Changes coming to the Denver Sheriff's Department following series of unfavorable headlines

DENVER - The Denver Sheriff is planning changes following a series of attention-grabbing incidents that did not appear to be favorable for the department.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Gary Wilson will present some proposed changes to a city council committee.

Last week, deputies mistakenly released Sebastian Littlejohn, an inmate facing felony robbery charges. Denver Police caught Littlejohn the next day. The sheriff said that an inaccurate court order led to the release of Littlejohn. His department is still investigating what happened.

Last month, a courtroom video from 2012 was released showing a deputy forcibly pushing a hand-cuffed inmate into a courtroom window. According to the Denver Post, that deputy received a 30-day suspension, but he is appealing that decision.

Last year, a deputy helped an inmate escape the Denver county jail. Deputy Matthew Andrews helped the inmate, Felix Trujillo, dress up like a deputy and walk right out of the jail. Andrews drove Trujillo to Adams County. Trujillo was free for three days before turning himself in. Andrews was arrested and was sentenced to six years in prison earlier this year.

"First of all I want to see a plan. That's the first thing that I want to see, I think that's what we all want to see, that's what the city wants to see," said city councilman Albus Brooks. "How will you respond because of these negative instances that have been put out for the city? How will you respond?"

Brooks is the chair of the city council committee that will hear proposed changes from Wilson on Tuesday.

"One of the critical areas is training. I think the other area is to take a great look at the budget and make sure that we're adequately staffing our jails," said Brooks. "It's making sure that your employees have the proper training (and) making sure we have the correct funding structure set up. Should we be hiring some more folks? Are our folks under stress?"

The committee will meet Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. on the third floor of the City and County building. The committee will go into executive session if any specific case involving the sheriff's department is discussed.

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