When you ask someone what a person who works for the police department does, you’ll likely get a response of “they arrest people” or “they write tickets.” We can’t argue with that. But, with 180 employees within the Grand Junction Police Department, both civilian and sworn, there are many folks here who do amazing things for our community and our police department- beyond just making arrests or issuing tickets. We want you to know about some of these people. We hope you’ll enjoy this insight into some of the work being done as we answer “What Else Do They Do?”
“It changes every day. No matter what happened the day before, each new day has the opportunity to be completely different.” – Sgt. Dave Stassen
For the last 15 years Sgt. Dave Stassen has been a member of the Colorado Police Protective Association Board of Directors, twice as president. As the largest police association in Colorado, 2400 members strong, having someone from the Western Slope in that position has proved to be key when it comes to representing the interests of agencies such as our own.
“In the last 15 years, being able to see the changes we’ve made has been great,” said Sgt. Stassen. “We’ve helped change it from a labor association to an organization that represents all parts of law enforcement in Colorado.”
Now, with the most recent CPPA conference complete, Sgt. Stassen is stepping down from the Board. He has some notable issues he’s worked on during his time with the CPPA, including the annual District Attorney Council’s omnibus bill that covers topics from child sex abuse to DUIs to jail overcrowding.
“We have a great opportunity to be influential in issues of statewide concern,” Sgt. Stassen adds.
The Grand Junction Police Department, which was one of the founding members in 1922, will continue to have a strong presence with the CPPA. Cpl. Suzette Friedenberger will take Sgt. Stassen’s place on the nine member board, along with Ofc. Brian Frasier who is the secretary, and retired Ofc. Paul Frey. Together they will continue to work with the state legislature and lobbyists on issues that affect us, giving up one full weekend a month plus time for phone calls during the week.
It’s not the extra time commitment that made Sgt. Stassen decide it was time to pass the baton. Rather it’s the success of the organization he’s helped shape.
“After 15 years I decided the state association was on a solid track to provide the best services possible for officers statewide,” Sgt. Stassen said. “Officers from a newer generation need to be encouraged to step up and continue the work that those of us who came before have started.”
We are grateful for the work Sgt. Stassen has done with the CPPA in representing Western Slope law enforcement issues. Here are some other highlights of his career:
- At the age of 16, Sgt. Stassen first started his work with the GJPD as a volunteer Police Cadet.
- During the summers, Sgt. Stassen worked as a Parks Patrol Officer from 1987 to 1990.
- In 1991 he was sworn in as a Grand Junction Police Officer.
- In 2008 he was promoted to seargent.
- Among many other duties as a GJPD officer, Sgt. Stassen is currently working on the county wide switch to a unified records management and dispatch system which will allow all law enforcement agencies in Mesa County to share information more efficiently. The expected completion for that project is April 2011.
Other things Sgt. Stassen has said:
“It changes every day. No matter what happened the day before, each new day has the opportunity to be completely different.”