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April 22, 2018

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Denver Sheriff's FOP Hosting: "Problem Solving Community Public Safety Forum"
Updated On: Dec 07, 2016

The FOP is partnering with the University of Colorado at Denver, Educators, Community Leaders, and Denver Sheriff Deputies to host a Discussion Forum about the problems and current state of the Denver Sheriff Department.  

All Denver Deputies are invited to review and discuss the results of an independent survey compiled by the University of Colorado at Denver, School of Education and Human Development Research Center.

From: Lodge 27 Executive Board

To: All Denver Deputies

Date: Saturday, December 10th at 10:00 AM and Wednesday, December 14th at 6:00 PM

Location: Colorado FOP Building, 2701 W. 84th Ave, Westminster, CO 80031 - 2nd Floor Meeting Room.

Subject: Forum Discussion on Results of Independent Survey of DSD Staff Complied by University of Colorado at Denver. This event is a forum for rank and file Denver Deputies and other DSD line staff to discuss and see the results of an independent survey of 242 Denver Deputies regarding the current social, work, safety and security, and management climate within DSD and the two jail facilities. The FOP is asking and encouraging Deputies to attend and participate in the discussion regarding what the Survey results really mean and what they say about the failure of the agency management and the Department of Safety’s management. Your voice is necessary for these results to be understood in a proper and valid context.

The original purpose for this survey was to determine the cultural climate of DSD regarding Use of Force issues but the results show indications of questionable executive leadership and a general lack of confidence by rank and file Deputies. It is important for rank and file Deputies to add their voice to the final results so that there can be a better understanding of how these factors affect the agency operations. We know that without our voice added to these results it is likely that the Department of Safety and the administration will attempt to avoid responsibility for the failure of their “so called” reform of DSD. Come out and lend your voice so the truth can be heard and your perceptions and opinions can be known.


In August 2016 the Training and Transparency Sub-Committee of the Use of Force Taskforce comprised of the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD) officers, civilian staff, and community stakeholders sought the anonymous and voluntary opinions of deputies about their perceptions of the social climate within the Department. The survey was based a survey administered to federal correctional officers and adapted by DSD’s UOF Sub-Committee.[1]

The survey results were independently analyzed and compiled by the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education & Human Development Research Center.[2] Specifically, the goals of the survey were to:

1. Survey officer perceptions about the jail environment, personal well-being, and safety and security.

2. Compare factors and identify patterns to determine whether social climate impacts uses of force.

3. Identify and recommend interventions to improve the overall social climate, reduce disciplinary incidents and rates of stress for both staff and inmates.

The results are intended to be informational and provide a preliminary broad scan of issues from the perspectives of DSD staff. The results are also intended to provide a baseline for measurement for culture change by measuring perceptions over time and opportunities to discuss findings with DSD staff through a follow-up process is recommended to identify the root causes of issues and recommend solutions.


Research has shown that perceptions of social climate can impact work satisfaction, health status, productivity, disciplinary actions, and turnover. Further, “There is a small body of research which shows that correctional staff perceptions of social climate are significantly correlated with their readiness to use force.” (Day, Casey, Vess, & Huisy, 2011).[3]


[1] The original survey was developed by Garcia, R.M. (2008). Individual and Institutional Demographic and Organizational Climate Correlates of Perceived Danger Among Federal Correctional Officers.

[2] Special thanks to Dr. Shelley Zion with CU-Denver’s School of Education & Human Development for advising, coordinating and analyzing the survey results. Also, thanks to Dr. Joanne Belknap with CU-Boulder’s Ethnic Studies Department for conducting the demographic data analysis.

[3] Day, A., Casey, S., Vess, J., & Huisy, G. (2011). Assessing the Social Climate of Jails. Report for the Criminology Research Council Report. Canberra, Australia.

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