Former sheriff’s role in study

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In addition to the study regarding the sheriff’s office, Centennial has completed similar studies when evaluating other contracts for service, such as for public works and animal control.

At city council’s June 3 meeting, City Manager Matt Sturgeon said staff thought it prudent to hire former Arapahoe County Sheriff David Walcher for the study because the city wouldn’t have to familiarize him with the ins and outs of the sheriff’s office or Centennial’s law enforcement needs.

The city entered into the contract with Walcher Jan. 8. That’s the same day Brown and other elected officials in the county took their oaths of office. Walcher’s hourly rate is $250, and the city had anticipated 320 hours of work for the study. The city paid Walcher about $60,000, Allison Wittern, city spokeswoman, said on June 6.

Walcher is not being considered to take the position of police chief or any other position in a potential Centennial police department, Wittern said.

The study doesn’t say much, if anything, explicitly about whether a Centennial police force would provide more effective or efficient law enforcement service compared to the sheriff’s office, aside from identifying additional top-level and patrol personnel that would likely be hired. But the purpose of the study was to determine cost and what components need to be considered should the city decide to form its own department, Wittern said.

— Ellis Arnold

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