Background info: Where are you from? How did you grow up?
I was raised in Frederick, CO, and lived there most of my life. I moved to Erie in 1999.
What brought you to Erie?
I worked for Dacono Police Department and had the opportunity to work some off-duty work with an Erie sergeant. He liked the way I interacted with the public and he recruited me to work for Erie.
Why did you choose a career path with the police department?
It was something I wanted to do since I was about 7 years old.
What does your timeline with the PD look like?
I was hired in December 1996. In January 1998, I was promoted to sergeant. During my early years as a sergeant, I was also the detective. I am now the sergeant over the Watch I (day shift) patrol officers.
How have things changed from when you began to where you sit now?
The Erie PD only had 7 officers when I started. We are now at 26 when we are at full strength. The population back then was around 1,200 and is now closer to 22,500. When I worked Watch III (night shift) in the late 1990’s, I worked alone and could go weeks without a dispatched call. That is no longer the case.
What has kept you with this profession for so long?
I love interacting with the public. Erie has the best people!
What does a typical day at work for you look like?
I have many administrative duties, such as scheduling shifts, training and vacations, reviewing reports and citations. I conduct traffic enforcement in the school zones, answer dispatched calls and assist my officers with whatever they need.
What is the best part of your job? What is the hardest part?
I like everything about my job. I can’t say I like any one thing better than another. The hardest part is crimes against children. I do not like to see children hurt.
Does your work life mesh well with your personal life?
Through my job I know a lot of people in Erie. I cannot go anywhere in Erie without running into someone who has a question or just wants to chat. I welcome this exchange.
In what ways have you seen Erie change over the years as a citizen and as a police officer?
As a citizen and as an officer, I have watched new subdivisions develop, schools grow and new schools be added. The roads in town were not paved when I started. There is much more traffic and there is much more to do now in Erie. We now have a library and a recreation center with many programs for the families. One of the main complaints I heard when I first started here was “there is nothing for the kids to do.” I do not hear that complaint anymore.
What have these changes meant for you and your career?
As the town grows, so does the police department. We will hire more officers as needed.
In what ways would you like to see Erie change in the foreseeable future?
I like the growth. I would like to see more commercial; a movie theater, and maybe a small concert venue.
What’s the future look like for you?
I like my position as a sergeant and hope to stay in it until I retire.
What advice would you offer a young, ambitious police officer?
Not everyone hates the police. There are so many good citizens out there. Do not take the attitude that it’s us against them. We are just like them; the only difference is we get paid to keep them safe.
If you weren’t with the PD, what career do you imagine you would have?
I was a computer technician before I got into law enforcement. I imagine I would still be there if I was not with the Erie P.D.