COMMERCE CITY — Commerce City Chief of Police Troy Smith rounded out two leadership positions in the department with the hiring of two deputy chiefs.
Troy announced late last month that Frances Gomez has been selected to serve as the department’s deputy chief for operations.
Last week, Chief Smith announced that Lowell Richardson was selected to serve as the department’s deputy chief for support services.
Both begin with the department Sept. 17 in their new roles.
“I am excited to have a command professional of Frances’ caliber join the Commerce City Police Department,” said Chief Smith. “Her expertise spans all functions of department operations and her knowledge of specialized units will be invaluable to a growing department such as ours.”
In 2012, Gomez was appointed as the Aurora Police Department’s District 3 Commander, where she oversees 110 employees (commissioned and civilian), manages a budget of $11.2 million and works collaboratively with other district commanders.
Gomez has been with the Aurora Police Department since 1990, working her way through the ranks as a patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant and captain in various disciplines. As a lieutenant, she served as the department’s commander of operations support section, where she directed the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team; Canine, Pattern Crimes and Gang Units; and Hostage Negotiators, earning the respect of her peers. Gomez also served as a District 1 Captain, commanding patrol operations and investigation for an 116,300 resident area. She is the highest-ranking female command officer in the department’s history.
“Commander Gomez has done a wonderful job for the Aurora Police Department and she has done so in some of the most challenging assignments,” stated Chief Dan Oates. “She is ready for the challenge and will do a great job in Commerce City.”
Prior to joining the Aurora Police Department, Gomez was employed by the Denver Sheriff’s Office. She has been active in numerous community organizations and serves as a board member for Leadership Aurora. Gomez has a master’s in criminal justice from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State College. She also is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy.
The deputy chief position is part of a new organizational structure for the Commerce City Police Department. The reorganized department consolidates four divisions into two large divisions, which are overseen by two new deputy chief positions, with six police commander positions instead of the four division commanders and three lieutenants.
As for Richardson, Chief Smith said “his expertise in management, knowledge of municipal government and reputation as a problem-solver will be invaluable to a growing department such as ours.”
Richardson has led all aspects of a police department, as the chief of police for Estes Park. In this role, he established a community policing philosophy, authorized and implemented more than $500,000 in grant-funded projects, and initiated technology advancements to improve department coordination and response times. Richardson created the Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership and was nationally recognized for his community policing approach by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Since 2008, Richardson also has been the assistant administrator for the 5,400-resident community, which annually expands its population to 3 million by tourist visits. As the town’s assistant administrator, he leads seven departments, responsible for 115 full-time employees and an annual operating budget of $34 million.
“I’m looking forward to using my municipal management and law enforcement experiences to benefit the Commerce City Police Department, advancing the organization towards its vision of excellence,” said Richardson.
Richardson’s 33-year career began as a patrol officer with the Brighton Police Department, where he worked his way through the ranks, serving as a watch commander/sergeant. He became the chief of police for Fruita in 1998 before joining Estes Park in 2001.
With the hiring of Richardson and Deputy Chief Frances Gomez, the police department’s executive staff is complete and the six commander positions will be appointed in the near future.
Richardson has a master’s in organizational management and a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. He is a certified trainer with the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police and the Colorado Police Officer Standards Training Board.