The Denver Department of Public Safety on Monday named deputy fire chief Todd Bower as the new interim leader for the city’s fire department.
Bower stepped into the role Monday, following the recent resignation of fire chief Eric Tade amid controversy over a firefighters ball in late February that was rife with sexual innuendo for the second year in a row.
“Chief Bower is a proven leader who is well-respected throughout the fire service industry for his dedication to ensuring the highest level of emergency, medical and fire service delivery to the public,” interim executive director of public safety Murphy Robinson said in a statement.
“His extensive experience and tenure with the Department will support continuity of leadership in strategic management and a continued focus on community involvement.”
Bower has worked as a Denver firefighter since 1993 and has served as DFD’s deputy chief for the last 10 years.
“It’s been an honor to serve the people of Denver and the dedicated members of the Denver Fire Department for nearly 27 years, and I am humbled to serve in an even greater way as interim Fire Chief,” Bower stated in the Monday release. “As a Colorado native with deep family roots in both the community and Department, I am committed to the continued enhancement of Department innovations, workforce diversity and fire prevention education.”
Tade is the third public safety official to resign in six months. Former sheriff Patrick Firman and former public safety director Troy Riggs also left top safety spots within the last half year.
Although Firman and Riggs left their departments entirely, Tade will remain with the DFD, although at the lower-ranking position of assistant chief. He served in the top spot since 2010 and oversaw a department of 900 firefighters in 38 firehouses.
“It's the right time to step back and bring in new leadership to implement new strategies and a fresh perspective to foster continued improvement,” Tade said in a statement late last month. “That’s what the men and women of this department deserve, and I remain committed to this department and the people we serve every day.”