What do you do?
Where do you work and what is your title?
I am a police officer for the City of Colorado Springs, currently assigned to the Gold Hill Division, one of Colorado Springs' four patrol divisions.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
My partner, Officer Bob Jeffords, and I work in the Westside every shift. Our focus is on patrol and officer-initiated problem-solving in the area between 21st Street and Manitou, with an emphasis along “The Avenue.” We also are working to build relationships with Westside business owners and community members so we can have a more holistic approach to policing this unique part of town. We are called the “Westside Enforcement & Service Team.”
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
I have worked for the CSPD since July of 2004 and as a founding member of the W.E.S.T. team since the end of the summer of 2012.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
The best part of my job has always been and continues to be, meeting and serving people. Working on the W.E.S.T. Team gives me more flexibility to make the rounds and meet folks on the Westside, versus the normal patrol cops who spend their day running from call to call. The people over here on the Westside are great (even the pranksters – you know who you are).
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
There really isn’t anything I would change. But I would love to see more officers citywide have the opportunity to patrol on bicycle as Officer Jeffords and I do. Aside from staying healthy, it makes officers more approachable and gives us the ability to check on areas that just aren’t accessible by vehicle. Officer Jeffords and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to patrol on bike; it is a lot of fun.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
Nothing can really prepare you for those tough moments of this job. I don’t think I’ll ever forget those calls where children have died, or one night where shots were fired outside of a bar downtown while I was standing nearby. When people ask what “the job” is like, I tell them that it is easy to become jaded because people aren’t calling 911 to report that their family loves each other, their neighbors are great and their life is perfect. Day in and day out police officers are responding to calls of crisis – that can take a huge toll. I’m thankful for my beautiful wife who makes it easy to (as best I can) leave work at work.
What makes working on the Westside special?
It’s because of the relationships I’ve built, from the business owner to the transient. I can expect that most of the folks I see on the Westside are genuinely happy to see Officer Jeffords and me. Not that Colorado Springs has a reputation for having the hustle and bustle of a big city, but the Westside is even more low-key, which reminds me of my hometown in California’s Central Valley.
“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.