DENVER (KDVR) — The City and County of Denver is officially on the hunt for its next independent monitor.
The Office of the Independent Monitor exists to ensure transparency, accountability and trust between the community and law enforcement. The OIM investigates complaints against the police department and its officers, officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths. He or she can also offer policy and disciplinary recommendations based on findings.
The job was posted on Thursday.
“That role should be somebody who has a very strong grounding in the law. They don’t necessarily need to be a lawyer but need to have a detailed understanding of the constitution and certainly Colorado state law when it comes to overseeing police,” Julia Richman, chair of Denver’s Citizen Oversight Board, said.
The board is in charge of picking the independent monitor, who must also be confirmed by Denver City Council. The role has been vacant since 2020 after the board could not agree on a candidate during its last recruitment process.
“We had a number of excellent candidates apply and conducted a very rigorous, three-staged interview process and unfortunately came out at the end not feeling like we had quite the right fit for the role,” Richman said.
What’s required of Denver’s independent monitor?
This time around, Richman said the board knows what it is looking for.
“I think the X-factor is somebody who really understands Denver communities, Denver neighborhoods, the history of Denver policing, the way that structural racism impacts different neighbors differently and can also be a detailed investigator into the policy and practice of the police department,” she said.
The application is open to qualified candidates from across the country.
“I think we’re going to leave no stone unturned. It will be a national search and we’re excited about drawing from potentially other communities that have strong oversight structures,” Richman said.
Applications will be accepted until at least Oct. 3. According to Richman, the board hopes to make a hire by the fall.
“This, at its root, is the way that we reimagine public safety. It’s these sort of small structural or sometimes big structural that seem kind of boring, not that sexy, but at the end of the day this is how governments change,” Richman said.