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Troy Riggs, Denver's director of public safety, speaks during a Dec. 10 news conference. 

A new leader, albeit a temporary one, was named on Tuesday to lead Denver’s Department of Public Safety.

Murphy Robinson, the chief operating officer for the city, will serve as the interim executive director of the agency that oversees the city’s police, sheriff and fire departments. The Denver native replaces Troy Riggs, who resigns at the end of this month for a job in the private sector.

Mayor Michael Hancock made the announcement Tuesday morning in an email to Denver’s public safety team.

Denver public safety chief submitted resignation letter Jan. 3
Denver leadership reacts to resignation of public safety chief Troy Riggs
Denver public safety director Troy Riggs leaving for private sector position

“While we endeavor to find another great leader to step into Executive Director Riggs’ hard-to-fill shoes, your continued focus on the important work you do every day is deeply appreciated,” he wrote.

Robinson served as deputy mayor in 2019 for roughly eight months before transitioning to his role as the chief operating officer for the city. Prior to that position, Hancock had appointed him in August 2017 as executive director for the Department of General Services.

“Murphy has been a phenomenal executive director for the General Services team, and he’s become a valuable leader within my administration,” Hancock stated in a Dec. 2018 press release announcing Robinson as deputy mayor.

As head of General Services, Robinson helped build engagement with small, women- and minority-owned businesses, according to city documents, as well as saving $1.5 million in the utility operations budget. He also created the Energy Office and Security Office “to help support the mayor’s energy initiatives and enhance safety in the city’s facilities.”

Denver City Councilman Kevin Flynn, who sits on the council’s safety committee, said putting Robinson in this position is “clearly an interim move to provide leadership until a search results in a new permanent director.”

In the meantime, he said, “I trust Murphy.”

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