20 February 2024
It’s funny that a week ago, we got slammed with 13” or more of snow. Not everywhere, but here, in Greeley and the surrounding area. If you drive 20 minutes in any direction, you see places where the snow has melted off completely. But not here. It’s still hanging around. The weather this week will be warmer and I expect this snow will melt and signs of spring are just around the corner. Warmer weather is coming, and with it, more and more people will be getting outdoors.
All kinds of people will be getting outdoors, including the kinds of people who make bad choices about taking other people’s property. A significant way that you can keep from being an attractive target is to remember to take all your belongings out of your car. UNCPD tells everyone we see to remove your valuables and lock your car. Thieves rarely look to enter every vehicle they find. They walk along until they see something inside a car that is worth stealing, then try to steal it. This holds true for Greeley or anywhere else. We help prevent that by making sure that all our valuables are removed from the car and that the car is locked before leaving it parked overnight.
UNCPD is here 24 hours a day. We do patrol the campus all night long. If you see someone that looks suspicious or may not belong on campus, call us. We have pleasant conversations all the time. We won’t accuse someone unless there’s proof they are up to no good. Otherwise, we ask politely and see how we can help.
Call us anytime! 970-351-2245. And please remember to remove your valuables and
lock your car.
16 January 2024
Well, I guess the winter cold has officially arrived. Please be smart about your travels when you are outdoors. First, driving in the snow is much different than dry roads. The speed limits are designed for when the roads are dry and clear. Going the posted speed limit on a snowy day is likely too fast to drive safely! The biggest thing to remember is that you need so much more room to stop when driving in snow. Your tires will lose traction super easy when braking. You can’t press the brakes as hard as you normally would, or you will start sliding. So, go slow and give yourself plenty of distance to slow down and stop safely.
The same thing is true for accelerating. When the traffic light turns green, you can’t push the gas pedal the same way you do when it’s dry. The snow sits between your tires and the road and it won’t let your tires grip. Push lightly and consistently until you begin moving. Then, you can push the pedal down more and more until you are at a safe traveling speed. It seems like a simple concept, but on my drive to work this morning, I watched cars with their rear wheels spinning because the driver was accelerating too quickly.
Lastly, and this is dad advice that I am sure the fathers would appreciate, if your vehicle is equipped with 4-wheel drive, that’s great! Please use that when the road is covered in snow. However, 4-wheel drive is not made for dry roads. Nor is it made for tight turns. It’s damaging to your car to drive in 4-wheel drive when the roads are dry or when you try to make sharp turns when all four wheels are engaged. It’s too much to explain in detail here, but take it easy and safely, but remember to go back to 2-wheel drive when the roads are clear. If your car is built for all-wheel drive all the time, then you don’t have to worry about anything.
If you get stuck on campus or need help, call us!
7 December 2023
As I walked around campus today, I was able to see the range of emotions. In Kepner and Guggenheim, there were hurried and focused students on their way to their final exams. In Ross, there were some classrooms and offices that were dark and had the telltale signs of professors and students who were already gone for the season. There were relaxed and excited students that couldn’t seem to get to their car in J Lot fast enough because family is waiting for them. It’s a happy time. It is that time of year that everyone gets a break and a chance to catch up with family and friends.
UNCPD will be here. We remain on duty 24 hours a day during all times. However, while you are away, let me give you the typical dad advice which is – make good choices. There’s lots of fun activities to be had, but make good choices. There will be old friends wanting to hang out, but make good choices. There will time this holiday season to let loose and totally relax, but make good choices.
When you get back, we will be excited to hear about your adventures but then we start the race to Spring Commencement. For some of you, this is your last holiday break during your college career. Enjoy it! But….make good choices.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
16 November 2023
It’s almost time for the five week period where some of the biggest holidays arrive. Those holidays are centered on being grateful for the blessings we have and remembering the close ties we share with family and friends. My hope is that you take this time to unplug. This semester has been busy for everyone. There’s lots of activities, events, studying, papers, and tests. It’s very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the college life. But for everything that you are involved in, it’s critical to remember your identity.
Why do I say ‘identity’? Identity is truly who you are. Sure, you are a college student or member of staff. But that’s not who you are. That is only what you are doing right now. More importantly, you are someone’s child, someone’s parent, or brother, or sister, or friend. You are a kind person, empathetic person, loyal person, or loving person. Those relationships and character traits are who you are. No matter what else occurs in your life, those things are permanent and comprise your identity. And who you are matters far more than what you do.
I tell this to the officers all the time. “This job is not who you are. It’s only what you do.” Each of the officers is a relative, spouse, parent, or friend. They are kind, empathetic, and patient people who have a heart for service. That’s what their identity is. They just happen to be phenomenal police officers. When you frame it that way, what we do serves as proof of who we are.
So, as this holiday season arrives, remember your who you are. Be intentional about
disconnecting from what you do for a bit, so that you keep that identity rooted in
the things that matter.
4 October 2023
With the passage of Senate Bill 217 back in 2020, a mandate was established that all law enforcement agencies implement a body camera program. However, an exception was made for certain state agencies to be exempt, that included the University of Northern Colorado Police Department. Instead of embracing that loophole, the leaders at UNC made the significant financial investment to voluntarily comply with that mandate.
The adoption of body cameras is not a simple process. We have been working for months on building the technical infrastructure, obtaining the equipment, writing policy, and training our department instructors. Right now, a small group of officers have been trained and are conducting a trial phase. This will allow us to work out any bugs in the system and ensure it’s functioning correctly. In October, the entire department is attending training and all officers will be wearing body cameras by Oct. 27th.
When we first adopted body cameras at the Greeley Police Department a few years ago, I was hesitant because it’s not as simple for the officers as just hitting the “record” button. What I found is that the value of what that video footage provides, is actually invaluable. The ability for others to see exactly what the officers saw, what they heard, and what they felt, is critical. The cameras capture not only evidence but a more thorough picture of what occurred. I completely changed my viewpoint on cameras at GPD, and when discussing implementing them at UNCPD, I was in full support.
I am thankful for the support of President Feinstein, Vice President for Finance and Administration Dale Pratt, and the entire UNC leadership team. It has taken a tremendous effort and I am grateful to our staff for their hard work in getting us to this point. At the end of this month, you will see all our officers with body cameras on their uniform.
If you have any questions or want to know more, don’t hesitate to reach out,
9 September 2023
Welcome back! The school year is back and things have been normal so far. Unfortunately, one of the ‘normal’ things is bicycle theft. I never want to call this normal but we are seeing a similar trend that we have seen before. Last year, from 08/17 to 09/07, we had 16 bike thefts. This year, for the same time period, we have had 16 bike thefts.
Despite how frustrating it is, it’s all too familiar. However, and here is the takeaway from this message, of the nearly 190 bike thefts in the past five years, only 2 of those were stolen that had u-locks attached. That means that we can easily show that u-locks are far superior to cable locks. Thieves are walking around with small bolt cutters. It takes them only seconds to snip a cable lock and be on their way. It takes even less time if the bike isn’t secured at all.
So, please invest in a u-lock. They are much more difficult to defeat in the few moments a thief wants to spend at the bike rack. Thieves want convenience and reduce the chance they will be caught. A u-lock requires the thief to spend more time trying to get that lock off the bike, so most often, they will bypass that bike.
When you register your bike with the university, your $20 fee includes a u-lock. You can get that by taking your bike’s serial number to Parking Services. Once you register your bike, they will give you the u-lock.
Now, the u-lock is not the only task. You have to properly secure your bike to the rack every time. That includes getting the u-lock through bike rack and through the bike’s frame and its front tire. If you want us to show you how, please call us at 970-351-2245. Any officer is happy to swing by and show you how to secure your bike.
Officers and student security patrols the bike racks. We will help in any way we
can but you also need to help yourself. Start by making sure your bike is secured
properly with a u-lock.
14 August 2023
It’s time! The 2023-2024 school year is finally here. We are excited to welcome back all the students to campus. While everyone has been away from campus, don’t make the mistake of thinking the campus was lonely. There were all sorts of camps for athletes, performers, artists, and sometimes all three at the same time.
However, nothing is the same as when the students are here. To quote current slang that I am way too old for, “It just hits different.” This week is Move-In. Although some early arrivals have already happened, the majority of students get here this week. UNCPD will be out there. Officers will be walking all around but we will also have a table set up right in the middle of the commotion.
Please stop by. We are going to hang out by the cornhole and challenge anyone to a toss. If you win, we will have a prize for you. For parents, it’s a really god opportunity to find out who UNCPD is and how we keep the campus safe. We will have lots of information and handouts so that you get all your questions answered.
We are looking forward to another safe and successful school year!
17 July 2023
It’s summer. Or at least, it’s very apparent that the summer weather is now here. While the campus is only a shadow of the hustle and bustle of the school year, there are still plenty of things going on. But we are excited that as we pass the 4th of July, it’s a downhill sprint to the start of the fall semester. We have just a few weeks before the summer campers are replaced by the fall athletes. And just a short couple weeks after that, students will return.
As you enjoy the rest of your summer, I wanted to take a moment to remind you that while you may be off-campus, you can still be connected to UNCPD. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Or better yet, both! You will find pictures and videos of everything we are up to during the summer. You will get info about upcoming events and connections to other departments within the university.
In the meantime, when you get back, we will be here. We are planning to keep bringing you doughnuts this fall, and since it will still be hot in August, we will have a popsicle for you as well!
We can’t wait for everyone to come back! See you on Move-In day!
4 May 2023
It’s commencement weekend! UNCPD is excited to offer our congratulations to the 2023 graduating class! We know you have worked hard for your undergraduate and graduate degrees. All those long days and nights of classes, studying, and exams have led you to here and we are can’t wait to see where your journey takes you next!
We at UNCPD are busy finalizing the last details of the public safety aspects of the commencement ceremonies. We will be at every one of them. We will have officers there to congratulate you and help with answering questions. For us, commencement is the longest day of our year but it is worth it for us. It’s also bittersweet as we have to say goodbye (for now) to students who we have grown to love over the past four years.
It is the capstone experience, but let me take a ‘dad’ moment to share that you will enjoy the ceremony more, if you make good decisions the night before. We always chuckle during the ceremonies because every time, there are a few graduates who we can see that went full-send on celebrating the night before. That headache, stomach ache, and other issues, aren’t comfortable when having to be in full regalia for a couple hours. If you do have the lingering after-effects, drink plenty of water and take ibuprofen.
UNCPD is very proud of each of you! We wish all our graduating Bears the best of luck!
3 April 2023
It’s the final weeks in the race towards commencement! If this were a baseball game, we had the 7th inning stretch a couple weeks ago, and now we are in the middle of the 8th inning. As everyone is looking towards the summer, we at UNCPD are gearing up for the training and activities that the summer provides us the time to complete.
However, before we get there, we are busy preparing for the flurry of activities that happen up to and during commencement. We have done site safety and staffing plans for the upcoming spring concert next week. We are doing the same for commencement, which will happen inside the Bank of Colorado Arena this year. I hate to say it but last year’s commencement was stressful. The heat exhaustion turned our command post into a medical triage facility. Fortunately, no one was injured and no one required more significant medical attention than bottles of water and some rest inside the air conditioned space. This year will be different. Everyone will be in the air conditioning and it’s always fun to watch and hear how noisy the celebrations get when inside.
A bit of good news for us is that we are excited to bring on new police officers to our department. We have been functioning below our authorized staff numbers for quite a while. That is no fault of the university, but is based on natural attrition rates and the difficult world of police recruitment. However, we have found several great candidates and are targeting a summer start date for them. Their addition will help us to increase the amount of positive community contacts that we can make.
As you finish you final few weeks, I have some advice. I will use my dad voice to say “make good choices”. You are close to the finish line. Work hard and enjoy these last few weeks of spring semester!
2 March 2023
Swatting. It’s a term used when someone calls in a fake threat and causes a big police response to scare everyone. There has been a rash of these occurring over the past couple of weeks. The hard part is that police must take every threat seriously. The police can’t act like it’s probably no big deal, because if it’s real, then we aren’t doing our jobs.
So with that, if UNCPD receives a threat, our officers will respond to the location. Often, it will be in emergency mode with lights and sirens. Officers will rush to the scene in tactical gear. It will look like a Swat Team. That’s why the term has evolved into ‘swatting’.
It’s dangerous. It puts us in a position where the response might scare all the unaware and unsuspecting people who have no idea what is going on because the threat is fake. It’s also criminal. We will investigate any swatting incident, will arrest, and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law because of the negative impact these incidents have. Both in our community and to our officers.
While swatting has occurred all over Colorado, thankfully, it has not occurred here…yet. I don’t want it to but expect that it will. It’s happened at too many other schools. UNCPD will respond but we will do our best to assess the situation quickly and get the campus back to normal operations. During these moments, and really for any encounter with a police officer, please follow any instructions that a police officer gives. Emergency communication to the entire campus will quickly follow. Please be aware of the university’s emergency websites, the Guardian Rave app, and UNCPD’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.
Whether it happens here or not, UNCPD is prepared and we will be here.
13 February 2023
It has been a busy winter season! The weather continues to do big favors for those that love to ski, but not as much for those who have to drive in the snow. There are lots of snow piles still lying around campus, but in between all that snow, the campus is still bustling. It was awesome to see the Bears own Weber State in a game that was televised on ESPN! There are concerts and student events we have been fortunate to be at during these cold months, so there’s never a slow time for UNCPD.
With all those activities, your police department is still here and still serving. Right now, our personnel is a bit stretched but we are working on recruiting more officers. We are not immune from the issues facing every other police agencies, and right now, one of the biggest is staffing. Just like all those other agencies, we are trying to maintain our staffing levels as officers depart for various reasons. We wish them best in their next endeavors but those great officers leave some big shoes to fill.
The University of Northern Colorado Police Department offers an attractive compensation package, and more importantly, a chance to focus on the positive and fun aspects of being a police officer. The luxury that we have is that we don’t regularly have to handle some of the stressful issues that other departments do. Our officers are primarily busy hanging out with students and staff. That is a privilege for us and something that most cops aren’t afforded. How many police officers can say that they spend most of the day with a smile on their face because they work in an environment where everyone likes you? We do!
If you think you are ready for a career in law enforcement where what you do makes a positive difference, then check out our recruiting website. If you’re already a cop and you are ready for a change to a department that appreciates you, then this is the place. You can call me personally, and I will answer all your questions, and get you an application!