Jun 20

Rifle’s Newest Police Officer is a Perfect Fit

Posted on June 20, 2019 at 3:00 PM by Michael Churchill

“I enjoy hunting, camping, fishing, target shooting and taking my yellow lab, Tebow, to the park.”  This was the response received from Rifle’s newest police officer, Josh Allison, when asked about hobbies and interests. Perfect. Rifle can certainly accommodate on all counts. And what Officer Allison offers in return is indeed impressive.

After growing up on the front range, Allison served for four years in the Marine Corps. He spent most of his enlistment at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina working as a Light Armored Vehicle Mechanic. During his final year of service, he also became a martial arts instructor and left the military with the rank of Sergeant.  

After his return to Colorado, Josh moved to Grand Junction to attend Colorado Mesa University. He admits he had never heard of Rifle until that move, but ended up working a security position at Grand River Hospital where he met many RPD officers.

“I recall encouraging him to apply to our department several years ago,” recalls Sgt. Kirk Wilson. But Allison wanted to complete his degree before applying. In May, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BAS in Criminal Justice and with POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification. His work at Grand River helped forge his interest in applying to the Rifle Police Department.

“As I got to know the Grand River staff and interacted with Rifle residents, I quickly realized Rifle is a tight-knit community that is big enough to stay busy and entertained, but small enough to run into a couple of people you know every time you go to Walmart. I had also heard of Shooters Grill and think it’s one of the coolest restaurants in the country. I enjoy how the Garfield County Fair attracts some of my favorite big name artists like Josh Turner, Trace Adkins, and Joe Nichols. Over time I met many of the Rifle Police Officers as they came to the hospital quite often. I always appreciated their professionalism and admired their use of discretion when dealing with various situations. I also think the decals on the patrol cars are really cool. “ 

A new career isn’t the only change in Officer Allison’s life. He recently married his college sweetheart, Jenna. He actually used an assignment for an American Sign Language class they took together to propose. As a graduate of Aspen High School, Jenna is happy to be able to stay relatively close to her family in Snowmass Village. She will be student teaching this fall in Clifton while she finishes up her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in math. 

“We are both really excited we will get to raise a family and spend our careers here in Rifle,” remarked Allison. This sentiment of family is shared by Chief Tommy Klein who is “very pleased that Josh will be officially joining the Rifle Police Department family.” 

Officer Allison was sworn in as an official member of the City of Rifle family at the June 17th meeting of City Council. Be sure to say “hi” when you see him out on patrol (or in Walmart!).

JOSH ALLISON

Rifle Rapport is a periodic article featuring the people and projects of the City of Rifle. If you have suggestions for future articles, please contact City of Rifle Public Information Officer Kathy Pototsky at 970-665-6420 or kpototsky@rifleco.org.

May 02

Rifle Police Department Citizen Academy Graduates Recognized at City Council Meeting

Posted on May 2, 2019 at 9:14 AM by Michael Churchill

The April 17th meeting of the Rifle City Council was awash in blue as many members of the Rifle Police Department were present to show their support for the 13 graduates of the most recent Citizen Academy. The class was composed of a wide range of citizens from high school students to retirees.

Chief Tommy Klein and Sgt. Kirk Wilson presented each graduate with a plaque and a certificate and thanked them for taking the time to learn more about police operations. One graduate, Jonathan Faustino, has plans to go into the Marine Corp and subsequently pursue a career in law enforcement. Chief Klein honored Faustino with a Rifle Police Department Challenge Coin which is ordinarily reserved for fellow police officers.

The RPD Citizen Academy is 2 hours per week for 8 weeks plus 4 hours one Saturday morning. The curriculum encompasses all aspects of law enforcement. For this session, numerous RPD officers, as well as Chief Michael Kite from Silt, helped teach the courses.

“Every class was interactive,” explained Sgt. Wilson who organized this term’s program. “Students got to see how heavy protective vests are, make shoe print castings and even climb into the BearCat SWAT vehicle.” 

The sessions give students an excellent opportunity to experience numerous aspects of what it takes to be an officer. Topics included evidence collection, utilizing canines, investigations and mental health issues. Participants got hands-on time doing such things as making shoe impression castings and dusting for fingerprints.

“I think the most important section was the use of force because of the modern imagery permeating media,” commented Sgt. Wilson. Students were placed in three different scenarios and were firing plastic ink bullets to simulate real-life situations. The stress of split-second decision making can’t be taught in a classroom.

If you missed this class and are interested in any aspect of the Rifle Police Department, two more sessions are in the works for 2019. The program is proving to be quite successful and the RPD actually has one officer, Shelby McNeal, who completed the program before applying to become an officer. The department is hoping to have one session in Spanish or possibly bilingual this summer followed by another one in English in the fall. 

For information on the Spanish class, please call Sgt. Carlos Cornejo at 970-665-6500. For the English classes, contact Sgt. Wilson at the same number. 

Rifle Rapport is a periodic article featuring the people and projects of the City of Rifle. If you have suggestions for future articles, please contact Kathy Pototsky at 970-665-6420 or kpototsky@rifleco.org


CITIZEN ACADEMY WINTER 2018


Apr 11

It’s Spring Clean-up Time!

Posted on April 11, 2019 at 10:51 AM by Michael Churchill

Attention City of Rifle residents! Here comes your chance to rid yourself of that clutter you have been tripping over for the past year. That pile of junk will be picked up by City crews right in front of your house. It’s the 12th Annual Spring Cleanup!

This event has been very successful in Rifle over the past several years. Nearly 450,000 pounds of trash was disposed of in 2018. This is almost 100,000 pounds more than 2017! 

Spring Cleanup is organized by Rifle Community Service Officer Sara Flores and carried out by an army of City employees from various departments. Since her job is Code Enforcement, Officer Flores is no stranger to finding illegal dump sites. 

“People would be surprised by how much trash we find on City open spaces and public lands. This event helps put a dent in that,” says Flores. This is your opportunity to have that hard to get rid of item picked up at your curb.

The collections will start April 22nd and run through May 2nd. Where you live determines the date of pickup. If you live EAST of Railroad Avenue and Highway 13, you will need to place your items curbside on Sunday night, April 21st. If you live WEST of Railroad Avenue and Highway 13 OR anywhere south of I-70, please have your items out Sunday night, April 28th. City crews will only make one trip through your neighborhood. Do not put items out more than 72 hours ahead of time.

You should be aware that there are some rules for placing items out for collection. The most important is no hazardous materials or electronics. So don’t put out your old computer and printer. Brush and tree limbs must be neatly stacked and tied. Further, absolutely no loose trash. Small trash items and leaves should be bagged.

According to Mike Altman, City of Rifle Operations and Maintenance Supervisor, “Everything has gone really well in past years. Putting stuff out there loose is the only problem we run into. We have to shovel it up or pick up individual pieces. Metal should also be separated out since it is disposed of at a different location.” So please be considerate of the men and women doing us this favor and make it as easy for them as possible.

People attempting to sidestep the rules also became an issue in 2018 and officers would like your help to curb this behavior. As Officer Flores explains, “We had a huge problem last year with people adding unacceptable items to other people’s piles. Please help by keeping watch for this. It is common for people to go take some items from piles and since they are piles of presumably unwanted items this isn’t necessarily an issue. However, if you see anyone adding to the pile who does not appear to be from the adjacent home, please call the non-emergent dispatch number immediately at 970-625-8095. Please try to supply us with a license plate number and description of the vehicle, suspects, location, and items being placed. If the opportunity arises to safely take photographs or videos, please do so.”

So how much stuff can you get rid of? The limit is less than 5 cubic yards per residence. To help residents put a visual on what constitutes 5 cubic yards, Altman says it’s 8’x 5’x 3.3’. 

There is also a big bonus for residents who act quickly. The Rifle Police Department will be handing out a very limited number of free TV disposal coupons you can take to the dump. These will be distributed on a first come, first served basis and are available Monday through Friday at the Police Department. There is a limit of one per household and you will need to bring proof of residency to receive a coupon.

So start rifling through your garage citizens of Rifle! It’s time to get rid of that broken high chair now that your youngest has just left for college. Most important, be respectful of City crews. This is a great service and well worth the 5-second delay you may experience when driving past. Perhaps you could even say “thank you” as you cross paths on your way to your now clutter-free home.

For more information, call 970-665-6525, check the City websites, Facebook or Twitter pages or pick up a flyer at the Rifle Police Department, 201 East 18th Street.

Rifle Rapport is a periodic article featuring the people and projects of the City of Rifle. If you have suggestions for future articles, please contact Kathy Pototsky at 970-665-6420 or kpototsky@rifleco.org.