Denver’s New Chief Has Found Controversy At Every Stop in Career


In his more than 30-year career, incoming Denver’s police chief Robert White has won respect and praise for building bridges with communities but has also found controversy at every stop along the way, says the Denver Post. As far back as the late 1980s, White, who once described himself as “snow-white pure,” has been involved in questionable incidents or on the fringe of scandals. The first was in Washington, D.C., when White was nominated for a promotion and failed a drug test for marijuana. He later was cleared and won $50,000 in a lawsuit against the Fraternal Order of Police for releasing the information.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who picked White from 61 applicants, said he learned about the incident in the course of vetting White. The Police Executive Research Forum conducted the national search that led to his hiring from the Louisville police department. In 2002, while chief in Greensboro, N.C., White faced scrutiny when his son was stopped after an off-duty officer noticed him driving erratically. He wasn’t charged, but White “acknowledges that his son has found himself in trouble a couple of times,” Hancock says. Hancock said there wasn’t a single candidate who had not weathered questions about something in their past. “If you work long enough in this profession, there is always something,” he said

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