More patrol officers on Cortez streets

Doing more with less is what the city of Cortez is now doing with its police department

Two additional Cortez Police officers have been patrolling the streets after a shuffle was made following the retirement and resignation of two supervisors.

Cortez City Manager Shane Hale said a lieutenant and a sergeant retired or resigned from the police department and were replaced by two patrol officers.

Hale said Police Chief Roy Lane made the recommendation to have more patrol officers rather than filling the open administrative positions.

The result, he said, is that a few people in the police administration are taking on additional work and duties.

He also said the hiring of two entry level patrol officers rather then replacing the retired administrators resulted in a cost savings for the city.

The city manager said if another lieutenant were to resign from the police department that position would likely have to be filled.

Hale said this shuffle occurred last year when Lane approached him about the idea.

Hale said Lane's recommendation made a lot of sense.

"Putting more people on the streets keeps the community safer," he said. "We are doing this without costing the city any extra money."

The Cortez Police Department currently has one individual in the Colorado Police Academy, and Hale added it is pretty common to move people around in the department, as it is an ongoing thing for officers to leave the department or switch positions for a variety of reasons.

As an example, he pointed to former school resource officer Diane Fox who is now a police dispatcher.

Hale said more pay would just be one factor on why a Cortez Police officer may consider moving to another location. Other factors on why police officers leave the department include spouses accepting jobs in different communities, and many wanting to move back to their home state.

"But certainly pay would be one of the factors," Hale said, adding police officers are in high demand because of the training and skills they have acquired throughout their careers.

michaelm@cortezjournal.com