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This evening, the Grand Junction City Council will proclaim the week of November 5th through the 9th as Law Enforcement Records Personnel Week in the City of Grand Junction. It’s the first week of its kind, as ordered by Governor John Hickenlooper this year, and it’s giving communities across the state the opportunity to thank and recognize the backstage work of these essential public safety personnel.
At the Grand Junction Police Department, our eight Records staff play a crucial role in maintaining the level of service our community has come to expect from their local law enforcement. They provide first line customer service and are responsible for a myriad of tasks; from maintaining over 40,000 criminal justice records each year, to being certified in the release of such records in accordance with the Colorado Open Records Act. They also register bikes, provide sex offender registration management, scan and catalog thousands of critical documents, work closely with the District Attorney’s office on prosecution cases, enter local and nationwide warrant information for wanted individuals, maintain a data base of runaways and missing people, process thousands of criminal justice and open records requests each year from citizens, insurance companies, attorneys, and other law enforcement agencies…the list goes on and on.
Perhaps every bit as valuable as their expansive technical expertise is the environment they create for our department. The Records division is the heart of our agency. Situated in the middle of our building, they are the proverbial “water cooler” for our employees; its often where you end up when you want to connect with your co-workers and be reminded that we’re a family. They host potlucks for our staff regularly, they decorate to the hilt for every holiday, they host contests and games for our employees. They created a “shout out” board for our entire staff, providing an outlet to share a kind word of encouragement for a co-worker for a job well done. They take on the role of creating a true sense of morale and engagement for our agency. In any high stress, high demand line of work, the welcoming arms that make a job feel like a family are invaluable.
“Our behind-the-scenes, data crunching crime fighters are unlike any in the state,” says Theresa Jaramillo, the Records manager. “From the work they’re assigned to the unique way in which they make this place feel like a home, you’re guaranteed to walk out of our department laughing or smiling.”
We have said over and over again how grateful and humbled we are by the overwhelming support our first responders enjoy in Mesa County. We want to take this week to make sure that the efforts that occur out of public view to keep our department running smoothly and efficiently are recognized, too. We truly couldn’t do it without them.