Colorado police commander new Clovis police chief

Courtesy photo Steve Sanders, of Northglenn Colo., will assume the duties of Clovis police chief Oct. 13.

CNJ staff

Steve Sanders of Northglenn, Colo., was hired Monday as Clovis police chief, according to the city manager’s office.

He will assume the duties of chief Oct. 13.

Sanders, 47, a commander with the Northglenn Police Department, has more than 21 years of experience in law enforcement and also holds a master’s degree in computer information systems, according to the resume he submitted to the city.

Sanders will replace Dan Blair, who retired in June after about 18 months as chief.

City Manager Joe Thomas said the greatest challenge he expects Sanders to face are the same recruitment and retention issues experienced by law enforcement nationwide.

“Mr. Sanders seemed to be a better fit for the community and the department. He is a very good speaker and is comfortable in relating his ideas and his thoughts,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to Chief Sanders getting here. In what limited conversations I’ve had with him, I’m very comfortable that he is the right person for the job and will do an outstanding job for the citizens of Clovis.”

Sanders said he believes some of the ideas he implemented in Northglenn will work in Clovis but he is coming into the position with an open mind. He said his approach will be to get a feel for the department.

“I want to get an opportunity to get to Clovis and talk to (police) commanders and try to develop a game plan as a group, as a team and get some of their input,” he said.

“I think when it comes to retention, you have to determine what they’re looking for and that comes best from them and not from me.”

During the search for a new chief, Blair’s deputy chief, Mike Ingram, has served as interim chief.

Police officials have said the department is short nearly a dozen officers and has had difficulty finding interested applicants who can meet qualification requirements.

Some community programs, such as providing resource officers to the schools, have been scaled back as the department has worked to compensate for the shortages.

But Thomas said he feels Sanders is otherwise coming into a sound department.

“Overall, the department is in very good shape. I feel like we’ve got one of the better (police) departments in the state of New Mexico,” he said.

Sanders’ salary will be $72,500, Thomas said.