadership or supervisory roles.
• The ability to read, write and speak English fluently. Bi-lingual Spanish speaking skills are a plus.
• A master’s degree and/or attendance at the FBI National Academy, PERF-SMIP or the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command or a similar program is a plus.
• Must possess or be eligible to obtain a valid Colorado class “C” driver’s license.
• Must be Colorado P.O.S.T. certified or eligible, and obtained Colorado P.O.S.T. certification within 6 months of employment.

The Ideal Candidate

• Is eager to be a “working chief;” ready and willing to respond on calls while leading the police department.
• Has strong and demonstrated leadership and communication skills and operational expertise.
• Is approachable and has a transparent style.
• Is a mentor and trainer for police department staff.
• Is a collaborator who works well with other public safety partners.
• Is a relationship-builder who works effectively with staff, community members, the City Administrator and other department heads and stakeholders.
• Is the “face of the police department” in the community, and an advocate of Community Policing.
• Is a visionary and strategic thinker who will plan for the future.
• Enjoys the Colorado outdoor lifestyle -hiking, fishing, biking, camping, trailing running, skiing, etc.
• Appreciates the unique location and history of Leadville.
• Is physically able to acclimate and safely live and work at a high elevation.
• Possesses a strong work ethic, humble character and leads by example.

Opportunities and Challenges

The new chief has an opportunity to recruit and train quality officers who will connect and build trust within the community. The “thin air” due to the elevation can present a recruiting challenge, but for those who love the mountains—Leadville will very likely be an attractive location to live and work.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary Range: $130,000 - $140,000 per year (depending on qualifications)

Summary of Benefits

• Fifteen (15) paid holidays
• Health, dental, vision and life insurance
• Statewide Retirement Plan - Defined Benefit Component (SRP-DB) - Fire and Police Pension Association
• Statewide Death and Disability Plan coverage - Fire and Police Pension Association
• 457 Deferred Compensation - with a city match up to 6% (available after 6 months of continuous employment)
• Paid Time Off (PTO) accrual, and paid leave for jury duty service and bereavement
• City-paid FAMLI premiums
• A comprehensive Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
• Employee Housing (roommate situation) - rent determined based on a sliding scale
• A take-home police vehicle
• City-provided cell phone

To Apply
Email a cover letter, resume and contact information for six (6) professional references to: [email protected]
Deadline: Friday, June 28, 2024 (5:00 PM Mountain)

KRW Associates LLC is assisting the City of Leadville, CO with this search. Questions should be directed to: [email protected] or by phone to: KRW Managing Partners, Lynn Johnson | 303-435-4138 or Jerry Williams | 303-726-6220 or KRW Senior Associate, Gina McGrail | 303-249-9572.

The City of Leadville, CO is an equal opportunity employer.

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