New officers at MPD

Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall addresses new officers Monday. Commander Matt Smith stands behind him.

The Montrose Police Department officially welcomed five new police officers to its ranks Monday, backfilling a number of vacant positions in the department. Officers Cameron Pensyl, Joshua Lamphere, Jordan Hewitt, Connor Gibbs, and Peter Chell all recently completed an 18-week law enforcement academy in Grand Junction.

Police Chief Blaine Hall, along with Cmdr. Matt Smith, hosted a swearing-in ceremony for the officers on the city campus with limited public access to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The ceremony was broadcast online so friends and family members of the new officers could watch and voice their support. Members of city staff and the City Council also tuned in to watch as the officers removed their protective face masks to take the department oath.

With the new recruits seated before him, Chief Hall told the officers the job they were hired to do was about “helping people and helping this community,” by working as a department-wide team to reduce crime, social harm to citizens, and the number of drugs circulating in the community.

“Being a police officer – it’s not just a job, it’s a calling,” Hall said. “Trust and integrity are huge issues at the Montrose Police Department. Your integrity is everything and once you lose that integrity it becomes very difficult for us to continue that employment relationship."

Hall told the officers that the city and its departments, from the City Manager’s Office to Public Works and City Hall, are part of one large team working each day to better the lives of Montrose residents. He said the culture at the department is one of positivity and advised the new officers to always strive to do "the right thing at the right time."

"Right now, above and beyond COVID-19, we have a lot of issues within our community, primarily drugs, and through intelligence-led policing we’re going to get a handle on a lot of that," Hall said. "It is really about community safety.”

Following the ceremony, the officers were dismissed to begin additional training within police department headquarters.

William Woody is the public information officer for the City of Montrose.

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