DENVER - The woman in charge of Denver's Department of Public Safety is stepping aside, Denver7 has learned.
Public Safety Executive Director Stephanie O'Malley resigned and will take a new position with the mayor's office as special assistant to the mayor. In her new position, she will work with communities of minorities and women to expand their businesses opportunities, and work to enhance their jobs skills and economic opportunities.
"I believe no one is better-equipped to lead the effort," Mayor Michael Hancock said of O'Malley and her new position at a Monday morning news conference.
"Stephanie is the perfect person to work across agencies to ensure our communities benefit from Denver’s success and that this cascade of opportunity reflects and lives our Denver values. No one is better equipped to lead this effort than Stephanie," he said further in a news release.
As executive director of safety for the past four-plus years, O'Malley oversaw Denver's fire, police and sheriff's departments. She will make $145,000 in her new position.
The Department of Public Safety is in the midst of controversy over investigations into Chief of Police Robert White and Deputy Chief Matt Murray over an arrest that a former district attorney called into question.
But Mayor Michael Hancock said the decision Monday had nothing to do with the controversy. He said that he would have preferred that "things be handled better," but said O'Malley was "ready for a change" and that it was the "right timing" for the change.
Troy Riggs will head the Department of Public Safety, replacing O’Malley. He spent much of 2017 working as a senior fellow at the Sagamore Institute after four years as the Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police in Indianapolis. Prior to his time in Indianapolis, he was the police chief and assistant city manager in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“It is an honor to step into this critical role for the Hancock Administration and take the helm following the phenomenal leadership of Stephanie O’Malley,” Riggs said. “Sharing the Mayor’s commitment to public safety and meeting the needs of residents, I am excited to serve the people of Denver and to lead this great city into the future.”
Riggs will oversee 4,400 employees and a budget of around $540 million. He will make $168,000 in his new position.
“Troy has a national reputation for excellence in criminal justice and public safety. I’m confident that he will continue to build up the public’s confidence and trust in Denver’s safety agencies while maintaining our high level of integrity and commitment to criminal justice," Hancock said.