Denver's new police chief is officially on the job.
"I will not let the men and women of this police department down," said Robert White after he was sworn in. "I will not let this community down."
White was sworn in at the City and County Building at 11 a.m.
He served as the police chief in Louisville, Ky. for nearly nine years and will be Denver's first black police chief.
He's only the second person from outside the department picked to be chief. Mayor Michael Hancock believes White is capable of restoring public trust in a department hit by a series of excessive-force allegations.
In a sit-down interview conducted before he was sworn in, White told 7NEWS he's ready to make some sweeping changes.
White is promising to change the culture of the department and hold officers accountable for their behavior.
"You've got to be held accountable," said White. "I think if the men and women realize, and I think most of them do, if they are supported when they do the right things, that somebody is standing up there, especially when it is controversial, that is when you need the support. It is my job to stand up and support them. On the flip side of that is when we make a mistake, it is also my job to stand up and say, 'We have made a mistake' and to say, 'This is what we are going to do to correct the mistake.'"
By holding officers accountable for their actions, White said, the community will begin to respect the department.
The men and women of this department go on hundreds of thousands of calls a day. Something controversial is going to happen," said White. "How long that becomes a negative story depends on the respect that the community has for our police department and the respect the media has for our police department. We have to build that respect."
The 59-year-old will earn about $167,000 a year, including nearly $6,000 in longevity pay for his 39 years in law enforcement.
We will update this story throughout the day. Watch 7NEWS at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. for more on the interview.
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