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A Parks crew hangs a Police Week banner on Grand Junction City Hall


That is the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty nationwide in 2010.  The death of Deputy Sam Brownlee from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office last November is among those in that list.  In fact, at least one Colorado officer has been added to that list every year for a while now.

It’s officers like Deputy Brownlee and all of the men and women who gave their lives to protect our communities that we honor this week, National Police Week.  Every day men and women put on the uniform and head to work, not knowing what they will face that day, but they do it because they love their communities and the people in them.

There are some sobering numbers in the annual report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  We saw a spike in the number of deaths in 2010, which comes after two years of decline.  Although traffic fatalities are still the number one cause of line of duty deaths, firearm fatalities increased 24% in 2010, with 61 officers shot and killed.  And so far in 2011, we are already seeing an increase over the 2010 numbers, with total fatalities so far sitting at 71.

In Grand Junction we, law enforcement, are fortunate to have good support from our community.  We see it often and appreciate the thanks we hear from our residents.  We hope that you will join us for the annual Police Week Memorial Vigil on Thursday, May 19 at 7:30pm outside of Grand Junction City Hall.  This event grows each year, and this year the plans include a lot to see and experience, complete with the Combined Honor Guard, the Appleton Acoustic Angels Choir, the Veterans Memorial Bell, a 21-gun salute, and a number of police and fire vehicles.  The heads of our local law enforcement will be there as well, and we hope to see you there too.  The whole event usually takes less than an hour, but it is a great way to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Below are photos from last year’s Police Week Memorial Vigil.

Shred Your Documents While Helping Fight Cancer

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The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, with support from local law enforcement agencies including the GJPD, is offering this great service to help you safely get rid of your documents and to keep you personal information out of the hands of identity thieves.  The shredding is a FREE service, however donations will be accepted to help out the local Cops Against Cancer Relay for Life team, which is raising money to help fight cancer.   With a Wild-West theme for this year’s Relay for Life, this multiple agency team is “Gun’in for a Cure”, and could use your support.  What better way to protect yourself while helping people battling this life-threatening disease!

For more information about the Cops Against Cancer team contact Sheridan O’Leary at 244-3598 or sheridan@gjcity.org.

Parking Predicament Prevention: Tip #2

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Throughout our daily activities at the Police Department we come across people who say, “Really? I didn’t know that!”  Often those statements come from people who have just received a parking ticket.  To help keep you parking ticket free we will be posting Parking Predicament Prevention tips.

Tip #2

Did you know it is illegal to park within 20 feet of a crosswalk?

The reason is cars need to be able to easily see people who may be entering a crosswalk, and people crossing the street need to be able to easily see if any vehicles are coming their way.

May 2011 Western Slope Honor Flight

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This morning more than 100 World War II veterans made the trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials built in their honor.  We were again honored to be part of their sendoff, and are excited to be part of their return tomorrow (May 5th) at about 6:15 pm at the Grand Junction Regional Airport.  The entire community is invited to welcome the veterans home, so we hope to see you there.  It’s a very emotional experience for everyone involved, and the amount of patriotism is awe-inspiring.  You can get a sense of what to expect by reading our blog from the last flight, check out our photos from this morning on our Facebook page, or visit the Western Slope Honor Flight website.

Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinets: Rx Drug Takeback Day is Apr 30

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It was such a popular event when we did it last fall that we are again partnering with area law enforcement agencies and the DEA to host another Prescription Drug Takeback Day.

 Rx drug take back 4-11


Parking Predicament Prevention: Tip #1

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Throughout our daily activities at the Police Department we come across people who say, “Really? I didn’t know that!”  Often those statements come from people who have just received a parking ticket.  To help keep you parking ticket free we will be posting Parking Predicament Prevention tips.

Tip #1

Did you know it is unlawful to park within 5 feet of a driveway, even if it’s your own driveway?

The reason is to increase visibility and to allow a safe space for vehicles entering or leaving driveways.

The Voice On The Line

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Grand Junction Regional Communication Center

Hopefully you’ve never had to call 911.  When someone calls 911 it’s likely because they are in a crisis, or at least having a very bad day.  With that said, if you have ever had to call, or ever need to in the future, you can rest assured that the voice on the line is a highly trained, highly skilled, and highly dedicated telecommunicator (a.k.a. dispatcher) who is there to help you get through your crisis, or your very bad day.

As this week draws to a close, so does National Telecommunicator Week.  It’s a few days out of the entire year where we recognize the men and women who are that voice on the line, and whose dedication to this community is displayed every time a person calls 911 for help.   When you consider that the 911 lines are staffed every single minute of every single day, a week out of the year doesn’t seem like much, but that doesn’t mean we don’t truly appreciate and value the tremendous work these men and women do.  They truly save lives and make what the officers and firefighters do out on the streets possible.

This year, during our annual awards ceremony 7 dispatchers were recognized for their outstanding work and dedication.  The award recipients are chosen by their peers who know what these dispatchers face on a daily basis and who see firsthand how these dispatchers handle the intense and stressful situations.  The first four awards in the list let us show our fun side, which is important with stressful jobs; the last three on the list recognize those who rise to the top of what they do.  We are thankful for all of them, and for all dispatchers who are there when we need them most.

Andee Nessler name 2011 Telecommunicator of the Year
S.A.V.E. Award (Skilled At Virtually Everything) = Mary Edris
E.M.D. Award (Every Mother’s Dream) = Bill Arcieri
Liaison Extraordinaire (Best Team Player) = Sarah Arrants
F.D. Award (Funniest Dispatcher) = Andee Nessler
Supervisor of the Year = Brett Loeb
C.T.O. of the Year = Bev Lindsay
Telecommunicator of the Year = Andee Nessler


Interesting Facts About 911

  • In 2010, the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center (911) received106,741 calls to 911.
  • The Communication Center dispatches for 21 agencies across Mesa County.
  • There are currently 37 dispatchers and 6 supervisors staffing the Communication Center.
  • It takes a dispatcher an average of 12 months to become fully trained.
  • According to the National Emergency Number Association, 8% of the population has the skills necessary to become a 911 operator.
  • The 2nd week of April was designated National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week in 1991.
  • In February 1968 Senator Rankin Fite completed the first 911 call made in the U.S. in   Haleyville, AL.

For more information on the origin and history of 911 visit www.nena.org/911-overview-facts