Monday, February 11, 2019

Deputy Chief Vince Niski selected as new police chief

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2019 at 11:18 AM

click to enlarge Vince Niski will be Colorado Springs police chief, Mayor John Suthers announced on Feb. 11. - COURTESY CSPD
  • Courtesy CSPD
  • Vince Niski will be Colorado Springs police chief, Mayor John Suthers announced on Feb. 11.
UPDATE:

Mayor John Suthers addresses why finalists for police chief were not introduced to the public:

We did not hold community meet and greets with the police chief finalists prior to the final selection for a number of reasons. First, the selection process focused on some very technical public safety issues and particular factors specific to the Colorado Springs Police Department. The general public assessment would not have been particularly helpful to that process. Second, in the case where there are internal candidates well known to the community, a “meet and greet” exercise can be seen as unfair to outside candidates. Finally, once we ultimately chose an internal candidate well-known to the community, particularly the police force, the need for introductory public meetings was deemed unnecessary. That said, we look forward to getting Vince out into the community more with this new position, and are certain that the residents of Colorado Springs will find him to be an extremely capable, personable and effective Chief.

——————-ORIGINAL POST 11:18 A.M. MONDAY, FEB. 11, 2019—————————-

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers has chosen a long-time officer, Deputy Chief Vince Niski, as his new police chief.

Suthers' office announced the choice in a news release on Feb. 11. Niski is a 30-year veteran of the Colorado Springs Police Department and served as outgoing Chief Pete Carey's right-hand man for years.

“Vince Niski is a man with great integrity, and who has proven his leadership abilities as Deputy Chief over the last seven years,” Suthers stated in a news release. “He is highly regarded both within the department and across the law enforcement community."

Carey is retiring this month (though he could have retired in 2016) and moving to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office where he'll serve as undersheriff to Sheriff Bill Elder.

No finalists were announced to the public, and no public meetings were held so residents could meet the finalists. (Colorado Springs Utilities Board invited the public to meet the three finalists for Utilities CEO last year.) Mayor's spokesperson Jamie Fabos told the Independent on Feb. 8 that five finalists would be disclosed the following week. It's unclear why that didn't happen. Fabos says she was referring to an announcement of Niski, and not the list of five finalists being released to the public.

While some are celebrating Niski's rise, not everyone is happy. Some officers, who spoke to the Indy on condition of anonymity, describe Niski as inflexible and a "micro manager," and say his hiring shows "nothing changes" in the department.

The city didn't immediately release a salary figure for Niski.

Here's the release:
Mayor John Suthers today announced Interim Chief of Police Vince Niski as his selection for the next Police Chief of Colorado Springs. Niski has served as Deputy Chief since 2012 and has been with CSPD for 30 years, beginning in 1989. Niski’s appointment is pending confirmation by the Colorado Springs City Council.

“Vince Niski is a man with great integrity, and who has proven his leadership abilities as Deputy Chief over the last seven years,” said Suthers. “He is highly regarded both within the department and across the law enforcement community. As an integral part of CSPD’s leadership team over the past seven years, Vince brings commitment to the spirit of excellence, a unique understanding of CSPD’s past and present, valuable cross-division experience and the drive and vision to continue to move our police department forward.”

In his lengthy tenure with CSPD, Niski has worked in the Patrol, Traffic, and Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Divisions. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2007 and was assigned to the Sand Creek Patrol Division and then worked in the Specialized Enforcement Division. Before he was promoted to the rank of commander in 2011, he served as interim commander of the Specialized Enforcement Division for approximately one year. Upon his promotion to Commander, he was assigned to the Stetson Hills Division. He was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief in 2012.

“Colorado Springs is my hometown, and to be selected as Police Chief is an absolute honor,” said Niski. “I have had the good fortune of spending my entire career with CSPD, and I couldn’t be more proud to lead this dedicated group of professionals. I want to thank Mayor Suthers for the selection and pending the approval of City Council, I look forward to working hard to further CSPD’s commitment to integrity and excellence in serving and protecting my home town.”

Deputy Chief Niski holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Colorado. He is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership and Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police.
The appointment must be confirmed by City Council, which has never refused to confirm a mayor's appointee since voters approved a change to mayor-Council form of government in 2010.

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