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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

May 24

Why I want to work for the Rifle Police Department

Posted to Positives within Your City by Michael Churchill

Ever since I was a little kid I dreamt of becoming a Police Officer. When I first came to Colorado, I was amazed by the mountains, the way of life and the kindness of its people. As life took its turn, I came to live in the town of Rifle; As years flew by I stayed local until it was my time to serve my country in the U.S Marine Corps. Now, as my Four-Year enlistment comes to an end, I would be honored to come back and serve and protect the property and lives of both citizens and guest of Rifle Colorado. 

Even before I left for my service, I knew, Rifle would be the town I would come back to and raise a family. Coming back to Rifle and seeing how fast it is growing and all the changes that come with a growing town, it is tough to see that drugs, theft and crime is also growing. Giving back to this community and having an impact on the positive changes will be a great satisfaction. Knowing that the community feels safe and protected when they see us patrolling the town and responding to their calls for assistance.

It would be an honor not only to be a part of this community, but also to be part of the great men and women that protect it. I am excited to have the opportunity to serve with helpful, knowledgeable and experienced officers; This will help me learn and grow as a person and as a police officer. Serving along with team oriented officers, that are doing everything in their hands to promote the peace, safety and the well-being of the Rifle community is what encourages me to be part of the Rifle Police Department. The Rifle Police Department offers many opportunities for me to continue to learn and progress professionally.

The experience I have gained while serving my country has given me the confidence I needed to become a police officer. It helped me to mature so much more and acquire skills such as; leadership, personnel management, decision making and critical thinking under stressful situations. I also possess an extensive knowledge of ground patrolling, security, surveillance, data collection, marksmanship and detainee handling. Skills that will help me better serve and protect the citizens of this city. While I was in the service I traveled to many countries and different parts of the United States. It was then that I saw that our presence makes people feel safe and protected.

Coming back to Rifle Colorado, I look forward to working for the Police Department, helping the men and women of this great department serve and protect this community. Knowing that the citizens of Rifle feel safe when they see us patrolling, assisting, interacting, and responding to their calls for assistance is a great satisfaction. Same satisfaction I had when I served and deployed with the U.S Marine Corps. I am excited to get a chance to work along the great man and women of this Department and have an impact on the positive change of this town.

Sep 19

Who Let the (Police) Dogs Out?

Posted to Rifle Rapport (CT articles) by Michael Churchill

Corporal Garrett Duncan of the Rifle Police Department is letting the dogs out in a must-attend event for the entire family. Thanks to the efforts of Corporal Duncan, the Rifle Police Department was selected to host the 2019 Colorado Police Canine Challenge. This event will be part of the City of Rifle Western Adventure Weekend and is scheduled for September 21st from 10:00am until 2:00pm at the Garfield County Fairgrounds, 1001 Railroad Avenue. It will take place in the indoor arena so weather won’t be a factor. Admission is free (of course, donations are always welcome) and there will be a raffle with terrific prizes.

Police dogs provide a wide variety of services. They sniff out drugs and assist in apprehending suspects, but they also serve a less recognized function. According to Corporal Duncan, “dogs can ease people during police contacts. People tend to be comforted and more likely to talk when they have contact with a dog”. Duncan emphasizes that this aspect tends to be overlooked. To counter this, the Rifle Police Department brings their dogs to schools, other organizations and events to educate the public and help citizens familiarize themselves with the roles canines play in law enforcement.

The Rifle Police Department K9 program began in 2010. Most Rifle residents know the first police canine, Tulo. Tulo and his handler, Corporal Duncan, were a team until Tulo’s retirement this past January. The department currently has two new dogs, Jax and Makai. Jax is partnered with Officer Jared Bartunek and Makai with Corporal Duncan. Both teams will be participating in the challenge. 

The K9 Challenge will feature law enforcement K9 teams from all over the state. The teams compete in four categories: agility, obedience, apprehension and narcotics detection.  It is extremely entertaining to watch what these dogs can (and sometimes can’t or won’t) do. Not all dogs are trained to perform the tasks which comprise the competition, but many will attempt some of the challenges outside their comfort zone and skill set.  It is a great opportunity to see not only impressive skills, but personalities as well. After the demonstrations, citizens are invited to meet select handlers and their canines and get pictures. 

This year’s K9 challenge is raising money for the Colorado Police Canine Association. This organization is instrumental in providing funds for retired police dogs. Corporal Duncan explains that caring for a retired dog can become quite expensive. Things such as hip replacements, medications and even vitamins can be costly. These four-legged heroes deserve to live out their lives as happy and comfortable as possible. 

Mark your calendars now for this free family event. A fun day is guaranteed. You have will have a great time watching the dogs perform some amazing feats.  

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

K9 Challenge Flyer