Lakewood taps Roswell, N.M., police chief Philip Smith to head 400-person force

Lakewood announced Friday that it has named Philip Smith, the chief of police in Roswell, N.M., for the last nine years, to head the 400-strong force in Colorado’s fifth-largest city.

Smith, who has 37 years of experience in law enforcement and has served as a university-level adjunct professor teaching cultural diversity, law enforcement ethics and police administration, will start as Lakewood’s chief Monday.

“His extensive experience in law enforcement, leadership and community engagement make him a great fit for our city,” City Manager Kathy Hodgson said in a statement.

Lakewood’s release said Smith’s background in community engagement will be invaluable in addressing the complex challenges facing law enforcement today.

Lakewood’s selection process to replace Daniel McCasky, who was chief from 2016 until he retired last June, took six months and involved multiple candidate interviews and input from employees on the force.

Hodgson was responsible for making the final decision on hiring.

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