We're Hiring

The City of Boulder is seeking a visionary Police Chief to direct the Boulder Police Department and foster strong relationships with the entire community, city government, and outside agencies.

Reporting directly to the City Manager, the Police Chief is responsible for the overall leadership, culture, performance, and efficiency of the Police Department. This role involves transforming how police serve and engage with the community and moving the department from a traditional policing model to one that centers holistic problem-solving. The Chief maintains community and officer safety through progressive policies, training, accountability, and oversight and upholds best practices that align with a modern, progressive police department.

A group of Boulder Police Officers posing for a photo laughing.

All About the Position

Boulder Police Chief job description, qualifications, compensation and more.

Position Details

  • Collaborate internally and externally to implement, champion, and continue to evolve future iterations of the department’s Reimagine Policing Plan with a focus on holistic governance, problem-solving policing, enhanced engagement, improved accountability and transparency, and officer readiness.
  • Support enhanced community engagement and increased relationships and partnerships throughout the community. Through a community-based problem-solving approach, ensure people are treated with dignity and respect, compassion and empathy, and truly feel valued, seen, and heard.
  • Improve departmental communication between the ranks, increase trust, and provide leadership on process improvements to enhance the department’s operational capacity.
  • Develop and implement a strategic vision for the Training Unit that aligns with modern best practices, including de-escalation strategies and techniques.
  • Develop innovative outreach and employment strategies to increase gender and ethnic diversity within all ranks of the department, including succession planning, retention, and overall staffing needs.
  • Partner with other city departments, community-based organizations, and community advocates on behalf of people experiencing homelessness and mental health crises to advance strategies and policies that improve quality of life and reduce the burden on police resources.

The new Police Chief aligns with the vision outlined in the Reimagine Policing Plan and will lead the ongoing efforts to transition the Boulder Police Department to a problem-solving policing approach. The Police Chief embraces a cross-disciplinary model known as holistic governance with a focus on enhanced engagement and relationships, improved accountability and transparency, and increased officer readiness. The successful candidate easily builds trust and respect with community members, community-based organizations, city leadership, Police Department staff, and other outside agencies. With high emotional intelligence, the Police Chief is an effective communicator and active listener who values diversity of thought and welcomes new ideas from the department and the community.

A transformational leader with proven expertise in relational change management, the Police Chief supports a data-driven culture of continuous improvement. They are highly ethical and routinely model behaviors expected throughout the organization, including trust, mutual respect, approachability, and accountability. With a dedication to employee health and wellbeing, the ideal candidate promotes ongoing staff development and ensures officer readiness. The Police Chief is committed to progressive department-wide trainings that are consistent with and responsive to the needs of the community, including de-escalation, mental health, crisis intervention, and trauma-informed. Importantly, the successful candidate contributes to a strong culture and ensures sworn and civilian employees have an active voice in maintaining a positive work environment.

With demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity, the Police Chief promotes a culturally competent Police Department. They understand how the history of policing in the United States has impacted the perceptions that some community members have regarding the police and value the lived experiences of the Boulder community. The successful candidate understands racial inequalities, specifically in the criminal justice system, and brings prior experience successfully working with multicultural communities. A commitment to racial equity and an understanding of oppression and institutional racism is essential.


Two identical anonymous online questionnaires, one in English and one in Spanish, were distributed to Boulder Community Leaders, Community-Based Organizations, and select Board and Commission members in May of 2024. All responses were collected and managed by Raftelis Consulting. Both formats contained the same questions. A total of 28 responses were received (25 English and 3 Spanish) and responses prioritized a Police Chief who:

  • is committed to working to overcome inherent bias in policing
  • is committed to transparency
  • demonstrates cultural competence and cultural awareness
  • creates an equitable and inclusive environment
  • holds their staff accountable to act with justice and fairness to all people
  • provides transparency to the community and is willing to share data and metrics
  • has a continuous improvement mindset, reviews and updates policies and procedures, and utilizes the City’s racial equity tools
  • is accessible and accountable to the community
  • demonstrates the ability to build trust and relationships in the community

View key findings PDF.

At least 10 years of progressively responsible law enforcement experience is required, with demonstrated experience in senior executive assignments, leadership in community policing, and crime reduction initiatives. Executive leadership skills that foster an open, trusting, and welcoming work environment are essential. A genuine commitment to and prior experience with an active model of community-led, problem-solving policing is required. Prior experience advancing racial equity initiatives with demonstrated experience collaborating on issues including mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness are essential. A deep commitment to transparency with a proven track record of building trust and effective relationships in the community is non-negotiable.

A bachelor’s degree and certification as a Police Officer, or the ability to obtain certification, as mandated by the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board is required. The ability to have and maintain acceptable background information, including criminal conviction history is required. The City of Boulder encourages the Police Chief to reside within the city limits.

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they can perform every job description task. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may come from a less traditional background. The City will consider any equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set for the role.

The annual salary range for the Police Chief is $181,861 - $246,048, with an anticipated hiring range of $181,861 - $233,210, and will depend on the qualifications of the successful candidate. The City of Boulder is a progressive organization that values employee engagement and well-being. The city recognizes the importance of providing an encompassing health and life benefits program to employees, including Hybrid Work, Flex Schedules, Telehealth and Wellness Incentives, Infants and Dogs at Work Program, Local bus Eco-Pass, and an Employee Discount Program on goods and services throughout the Boulder Community.

Anticipated Recruitment Timeline

  • Position Posted: June 10, 2024
  • Review of Applications and Initial Screenings: Week of July 8, 2024
  • Candidate Review with City Leadership: Week of July 15, 2024
  • Semi Final Interviews: Week of July 29, 2024
  • Final Interviews: Week of Aug. 12 or Week of Aug. 19, 2024


For more information or questions regarding the City of Boulder and the Police Chief position, please contact Heather Gantz via email at hgantz@raftelis.com or 503-860-1111.