Commerce City Chief of Police Clint Nichols today announced his retirement from the position effective Monday, July 25. Chief Nichols has spent the past seven years with the Commerce City Police Department (CCPD) following a 23-year career with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).
“It’s been an honor to serve this community for seven years, including five as the chief of police,” said Nichols. “I’m proud of the work our officers did in that time and the positive reforms our agency adopted to improve the delivery of public safety services for this growing and dynamic community.”
“I have always aimed to lead this agency with integrity and fairness. Recent circumstances indicate a perception among some that I am no longer the right person to do that, which leaves me in an untenable position to lead. In the best interests of our community and the Commerce City Police Department, I have decided to retire and allow the agency to start fresh under new leadership to continue making positive changes.”
Chief Nichols has been the subject of recent scrutiny unrelated to his duties as chief of police, but rather relating to his accounts of being stopped for traffic violations in the state of Utah while traveling between Commerce City and his family’s home in Las Vegas. The city has commissioned an independent investigation to determine the facts of these stops, the results of which are still being finalized and remain privileged at this time.
Since taking over leadership of CCPD, Chief Nichols has helped implement numerous policy reforms and updates, some of which were recommended by a U.S. Department of Justice Collaborative Reform Process. These include policies related to use of force, de-escalation, and training about biased-based policing. Nichols oversaw the addition of the You Have Options Program for sexual assault reporting, the creation of the Commerce City-Brighton Sexual Assault Taskforce (a regional first), and an increased emphasis on community policing efforts.
“I want to thank Chief Nichols for his years of service to our community and his dedication to improving the Commerce City Police Department,” said City Manager Roger Tinklenberg. “He has been a driver of our police reform efforts through some challenging times. While the circumstances of his departure stem not from malintent or misconduct, I agree that the best course of action at this time is to seek new leadership for CCPD going forward.”
Nichols joined CCPD as a commander in 2015 before being promoted to deputy chief in 2016 and then chief of police in 2017 following the retirement of Lowell Richardson. Nichols spent seven years in the United States Marine Corps prior to his 23-year run with LVMPD.
The city manager will name a new acting or interim chief of police by Nichols’ July 25 departure as chief.