Chief of Police

Photo of Chief Pickett for page

Message from Chief Dave Pickett

On July 19, 2019, Chief Dan Brennan retired after 42 years of service in law enforcement and the City is in the midst of a national search for a new Chief. While that process is underway, the City Manager appointed me as the Interim Chief.

I have been with the department since 1984 when I joined as a patrol officer. Soon after I became a Field Training Officer, and worked my way through special assignments and the ranks of Sergeant and Commander and most recently as the Division Chief for Support Services which includes Investigations, Records, Evidence, Crime Analysis, Training and Accreditation. I also served 25 years on SWAT and have been a skills instructor for more than 30 years.  Through my experience with the First Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, I gained expertise in the area of officer involved shooting investigations. I currently serve on the Leadership Jefferson County Steering Committee and lead the department's support for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

If you have questions about the department or concerns about our community, please contact me. I look forward to meeting you at one of our community meetings or an event this fall.

Chief Dave Pickett


Annual Reports

 2017 Annual Report

 2018 Annual Report

The National Search for the next Chief of Police 

The City engaged Public Sector Search and Consulting (PSSC) to lead the national search process for the City’s next Chief of Police. PSSC held community and employee focus group meetings to gain a better understanding of the qualities Wheat Ridge desires in its next Chief. In addition an online and printed survey was distributed to staff and community members. Two final candidates were selected and participated in the Police Chief Candidate Community Forum to meet community members and answer questions.

Welcome Chris Murtha New Chief of Wheat Ridge Police

The City of Wheat Ridge City Manager Patrick Goff has selected Chris Murtha as the next Chief of the Wheat Ridge Police Department. Murtha has accepted a conditional offer pending final background screenings.  

“I’d like to thank the community, our staff, and public safety partners for providing their input as we conducted a national search for the next Chief of Police. The selection process was a difficult one due to the level of qualified candidates who applied for the position,” stated Patrick Goff, city manager of Wheat Ridge. “I am very pleased to announce the selection of Chris Murtha as our next Chief of the Wheat Ridge Police Department. Chris is an exceptional leader and has a proven track record of reducing crime through an innovative and collaborative approach to community policing. He and his wife are very excited to return to the Denver area, and we are looking forward to welcoming him officially on February 10, 2020,” continued Goff.

Chris Murtha currently holds the position of Deputy Chief for the Patrol Bureau of Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland. A former Denver resident, Murtha has 23 years of experience in law enforcement. Leading a department of 1,100 men and women, both sworn and civilian, Murtha was instrumental in adopting a new records management system, automated speed enforcement, and license plate readers. “I have worked hard to forge a positive image for my agency and to demonstrate a balanced approach to leadership. I have focused on creating positive community relationships to move our agency forward in a progressive direction,” stated Murtha.

Murtha received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire and a certificate from the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police.

As Deputy Chief for the Prince George’s Police Department, Murtha oversees calls for service by patrol to the University of Maryland-College Park Campus, FedEx Field, National Harbor Convention Center, Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington (home of Air Force One), and other venues.

Wheat Ridge Chief of Police Community Engagement Report

Wheat Ridge Police Department Community Forum Series

September 2017 Forum on Crime

November 2017 Forum on Homelessness