Thornton on track to hire new chief

City Manager to choose from three candidates this month

Staff report
Posted 9/21/20

Work replacing Police Chief Randy Nelson should wrap up before the end of September as the city decides between three candidates — law enforcement professionals from Arizona, Milwaukee and …

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Thornton on track to hire new chief

City Manager to choose from three candidates this month

Posted

Work replacing Police Chief Randy Nelson should wrap up before the end of September as the city decides between three candidates — law enforcement professionals from Arizona, Milwaukee and Washington State.

Thornton Police Chief Randy Nelson announced his retirement effective June. 1. Thornton City Manager Kevin Woods elevated Deputy Chief Cliff Brown to take over temporarily, until the new chief can be found.

The three candidates, former Mesa, Arizona Chief Ramon Batista, former Bellevue, Wash. Chief Stephen Mylett and former Milwaukee, Wis. Assistant Chief Terrance Gorden sat for interviews with officers and city leaders Sept. 16.

Those interviews were followed later that day with a community virtual forum with Thornton residents.

Todd Barnes, Thornton spokesman, said Woods has said he plans to hire Thornton’s new chief by the end of September.

Batista

Candidate Ramon Batista began his law enforcement career in 1986 with the Tucson Police Department and worked his way through ranks, working as the city’s police  Public Information Office, Traffic Division, solo motors and Patrol Operations, Advanced Officer Training and Patrol Operations, Specialized Response Division, including SWAT, Hostage Negotiations, Bomb Unit, K9 and the Air Unit as well as the South Patrol Operations Division Commander.

Batista was hired as Chief of the Mesa, Ariz.  Mesa Police Department as Chief of Police in July 2017.

Batista lists innovative programs aimed at enhancing the well-being of police officers and professional staff as well as strengthening the connection with Mesa residents and business community on his resume.  He retired from his position in Mesa in November 2019.

Batista holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety and Homeland Security and a Master of Science degree in Leadership from Grand Canyon University.  He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Executive Research Forum, the American Society of Evidence Based Policing and he is fellow at the National Police Foundation.

Gordon

Candidate Terrence Gordon joined the Milwaukee Police Department in 1995, working in Sensitive Crimes/Crimes against Children, Violent Crimes, and Homicide Divisions, as well as serving as a crisis negotiator and later a supervisor of the Crisis Negotiators Unit.

Gordon was promoted to captain and assigned to the Office of Management, Analysis and Planning, then transferred to become a district commander in the city.  He was also the training director at the Milwaukee Police Academy where he taught investigative, professional development, and leadership courses. He also served in the Risk Management Bureau. Gordon was promoted to Assistant Chief in August 2020.

Gordon holds a bachelor’s degree in business and public administration, and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police and is committed to continuously improving the police profession through applied research, training, and maintaining police legitimacy through collaboration with the community.

Mylett

Candidate Steve Mylett began his career in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1988, rising through the ranks from Cadet to Assistant Chief of Police.  He served in various divisions and assignments, including the Patrol, Special Services (Narcotics), Community Services, and Administration Divisions. Before joining the CCPD, Mylett served in the United States Air Force as a Security Police Specialist. 

He hired on to lead the Southlake Police Department in Texas in 2011 before being sworn in as Bellevue, Washington’s Chief of Police in April 2015.

Mylett earned a bachelor’s degree in applied arts and sciences from Midwestern State University and a Master of Science degree in criminal justice leadership and management from Sam Houston State University. He is also a graduate of several professional development courses including the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management in Policing and the Bill Blackwood Leadership Command College.

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