Hickenlooper names new Manager of SafetyMayor John Hickenlooper today announced the appointment of Ronald Perea as Manager of Safety. Perea will begin work June 1 and replace Al LaCabe, who is retiring effective June 30.
“We are pleased to welcome Ron back to Denver,” Mayor Hickenlooper said. “Ron brings the perfect combination of safety experience and innovative thinking to the Manager of Safety role. He played a vital role during the Democratic National Convention and made a lasting impression on those he worked with during one of the greatest times in our City’s history. Ron has a solid track record of leading by example and we look forward to him joining the City team.”
Perea, 54, is currently the Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Los Angeles Division – the third-largest field office in the country. He is responsible for all aspects of the Secret Service mission, including the Agency’s protective and criminal investigative functions. He is an executive board member of the Los Angeles FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, has oversight and control of the Division’s budget and expenditures, works as a liaison with the entertainment industry and oversees the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force. He also supervises cases involving significant national and international financial fraud, identity theft and protective intelligence.
Perea previously worked as the Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Field Office, which is responsible for protective and investigative operations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, and as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Washington, D.C., Field Office – the largest field office in the Secret Service.
While in Denver, Perea was the Special Agent in Charge during the Democratic National Convention in 2008. He worked closely with law enforcement and public safety leadership in Denver and throughout Colorado to help stage one of the most successful political conventions in our nation’s history.
“This is a great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Perea said. “I am very excited to once again work with the outstanding men and women of the Denver police, fire and sheriff departments. Al LaCabe made significant progress in working with the community, employees and department leadership to create and ensure effective discipline procedures and I look forward to furthering that work.”
Before joining the Secret Service in 1984, Perea worked five years for the Albuquerque Police Department. He earned a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Albuquerque. Perea has attended numerous training programs during his Secret Service career.
Perea has traveled frequently to Denver since the DNC, as his wife stayed in Aurora after his transfer to the Los Angeles Field Office in 2009. The couple has two children, one of whom is a police officer in Boulder and the other lives in Boston.
The selection of Perea comes at a crucial time for Mayor Hickenlooper. The search committee appointed by the Mayor, received over 70 applications and ultimately provided a handful of names to Hickenlooper for consideration. Perea wasn’t included in that short list and was referred to the committee by the Mayor just last week. Several citizens groups, members of the City Council, and the Police Union were also displeased that retiring police Commander Rudy Sandoval wasn’t one of the finalists.
While it is widely known that the rank and file of the Denver Police, Sheriff and Fire Departments are not the Mayor’s biggest supporters, choosing an outsider will likely only exacerbate that problem as the Mayor tries to win their support during his campaign for governor.