Published: Dec. 16, 2020

Since Chief Jokerst was named the chief of police for the CU Boulder Police Department (CUPD) just over two years ago, she has worked to increase the transparency of the department. From body-worn cameras and cameras in the patrol vehicles to creating a recruitment plan that focuses their efforts on making the CUPD workforce more representative of the community they serve, the department continues to become more open with their operations.

CU Boulder student Isaiah Chavous listens to Chief Doreen Jokerst during the commander hiring process

CU Boulder student Isaiah Chavous listens to Chief Doreen Jokerst during the commander hiring process. Photo by Carson Becker.

The next step in their process has been the inclusion of CU Boulder students in the hiring process for CUPD police openings. This fall, two students served as a part of community panels during the hiring process; first for police officers and, most recently, for a commander position. 

“CUPD is tasked with representing the constituency of our school. As a student, it has been an eye opening experience into the process of how our police leaders are chosen,” said CU student and CUSG Tri-Exec, Isaiah Chavous, who was the first student ever to participate in the hiring of a CUPD command officer. “My hope is that my participation in selecting the new commander will set a precedent of increased student influence and create more space for BIPOC students to promote an equitable environment.”

“I am so grateful for the participation of members of our student body in the hiring steps of our police officers and command staff,” said CU Boulder Chief of Police Doreen Jokerst. “They have provided unique insight in our hiring processes.”

Dr. Kimberly Miller, a consultant to police departments from across the country, was brought in to oversee the recent commander hiring process. She believes that the inclusion of students in the selection process of officers and leaders is important.

“The students are a large part of the community in which the police department serves,” Dr. Miller said. “They add a very important perspective and valuable lens to the hiring process. They look at law enforcement differently than traditional community panels.”

Dr. Miller believes that including students in the hiring process can help build a bridge between law enforcement and that community.

“A college campus environment is different from a city or county environment. The student’s lens has them looking for different things then a traditional citizen participant does.”