Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, at left, introduces Patrick Firman as new Denver Sheriff in October 2015.

(Vic Vela/For CPR News)

Patrick Firman, a deputy chief of corrections from Illinois, has been named the new Denver Sheriff by Mayor Michael Hancock, ending a national search prompted by Gary Wilson's July 2014 departure from the position.

"Everyone said the same thing about change agent, highest level integrity, will work his tail off, honors his employees, inspires his workplace," Hancock said. 

Elias Diggins has been serving as interim sheriff. Firman was one of 25 applicants for the position.

"It’s going to be a challenge. There’s a lot of reform that’s been suggested," Firman said.

Independent consulting firm Hillard Heintze led the search for Wilson's permanent replacement. A recruiting committee created by the mayor then reviewed the applicants. The consulting group has also been leading an overhaul of the troubled sheriff's department and the Denver jail.

The firm's report on the department was released in May and called for a complete overhaul of the department's culture. At the time, Hancock said the report would serve as a "reform roadmap" for the department, which administers the jail.

"The new Sheriff will serve as a change agent for DSD and have the task of creating a world-class department," the original sheriff job posting reads.