Sean Mandell, 26-year CSPD veteran, new Gold Hill Division commander
In almost 26 years with the Colorado Springs Police Department, Sean Mandell had never worked out of the Gold Hill Division
That record came to an end in late 2017, when Mandell was appointed the Gold Hill commander. The division's substation is at 955 Moreno Ave.
Now that's he's on board, he said in a recent interview, he's looking forward to dealing with the “unique opportunities” the division offers. He particularly cited as geographical priorities the Westside, downtown and South Nevada Avenue corridor; and asserted a desire to work with people who are already bolstering community in those areas.
“We [CSPD] can't solve all the problems by ourselves,” he said. “We need extra sets of eyes and ears to help us understand what the real issues are.”
One concern shared to a large degree by all three of the above locations is homelessness and its offshoots. They are part of a city-wide conundrum in which, according to Mandell, there are an estimated 1,400 people without permanent residences but only 1,000 shelter beds.
“We want to make sure people feel safe and protected,” Mandell said, referring to homeless people. In regard to the community at large, “If we come across anything that's unsafe or a danger to the community, we'll take some kind of enforcement action.”
But at the same time, he pointed out that police must follow city policies. Of late, with winter weather and an insufficient number of beds, this has included allowing public camping (despite an ordinance against it) and “warming fires” at such camps. “We have to abide by what the attorneys tell us,” Mandell summarized.
Mandell is a native of Colorado Springs, graduating from Mitchell High School in 1987. He earned a criminal justice degree from St. Mary's College in Kansas, where he also played on both the football and baseball teams.
Returning to Colorado Springs, he started his career with CSPD in 1992.
Previous assignments have included patrol, undercover narcotics, internal affairs, the gang task force and homicide. He was promoted to the rank of commander in 2013, serving as head of the Metro Vice and Narcotics Investigation (VNI) Special Enforcement Division, which also includes agencies elsewhere in El Paso County as well as Teller.
As commander of Gold Hill, Mandell oversees 150 employees in all. “That number includes the patrol officers, supervisors, civilian support, HOT, DART, DUI, property detectives, Community Service officers and a few other miscellaneous employees,” he outlined, adding that the division's authorized strength for patrol officers alone is 75.
The new commander is the fifth since the Gold Hill substation opened in 2006. Before Mandell were Kurt Pillard (to 2010), Tish Olszewski (to 2012), Pat Rigdon (to 2014) and Rafael Cintron (until this year). The division itself was formed in 1993.
In addition to the Westside, the substation's coverage area is generally west of Union Boulevard, south of Fillmore Street, north of the Broadmoor and east of Manitou Springs.
Westside Pioneer article