Years ago, Elias Diggins set a goal to one day be Denver’s sheriff. Today, Diggins wears the badge as interim sheriff, but he’s no longer sure he wants the job. “I’ve seen how difficult the job is,” Diggins tells the Denver Post. If he applies for the full-time position, there is no guarantee he would be chosen. Diggins was appointed interim sheriff July 21 by Mayor Michael Hancock, who announced plans for a national search for a new sheriff on the same day.
Diggins, a 20-year department veteran, has taken the lead of an agency that is suffering from repeated, high-profile allegations of deputies using excessive force against jail inmates. U.S. District Judge John Kane has urged federal authorities to investigate the practices of the police and sheriff’s departments. Kane approved a $3.25 million settlement in a jail abuse case. Critics have said the problem at the jails is a deeply embedded culture where deputies face little risk of losing their jobs even when their violent actions cost the city millions in lawsuit settlements.