Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers, whose office fell under national scrutiny after one of his deputies shot and killed Christian Glass as he was experiencing a mental health crisis inside his car last year, announced he will retire next month.
Albers announced his retirement effective Aug. 3, saying in a Facebook post Wednesday evening that he was leaving the office after 43 years with “mixed emotions.”
“It has meant the world to me to be the recipient of so much love, encouragement, and support during this time,” he wrote, thanking current and former staff of the sheriff’s office and the community.
Albers’ decision to step down comes after the county’s board of commissioners accused him of “not adequately accepting responsibility” for Glass’ death in June 2022. During a meeting last month, the board vowed “to do all it can” to reform the office and alleged that Albers failed to fill in the gaps in training that led to Glass’ death. Glass called 911 for help after his car got stuck in the small town of Silver Plume, which is west of Denver just off Interstate 70.
Glass’ parents, Sally and Simon, also called for Albers’ resignation. In May, the couple received a $19 million settlement — the largest for a police killing in Colorado, topping the $15 million settlement reached in 2021 for the death of Elijah McClain.
Under the settlement, Glass’ parents negotiated for changes that they hope will prevent another family from suffering a loss like theirs. Clear Creek County will form a crisis response team and its sheriff’s office will train all deputies in crisis intervention.
Attorneys for Sally and Simon Glass said Albers was responsible for training and disciplining the officers that killed Glass and has failed to apologize “in a meaningful way.”
“While Sheriff Albers’ resignation is a step in the right direction it is only a start towards avoiding another senseless death,” law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
A grand jury found that two Clear Creek deputies were not in imminent danger and needlessly escalated the situation after Glass called 911. Former Clear Creek County deputy Andrew Buen and his supervisor, former Sgt. Kyle Gould, face criminal charges in Glass’ death.