About the Department of Public Safety
The Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) consists of five divisions that cover a breadth of safety programs and services:
- Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
- Colorado State Patrol
- Colorado Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ)
- Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control (DFPC)
- Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM)
- Additionally, the Executive Director's Office supports operations of the five divisions and houses the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) and Colorado Integrated Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS)
These agencies share a vision of creating safer and more resilient communities across Colorado. The CDPS Mission is "Engaged employees working together to provide diverse public safety services to local communities and safeguard lives."
Read more about each agency below, or learn more by visiting their respective web sites.
Note: Colorado's local law enforcement, emergency management, fire, and criminal justice agencies operate with home-rule authority; while local jurisdictions often partner with and work closely with CDPS agencies, they are not overseen by the Department of Public Safety. If you have a question or concern about municipal or county safety services, you may need to contact your local jurisdiction.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) provides law enforcement services to local, state, and federal law enforcement and government agencies, including managing statewide criminal justice information, assisting with criminal investigations on request, conducting criminal and civil background checks, and operating an internationally-accredited forensic laboratory system.
CBI Primary Units
- Forensic Services – provides forensic investigative assistance to law enforcement agencies, including DNA casework, latent print analysis, firearm and toolmark analysis, drug chemistry analysis, crime scene evidence processing, serology analysis, trace evidence analysis, digital analysis, DNA database management, and toxicology analysis.
- Investigative Services – provides critical investigative assistance to law enforcement agencies on request for major crimes, gaming, complex fraud, fugitive sex offenders, cold case homicides, and missing persons investigations.
- Instant Criminal Background Check Unit – serves as the state point of contact for background checks on firearms purchases and conducts concealed handgun permit background checks for sheriff’s offices.
- Crime Information Management Unit – provides support services and ensures security regulations are met by users of Colorado criminal justice information to uphold and enforce the FBI standards, and operates an information system at an over 99 percent availability rate for local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies enabling them to exchange timely, accurate, and complete information.
- Identification Unit – serves as the state repository for criminal history information, including fingerprint data.
- Office of Professional Standards – develops national accreditation standards for the CBI, standardizes policies and training, conducts review and investigates complaints and allegations of misconduct, and reports on CBI statistics and inspections.
The Colorado State Patrol promotes safety, protects lives, and preserves state highways using the following programs:
• Traffic Safety – enforces motor vehicle and all other Colorado laws on 8,400 miles of highway and 57,000 miles of county roads, including selective enforcement actions, saturation patrols, crash investigations, and educational safety programs.
• Communications – provides a professional communications system for members of the Patrol, other state, local, and federal agencies, and Colorado residents.
• Criminal Interdiction and Automobile Theft – proactively investigates motor vehicle theft and related offenses, inspects Vehicle Identification Numbers, interdicts illegal drugs, and gathers intelligence to support state and national homeland security efforts.
• Hazardous Materials Enforcement – enforces permitting and routing rules, develops safe transportation rules and regulations, and provides timely response and mitigation for hazardous materials events on-roadways.
• Executive and Capitol Security – provides 24-hour security at the State Capitol and Capitol Complex, and security for the Governor, First Family, visiting dignitaries, and public demonstrations.
• Smuggling and Trafficking Interdiction Section – enforces the state’s human smuggling and human trafficking laws on Colorado roadways.
• Port of Entry and Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program – collaborates with industry to support safe transport of materials on commercial motor carriers in Colorado.
• Aircraft Program – supports traffic enforcement activities and transports state officials and employees.
• Victims Assistance – provides direct services to victims of highway traffic crimes in accordance with the Victim Rights Act.
The Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) provides services to crime victims, conducts criminal justice research and analysis, and supports the management of offenders. The DCJ’s range of statutory charges includes technical assistance, grants management, data collection and reporting, victim assistance, the creation of standards for community corrections, sex offender management, and domestic violence offender management.
- Community Corrections – allocates state funding for community corrections facilities to local boards, audits providers to ensure compliance with standards, and provides technical assistance on the implementation of evidence-based practices in community corrections.
- Adult and Juvenile Justice Assistance – administers several major federal funding programs, including Justice Assistance Grants, the Juvenile Justice Formula Grant, and the John R. Justice Program, and operates the State Juvenile Diversion Program in conjunction with local prosecutors.
- Research and Statistics – serves as Colorado’s Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) and, as such, collects and disseminates crime-related data for planning and enhancing the quality of Colorado’s criminal and juvenile justice systems, and provides staff support to the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.
- Victims Programs – administers four separate federal grant programs and the State Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement grant program, develops and implements public policy and standards, reviews and resolves victim complaints about non-compliance with the Victim Rights Act, and provides staff support to the state Human Trafficking Council.
- Domestic Violence and Sex Offender Management – administers the Sex Offender Management Board and the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board, which develop and implement standards for the treatment of offenders and provide training for service providers.
- Evidence-Based Practices for Capacity in Implementation (EPIC) – increases the efficacy of professionals who work with offender populations by providing education, skill-building, and consultation about evidence-based practices and implementation science to criminal justice agencies.
The Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) safeguards the lives of those who live, work, learn and play in Colorado by reducing fire threats to people, property and the environment. Each of the programs described below supports the Division’s mission in various ways, including through code enforcement, wildfire preparedness and suppression, training and certification programs, public information and education, or technical assistance to local governments.
- Wildfire Management – provides technical assistance to local governments and manages wildfires that exceed the capacity of local agencies.
- Health Facility Construction and Inspection – ensures that licensed health facilities comply with fire and life safety codes, issues building permits, and performs inspections.
- Public School and Junior College Construction and Inspection – ensures that public schools and junior colleges comply with building and fire codes by conducting plan reviews and inspections or certifying local plan reviewers and inspectors.
- Certification – administers certification programs for firefighters, hazardous material emergency responders, medical first responders, fire sprinkler fitters, and others.
- Colorado All-Risk Incident Reporting System – administers a statewide reporting system for fires and related incidents.
- Emergency Services Responder Education and Training – provides training for emergency service responders.
- Center of Excellence – researches, tests, and evaluates new technologies related to aerial firefighting.
- Fire Suppression – ensures that fire sprinkler systems are properly installed and maintained.
- Colorado Fireworks Act – establishes minimum standards for the sale and use of fireworks.
- Fire Safety in Limited Gaming Establishments – establishes minimum building and fire safety standards for limited gaming establishments.
- Regulation of Reduced Ignition Propensity Cigarettes – enforces flammability standards on cigarettes.
- Regulation of Fire Safety in Waste Tire Facilities – creates rules for fire safety in waste tire facilities.
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) consists of three offices and multiple programs that support the Division in providing leadership to Colorado communities to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond, and recover from all-hazard events including natural disasters and human acts. The DHSEM was created in statute in 2012 to consolidate homeland security and emergency management functions that were previously located in multiple state agencies.
- Budget and Finance – processes expenditures and grant reimbursements, prepares all federal financial disaster reporting, and maintains the accounting for the Disaster Emergency Fund.
- Emergency Management – manages state-declared disasters, manages federal disaster recovery programs, provides technical assistance to local emergency managers, sponsors training courses, evaluates exercises, develops pre-disaster mitigation plans, and identifies areas where state assistance can be deployed following a disaster.
- Public Information and External Relations – interfaces with the public, supports statewide preparedness efforts through strategic messaging with citizens and community partners, and develops risk-based communications products.
- Prevention and Security – collects and disseminates information about terrorist threats, provides assistance and training to state and local government on terrorism-related training and exercises, establishes protocols to guide state and local law enforcement officials and allied emergency response officials in responding to suspected terrorist activities, creates standards to safeguard state personnel and property, promulgates rules about the continuity of government operations, provides analytical case support, and provides citizens with current information about safety protocols pertaining to chemical and biological hazards.
- Preparedness – improves community preparedness and citizen involvement, reduces duplicative homeland security-related training needs and efforts, coordinates homeland security training and plans, coordinates all-hazard public risk communication products among state agencies, administers federal homeland security and emergency management grants, and coordinates infrastructure protection for the state.
The Executive Director’s Office (EDO) is the backbone of the Department of Public Safety, providing effective administrative and management services to the Department’s five operating divisions. In addition to administering central functions such as financial services, human resources, rulemaking support, and government relations, the EDO houses the Colorado School Safety Resource Center and the Colorado Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS).
- Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director – Oversee strategic direction and operations for the department.
- Financial Services – Provides accounting, procurement, budget, payroll, payment and other financial services to support the operations and programs of CDPS divisions.
- Human Resources – Supports recruitment, hiring, evaluation, benefits management, personnel actions and all other typical human resources functions.
- Planning and Communications – Oversees strategic planning, public information, open records, internal communications, and legislative relationships for the Department.
- Fleet and Facilities Management – Manages and maintains CDPS vehicles and facilities.
- Compliance and Professional Standards – Develops policies, assesses and manages risk, and ensures compliance with state and federal requirements and professional standards.
- Colorado Integrated Criminal Justice Information Systems – develops cost-effective information sharing services to provide access for criminal justice agencies while maintaining information security. CICJIS is a collaborative program designed to facilitate information sharing at key decision points in the criminal justice process. There are five participating CICJIS agencies: the Department of Corrections, Judicial, the Colorado District Attorneys Council, the Division of Youth Corrections, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
- Colorado School Safety Resource Center – assists local schools and communities to create safe and positive school climates for pre-k through higher education schools in Colorado.