Cortez Police Chief Wants Partnerships

07/30/2020
NEWS BRIEFS
Southwest Colorado confirmed COVID-19 cases by county: La Plata (207 resident, 18 non-resident), Archuleta (38 resident, 33 non-resident), Montezuma (109), Dolores (1), San Juan (2). Deaths due to Covid: Montezuma (2), Deaths among cases: LaPlata (2), Montezuma (1), sjbpublichealth.org, montezumacounty.org
Colorado COVID-19 totals: 49,436 cases, 6,572 hospitalized, 1,852 deaths among cases, 1,729 deaths due to COVID-19, 568,127 tested, 509 outbreaks, colorado.gov
15 year-old, Durango, Colorado girl, Jaden Forquer is missing since 2 pm, August 5. Description: brown hair, brown eyes, 5'7-5'8, 145-155 lbs, last told a friend that she was in a vehicle up by Denver heading towards Wyoming. Please contact local law enforcement with any information.

The recently appointed police chief of the Cortez Police Department says that community partnerships are key to addressing the root causes of criminal behavior in the city.

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SOUTHWEST COLORADO NATIVE VERNON KNUCKLES KNEW AS A TEENAGER THAT HE WANTED TO WORK AS A POLICE OFFICER. WHAT HE DIDN'T KNOW WAS THAT HE WOULD ONE DAY BECOME POLICE CHIEF FOR THE CITY OF CORTEZ. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHOICE BUILDING SUPPLY ACE HARDWARE. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. DOLORES COUNTY NATIVE VERNON KNUCKLES WAS VISITING RELATIVES IN CALIFORNIA AS A TEENAGER, WHEN ONE OF HIS RELATIVES INVITED HIM TO RIDE ALONG ON HIS SHIFT AS A PATROL OFFICER. THAT EXPERIENCE  STUCK WITH HIM, AND BEFORE HE KNEW IT, HE HAD EMBARKED ON A LIFELONG CAREER IN LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT THAT TWO MONTHS AGO CULMINATED IN HIS APPOINTMENT AS THE NEW CHIEF OF POLICE FOR THE CITY OF CORTEZ. HE HAS SERVED AS AN OFFICER WITH THE DOLORES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, AS A POLICE OFFICER IN THE CORTEZ POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND WORKED AS A CONTRACTOR FOR THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT PROVIDING SECURITY FOR DIPLOMATS IN IRAQ. BEFORE HIS APPOINTMENT AS POLICE CHIEF, HE WORKED FOR THE MONTEZUMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT FOR NINE YEARS, SERVING THE LAST THREE AS UNDERSHERIFF. ALTHOUGH WORKING AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER CAN SEEM LIKE A THANKLESS JOB, KNUCKLES CALLS THE PROFESSION A MISSION OF SERVICE.
YOU KNOW, THE FEELING THAT YOU YOU'RE HELPING THE COMMUNITY, AND, AND, AND DOING GOOD FOR THE COMMUNITY IS, IS SOMETHING THAT I LIKE. DESPITE THE CURRENT, YOU KNOW, DISCOURSE THAT'S OUT THERE, EXCUSE ME, WITH THE, IN THE NATION. POLICE OFFICERS DO A REALLY IMPORTANT AND NOBLE JOB. AND THE MAJORITY OF, OF LAW ENFORCEMENT ARE GOOD. AND THEY HAVE THEIR COMMUNITIES IN MIND. AND, AND THAT'S WHY THEY'RE OUT THERE DOING WHAT THEY DO. KNUCKLES SAYS THE POLICE DEPARTMENT NEEDS BE MORE THAN AN ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. IT ALSO MUST SERVE AS A PARTNER WITH THE COMMUNITY TO ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR LIKE DRUG ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.I THINK A LOT OF THE ISSUES THAT AFFECT THE COMMUNITY THAT, THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS TO DEAL WITH IS BIGGER THAN JUST LAW ENFORCEMENT. AND I THINK BUILDING THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COMMUNITY BETWEEN THE, THE POLICE DEPARTMENT TO COME UP WITH IDEAS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUES IS VERY IMPORTANT, BECAUSE LIKE I SAID, I THINK A LOT OF THE ISSUES THAT ARE BIGGER THAN, THAN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, EVEN THE CITY, CITY COUNCIL, THEY'RE BIGGER. AND IT TAKES A LOT OF STAKEHOLDERS TO COME TOGETHER AND TRY TO WORK THROUGH THE ISSUES TO COME UP WITH SOLUTIONS. KNUCKLES GREW UP IN EGNAR COLORADO AS A DRYLAND FARMER. HE ATTENDED MONTICELLO HIGH SCHOOL IN UTAH, AND OBTAINED HIS BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN GOVERNMENT FROM GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY. HE SERVED IN THE UTAH NATIONAL GUARD FOR 35 YEARS, AND EARNED A BRONZE STAR MEDAL IN 2004 FOR SERVICE IN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. HE ALSO HAS BEEN TWICE AWARDED THE ARMY ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL FOR LEADERSHIP AND SOLDIER READINESS. AN EFFECTIVE LEADER, HE SAYS, GIVES HIS POLICE OFFICERS AND SUPPORT STAFF THE OPPORTUNITY AND AUTHORITY TO MAKE DECISIONS THAT HELP DEVELOP THEIR OWN LEADERSHIP SKILLS.
I THINK DEVELOPING YOUR, YOUR PEOPLE AS LEADERS IS HOW YOU CREATE A LEGACY. YOU TEACH THEM HOW TO LEAD. SO WHEN YOUR TIME IS UP, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN PLACE TO TAKE OVER AND MOVE THE AGENCY FORWARD.TO CONTACT KNUCKLES, VISIT CITY OF CORTEZ DOT COM SLASH POLICE. THANKS FOR WATCHNG THIS EDITION OF THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE.

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