Chris Schaefer Selected as Next CBI Director

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(December 19, 2022) Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey has selected Chris Schaefer as the next Director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), effective Feb. 3, 2023.

The Department of Public Safety selected Schaefer as Director after a robust and competitive search followed by panel interviews with CDPS leadership, CBI staff, and statewide and federal partners including law enforcement and district attorneys.

Schaefer’s entire career has been spent with the CDPS, first joining the Colorado State Patrol in 1995, then the CBI in 2004. Schaefer has served in a number of leadership roles for the CBI during his stellar 27-year law enforcement career. He is currently the Deputy Director overseeing the CBI’s Investigation section. He also serves as the President of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. Schaefer also served as an Agent in Charge in the CBI’s Support Services section, coordinating the Biometrics Identification and Records Unit. Schaefer is the first internal candidate to succeed an outgoing Director in decades.

Building relationships is one of Schaefer’s greatest strengths. His ability to work with members of the public safety community, especially in times of crisis, will continue to play a pivotal role in the success of the CBI moving forward. In addition, Schaefer is a proven leader who is committed to innovation, best practices in law enforcement, and most important, providing Colorado law enforcement with the resources they need.

“An outstanding field of candidates interviewed for this important position, but Chris relayed an exceptional vision for the Bureau and commitment to collaboration with our partners and the members of the CBI,” Executive Director Hilkey said. “Chris is an outstanding leader, and is the right person to guide the CBI through its current expansion of more than 100 positions over the next three years. His strength in building relationships, his extensive investigative experience, and his problem solving background will serve the Bureau and state extremely well in the coming months and years.”

“It is an absolute privilege to have been selected to serve as the Director of an organization that has been my home for my entire career. I look forward to continuing to represent the CBI in this new capacity, and to work with our law enforcement partners across the state to assist with their investigative needs,” Deputy Director Schaefer said.

Current CBI Director John Camper is concluding an extraordinary law enforcement career spanning more than 41 years, and is set to retire in February. He has served as the CBI Director for the past five years. Prior to joining the CBI, Camper served for 8 years as the Chief of Police for the Grand Junction Police Department, following a 29-year career with the Lakewood Police Department.

“I am honored to call John Camper not only a colleague, but also a friend,” said Hilkey. “I have trusted his opinion and relied heavily on his counsel for many years, as his integrity and commitment to doing the right thing are paramount to his character. Upon his retirement from law enforcement, we celebrate a remarkable career filled with outstanding accomplishments. John is an unprecedented leader committed to enhancing the law enforcement profession, and he will be greatly missed.”

Although Director Camper isn’t retiring until Feb. 3, 2023, there will be an overlap transition period in the coming weeks to ensure a seamless transfer of command. Schaefer becomes the tenth CBI Director since the creation of the Bureau in 1967. The CBI was founded on July 1, 1967, to support and assist local, county and state criminal justice agencies. More than 300 CBI dedicated members strive to deliver excellence in criminal investigations, forensic/laboratory services, and comprehensive criminal justice data management for stakeholders.