Chronically understaffed Denver Sheriff forcing deputy overtime for All-Star Game

All-Star Game

DENVER (KDVR) — There may be no shortage of fans for next week’s MLB All-Star game at Coors Field, but the Denver Sheriff Department is clearly worried about having enough deputies.

FOX31 has obtained an email that shows the sheriff department is taking back an “off day” from all employees during All-Star weekend and forcing deputies to work an extra day — whether they want to or not.

“Unfortunately with the activities of this coming weekend (MLB All-Star Game) coupled with our significant staffing shortages, all sworn staff will have one scheduled day off cancelled between 7/10 and 7/13,” Deputy Sheriff Division Chief Vincent Line wrote in the email. “The only exception will be pre-approved vacation time. If you have already volunteered to cover a shift during this period, you will be exempted.”

The notice means any deputy who had a two-day weekend during the four days of the All-Star festivities will now only have one day off and will be forced to work the other three days.

Mike Jackson, president of FOP 27 — the union that represents a majority of sheriff deputies — told the Problem Solvers the short notice means “there will be problems, because deputies have families to care for.”

The email comes three weeks after the Problem Solvers obtained an email sent to deputies warning them they will be disciplined if they turn down mandatory overtime.

The Denver Sheriff Department has been chronically understaffed for months.

The agency in charge of operating the downtown jail on Colfax Avenue and the county jail on Smith Road is budgeted for 874 deputies. On May 7, its actual strength was 687 deputies.

In just the past two months, the department has lost another 22 deputies, and as of Tuesday, July 6, it was down to 665 deputies — just 75% of what it needs to be fully staffed.

A department spokeswoman told the Problem Solvers that “strategic steps are being taken so the Denver Sheriff Department is adequately staffed July 10-13 during the MLB All-Star weekend.”

She added the department is looking to recruit additional deputies.

Information about the Denver Sheriff Department and how to join can be found here.

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