This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
On Monday, January 14, Longmont Public Safety (LPS) hosted an Employee Recognition Ceremony. In addition to thanking current employees for all the work they do, LPS swore in new recruits to both the police and fire departments, welcomed newly hired personnel to dispatch and the CORE and LEAD teams and recognized officers who were recently awarded the title MPO (Master Police Officer).
Due to the new public safety tax passed in 2017, LPS gained 42 new positions in the department. Additionally, St. Vrain Valley School District decided to fully fund six more School Resource Officers.
"The result of today is actually a function of the trust and confidence that our community has in public safety," states Public Safety Chief, Mike Butler. "We are very, very grateful to feel the support, not only of our community but also our elected officials and our city manager."
The newly hired police officers and firefighters were sworn in by Judge Robert J. Frick.
Each member of the public safety team recognized also provided a short biography. They are as follows:
Newly hired police officers:
Vijay Kailasam - Newly Hired Police Officer - Flatrock Academy
Shortly after being born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Kailasam's family relocated in Northern Colorado. An interaction with local police officers inspired Kailasam to pursue a career in law enforcement from a very early age.
In pursuit of such a career, Kailasam studied economics and criminal justice at Colorado State University, followed by training at a Denver area police academy.
Kailasam's plans changed as he followed his wife across the country in order for her to complete her job training. The couple have since moved back to Colorado which has allowed Kailasam to continue on his path to becoming a police officer in Longmont.
Mikenzie Terry – Newly Hired Police Officer -Flatrock Academy
Mikenzie Terry is a third generation law enforcement officer. In pursuing a career that would serve others and provide an environment she could continually learn in, Terry attended CSU. There she completed her bachelor's degree in Sociology, concentrating on criminal justice and criminology. Prior to being hired as a recruit police officer, she served as a student intern officer with LPD for six months.
Mackenzie Navarro - Newly Hired Police Officer - Flatrock Academy
Mackenzie Navarro graduated from California State University, Monterey Bay with a bachelor's in Psychology. A combination of wanting to help people and a former mentor inspired Navarro to look at law enforcement as a possible career choice. Soon after she moved to Colorado and she applied to join LPD. Navarro states that she is "very excited to begin serving the community of Longmont."
Savanah Vowers - Newly Hired Police Officer - Flatrock Academy
Savanah Vowers is a Colorado native and always knew that she wanted a career in law enforcement. She attended CSU where she studied international studies and criminal justice. After serving as a strudent intern officer with LPD, Vowers decided to apply to stay in Longmont due to its community values.
Jason Brown - Newly Hired Police Officer – Flatrock Academy
Jason Brown attended CSU obtaining a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management. This choice in major drove him to take a job in business. Not finding that fulfilling, he decided that his passion was in law enforcement. Brown says that he is "excited about getting started as a police officer," and can't wait to see what the world has in store for him.
Alicia Lilly - Newly Hired Police Officer – Flatrock Academy
Alicia Lilly was born and raised in Randolph, New Jersey. After high school, Alicia attended Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, New Hampshire, graduating in 2006, with a degree in criminal justice and psychology. After college in 2006, Alicia was hired by the Transportation Security Administration where she worked for almost 12 years. Alicia always dreamed of living in Colorado and being in law enforcement. In 2014, Alicia relocated to the Broomfield/Westminster area from Boston, Massachusetts and in 2018, her dream to be a police officer came true. Alicia looks forward to serving and working for and with the Longmont community.
Laura McCarthy - Newly Hired Police Officer – Flatrock Academy
Laura is a Colorado native, born and raised. Since high school she knew she wanted to work in the criminal justice field as a police officer. Laura attended Colorado State University majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Laura graduated in May and is eager to start her new chapter in life with the Longmont Police Department.
Michael Slack - Newly Hired Police Officer - Lateral - Durango
Mike was born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan and graduated from Battle Creek Central High. Mike then attended Western Michigan University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. After graduation, Mike joined the Battle Creek Police Department where he worked for 11 years. During his time at BCPD, Mike had assignments in the Neighborhood Enforcement Team, Special Investigations Unit, Youth Mentor Academy and SWAT. Mike joined the Durango Police Department in 2012 and worked there until recently joining the team at Longmont PD.
Steven Weichel – Newly Hired Police Officer - Lateral - Brighton
Steven was born in Denver, CO and grew up as a farm boy, in Hudson, CO. Steven attended Weld Central High School in Keenesburg, CO. Growing up, Steven always wanted to be in a career where he could help people. Steven was with Brighton Police for 9 years. During those nine years, Steven was a patrol officer, FTO, SRO, North Metro Drug Detective and a general Detective.
John DiMatteo - Newly Hired Police Officer - Lateral - Durango
Driven by an admiration of his uncle's long FBI career, John DiMatteo always knew he had a passion for law enforcement. After graduating from Colorado State University-Pueblo with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Criminology, he found a job as an IT Project Manager and Retail Distributor at a medical management company. Wanting a career that made him feel like he was impacting the world, DiMatteo attended the Pueblo Law Enforcement Academy and graduated December 2015. Following graduation, he was hired by the Durango police officer. John is now proud to be a part of the Longmont Public Safety team.
James Guerrero - Newly Hired Police Officer - Lateral - Commerce City
A Colorado native, James Guerrero graduated from CSU. After graduation, he decided law enforcement was the career he wanted to pursue and attended the Flatrock Academy. He then went to work for the City of Commerce City as a police officer and decided to apply to LPD to be closer to home. Guerrero is both excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community of Longmont and work alongside the members of the Longmont Police Department.
Elizabeth Tran - Newly Hired Police Officer- Lateral - Northglenn
Elizabeth Tran, a Colorado native, has many years of experience in law enforcement. She studied International Affairs and Asian Studies at the University of Denver, graduating in 2010. She has interned at the Denver Police Department and the Department of Commerce in Washington D.C., attended several law enforcement academies including the Arapahoe Community College Law Enforcement Academy, Adams County Sheriffs Office P.O.S.T., and most recently, the Naval Technical Training Center, Security Forces/Master at Arms "A" school in Lackland, TX. In 2012, Elizabeth began as a Police Records Specialist at the City of Northglenn Police Department and later applied and was hired as a patrol officer. Elizabeth was at the City of Northglenn for six years prior to applying and beginning a new chapter with the City of Longmont as a police officer.
Master Police Officers:
Jason Kierstein - Newly appointed - Master Police Officer
Jason began his law enforcement career at the Longmont Police Department in 2012, after working for several years in the software field. In 2016, Jason was selected to be the School Resource Officer for Longmont High School where he continues to serve. Jason is also a member of the Longmont SWAT Crisis Negotiation Team, Peer Support Team, a Student Intern Officer Mentor and Secretary of the FOP Executive Board.
Colin Jessen - Newly appointed - Master Police Officer
Colin Jessen is a Longmont native who graduated from Longmont High School and later from CSU. During his career he has served as a Reserve Deputy with Larimer County Sheriff's Office, while concurrently working with Boulder County Sheriff's Office as a Court Security Deputy. Jessen joined LPD in 2009. He is currently part of the Traffic Unit. He enjoys serving the citizens of Longmont and thanks to the support of his family and friends, he will continue to do so as long as possible.
Don Goldware - Newly appointed - Master Police Officer
Don grew up in Lafayette, LA and attended the police academy at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely. Upon graduating, was hired by the Rangely Police Department where he worked from 1998-2001.
Goldware has been working in patrol for Longmont Police Department for the past 17 years. Along with his patrol duties, he is a Field Training Officer, driver's training coordinator and the liaison to the Longmont Downtown Development Authority.
Ryan Douglas - Newly appointed - Master Police Officer
Ryan Douglas was raised in Garden Grove, California and obtained his bachelor's degree in church ministry from Hope International University. In 2006, Douglas decided he wanted to change his career and sponsored himself through Colorado Mountain College Police Academy. Following the academy, he began his law enforcement career as the School Resource Officer in Fort Morgan, Colorado. Ryan later accepted a position as a police officer in Johnstown, Colorado. He started with the Longmont Department of Public Safety in January 2014 where he has since served as part of the Citizen Review Panel, a team member of Peer Support, a college student intern mentor, Field Training Officer, a police chaplain liaison and is excited to get going in his new full time position as School Resource Officer at Silver Creek High School.
Mark Stewart - Newly appointed - Master Police Officer
Mark Stewart was born in Colorado and raised in Longmont. He graduated from Longmont High School and went on to get an Engineering degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. After graduating college, he moved to Colorado Springs, CO where for the next 8 years he worked for government military contracts. He changed careers and joined the Longmont Police Department in 2006, where he is currently assigned to the Traffic Unit.
Cassidy Jones - Newly appointed - Master Police Officer
Cassidy Jones was born in Colorado and was raised between Colorado and Idaho. She graduated from Metropolitan State University and was hired as a police officer with Longmont in January of 2007. While on patrol, she was a student intern officer mentor, the Organized Retail Crime Officer and a member of the bike patrol team.
In August of 2017, Jones was transferred to a Property Crimes Detective position with an emphasis an auto theft. She is a member of the Northern Colorado BATTLE Auto Theft task force. She is an investigator for the 19th Judicial District Critical Incident Review team out of Weld County and she is a certified Voice Stress Analysis examiner with applications in both criminal investigations and hiring processes. She also assisted in the grant process for obtaining a new license plate reader for patrol.
Chrystine Wheeler - Newly appointed - Master Police Officer
Chrystine Wheeler started her career with the Longmont Police Department in August of 1998 as a records clerk. In November of 2000, she was promoted to the traffic division as a CSO and became a patrol officer for Longmont in January 2007. As a patrol officer, she helped develop the street outreach team, as well as served as liaison for the Our Center and H.O.P.E. Wheeler also coordinates Tip a Cop for Special Olympics and also appears on Behind the Badge on Longmont's Channel 8. She served LPD in the patrol division for 11 years before being assigned to the C.O.R.E unit, her current assignment.
Phillip Piotrowski - Newly appointed - Master Police Officer
Phil Piotrowski comes from a law enforcement family. He was hired by LPD in 2008 and was assigned to the Detective Operations Section in 2016, where he enjoys working large cases and tackling the challenges they present.
Jamie Lamar - Promotion - Communications Shift Supervisor
Jamie Lamar was born and raised in Michigan was hired by the City of Longmont as an Emergency Communications Specialist in June of 2014. In 2016, Jamie attended a Communications Training Officer class and has been an active trainer since that time. She is very excited for the new responsibility as Communications Center Supervisor.
Koko Olsen - Newly Hired - Communications Specialist
Koko Olsen is a Colorado native, born and raised in Westminster. She studied English at Metropolitan State University of Denver and worked in banking, finance, and retail, before coming to the City of Longmont to join the Emergency Communication Center. Law Enforcement and Public Safety has always been a dream of hers. Olsen has many family members who proudly serve on various police and fire departments throughout Colorado. She feels very blessed and honored to be working with the fine men and women at the City of Longmont, and is looking forward to a career serving beside them.
Cody Lanning - Newly Hired - Communications Specialist
Cody Lanning was born and raised in Colorado Springs. He first become interested in public safety when he started taking the courses to get his EMT certification at a local community college. He then went to Colorado Mountain College in Leadville to obtain his Fire Fighter 1 certifications. Within the year, he moved on to dispatching for AMR in Colorado Springs and later in Aurora for a private ambulance company there. Lanning realized he wanted to do more and applied to Longmont for a Communication Specialist position. His goal is to one day be a Director of Emergency Management.
Jennifer Boxleitner - Newly Hired - Communications Specialist
Jennifer Boxleitner graduated from Boise State University in 2010, with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management. She started her career as a 911 dispatcher at the Valley County Sheriff's Office in November of 2013 and worked there for 3.5 years before deciding to move to Colorado. After moving to Colorado, she became a 911 dispatcher for the City of Lakewood and later found a job with the Longmont Police Department.
Ashley Newton - Newly Hired - Communications Specialist
Ashley Newton was born and raised in Longmont and grew up with a passion for Criminal Justice. After multiple ride-alongs with dispatch centers around Colorado, she knew Longmont was the place to be. Prior to working for Longmont, she worked at the Longmont Humane Society as a supervisor. She is excited to begin her career working with and for the people of Longmont.
Terry Torres - Newly Hired - PST - Report Taker
Terry Torres grew up in Minnesota and later moved to the western slope of Colorado for a summer job, when she was in college. While living on the western slope, she worked for both the Fruita Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. She later relocated to the front range to be closer to her daughter. Torres is excited to work for the City of Longmont in her new career.
Shari Anderson - Newly Hired – PST – Report Taker
Shari Anderson was born and raised in Loveland, CO. Shortly after graduation, she was hired by Platte River Power Authority and joined Platte River Fire Rescue. There she earned her Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, Fire investigation and Fire Officer Certifications as well as becoming an EMT. She helped start the arson-dog program in Colorado. Her dog Sasha was the first Accelerant Detection K9 in the state. Anderson founded the company "Colorado Fire Dogs" and investigated fires throughout Colorado and surrounding states. Anderson has returned to the realm of public service and is excited to see what the Police side is all about.
Ashlie Gillespie - Newly Hired - PST - Report Taker
Ashlie Gillespie was raised in Missouri but has been a resident of Frederick, CO for eight years. She graduated from Frederick High School and attended Liberty University where she graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice with a cognate in Homeland Security. She was employed at many different jobs while in Colorado and was recently at an auto parts yard for three years prior to being hired on as a Police Services Technician with the City of Longmont.
Zach May - Newly Hired – Peer Case Manager
Zach May is a Peer Case Manager with the Longmont LEAD Team. Prior to working with Longmont Public Safety, he worked at Safeway as an assistant deli manager. He also played football for the University of San Diego under Jim Harbaugh and helped the Toreros win two FCS mid-major National Championships. He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in American History. He is grateful for the opportunity to draw upon his passion for recovery as a Peer Case Manager.
Lari Bangert - Newly Hired - Peer Case Manager
Lari Bangert is a Peer Case Manager with the Longmont LEAD Team. She is a Colorado native and grew up in the Boulder area. She attended and is proud to be a CSU Alumni.
Omar Norgaisse - Newly Hired - Co-Responder Paramedic
Omar Norgaisse is a paramedic with over 22 years in EMS. His career began in New York and includes 7 years in NYC EMS. He then worked in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana for 11 years and also served as an EMS Adjunct Instructor for the Fire and Emergency Training Institute of the Louisiana State University prior to relocating with his family to Colorado.
Morgan Popek - Newly Hired - LEAD Peer Support Specialist
Morgan was born in New Jersey, grew up in Florida and recently moved to Colorado after graduating from St. John's University in New York City. While studying psychology and sociology in college, she became involved in a number of organizations that worked to support and uphold the rights of marginalized groups. This included taking a class with the women inmates at Riker's Island Jail to study the sociological factors that can potentially lead to incarceration and recidivism. This class ultimately led to Morgan's desire to advocate for people who have become involved with the criminal justice system. Morgan now lives in Longmont and is very excited to be a part of the LEAD team.
Ashlea Barnaby – Newly Hired - Fire Fighter
Ashlea Barnaby is a long-time Longmont resident with a background in the nursing field, business, and fitness. She holds an Associate's Degree in General Studies from Front Range Community College, as well as an Associate's Degree in Paramedicine from AIMS Community College. She plans to finish her Bachelor's Degree in Emergency Management in 2019. For the past three years, she worked on the ambulance in Longmont with AMR as an EMT and paramedic. She is also an adjunct instructor for the Emergency Medical Technician Program at Front Range Community College and also teaches various first aid and CPR classes within the community.
Chris Sison - Newly Hired Firefighter
Chris Sison recently relocated back to CO after spending the past seven years in North Dakota, where he served as captain to the Minot Fire Department. He focused his time on enhancing employee training and providing cost-effective services to the community. During his time in ND, he served as lead trainer for their auto-extrication program as well as led the department to the transition of priority dispatching.
Allan Sheeley - Newly Hired – Fire Fighter
Allan Sheeley grew up in a family of five in the suburbs outside of Washington, D.C., and moved to Colorado in 2004, after completing a bachelor's degree in Biology at Virginia Tech. He worked in the pharmaceutical field for 14 years before discovering a love for fire service in 2014 and pursuing a career with the Longmont Fire Department.
Kyle McAllister - Newly Hired – Fire Fighter
Kyle attended the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 2016 with degrees in Physics and Geophysics. Having always wanted to work in fire service, he began applying all around the country immediately after graduating and was hired by the Killeen Fire Department in Central Texas. After two years there, while travelling through Colorado, Kyle resolved to relocate here as soon as possible. After spending a year in the interim with Eagle County Airport Fire and Gypsum Fire Protection District, Kyle is honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve the city and community of Longmont.