Interim Police Chief Stephen Redfearn joined the Boulder Police Department in 2021 as Deputy Chief of Operations and was appointed interim Police Chief in January 2024. He has more than 23 years of law enforcement experience working in Boulder, Aurora and Jefferson County.
Interim Chief Redfearn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology from Metropolitan State University and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University.
In addition to formal education, Interim Chief Redfearn has attended numerous professional development course including the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), Leadership in Police Organizations (LPO), Denver University Daniel’s College of Business-Public Safety Leadership Development Program, and the Harvard Kennedy School-Senior Executives in State and Local Government.
Interim Chief Redfearn showed an early interest in policing, serving as a Police Cadet for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, where he later worked as a 911 Dispatcher, including during the Columbine High School mass shooting.
He spent two decades serving with the Aurora Police Department, where he rose through the ranks from Patrol Officer to Division Chief. As Division Chief of Operations, he managed more than 400 employees in patrol operations, SWAT, district detectives, and the field training program. Redfearn brings with him a detailed understanding of operations and project management.
In 2006, Interim Chief Redfearn started his supervisory role as a Patrol Sergeant, and supervised the Field Training Program, Vice and Narcotics Unit, the East Metro Auto Theft Team, Major Investigations Section, Homicide, and several investigative units. He was also assigned as the Commanding Officer of Police District One, where he was responsible for all operations in the city’s busiest and most diverse areas.
While supervising an anti-crime team, then Sergeant Redfearn responded to the Century 16 Theatre shooting in July 2012 where he took a leadership role in overseeing the triage and transport of multiple victims as well as the apprehension of the killer.
Interim Chief Redfearn is a subject matter expert in line of duty death response and preparedness, mass violence prevention and response, and officer wellness. He trains around the country on these topics and has presented at the FBI National Academy, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), National Homicide Investigators Association, multiple law enforcement agencies to include the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and has spoken at dozens of conferences and trainings including the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Interim Chief Redfearn started at the Boulder Police Department in September 2021 as the Deputy Chief of Operations, which oversees enforcement and investigative functions. During his first two years he held several important roles both within the department and the community, including being the Department’s LGBTQ+ police liaison.
He currently serves as the President of the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation, a non-profit organization made up of Colorado law enforcement officers and civilians who volunteer their time to honor the fallen, while respecting the survivors. He also serves as a subject matter expert for the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police legislative committee and consults with the Department of Justice’s Office of Crime Victims on mass violence prevention.