Public Meets Police Chief Candidates

By: Jason Aubry Email
By: Jason Aubry Email

All six semi-finalists for the chief of police position were in Pueblo Thursday to meet with city officials and the public.

The bulk of their day was made up of three separate sessions; a mock staff meeting, a formal question and answer interview, and a less formal question and answer session with city department heads. Afterwards they were introduced to the public.

Each candidate was given five minutes to tell the few dozen people who showed up to meet them a little about themselves. They covered their backgrounds, education and commented on a recent citizen survey.

Each of the candidates' personality showed through in this meet-and-greet session. Some were noticeably nervous, while others were confident. After introductions were complete, each candidate answered two questions selected from several that were submitted by the public.

After that, the candidates were given an opportunity to mingle with the public and answer their questions one-on-one.

KKTV had an opportunity to talk with all of the candidates as well. You can watch those short interviews by clicking on the video links attached to this story.

Here's a quick look at the candidates and their law enforcement experience. The candidates come from all different backgrounds, and while their experiences are similar some have more than others.

Michael Denney, an Assistant Chief in a Phoenix suburb, has been in law enforcement for 40 years. If selected he plans to stay in Pueblo as long as he can.

Gary Adams, the Chief of Police of University Park, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, has 37 years of experience. He also plans to make this the last stop in his career.

Rodney Walker has spent 31 years as a lawman and has worked his way up to Deputy Chief in Colorado Springs.

Jay Coons is a Captain in one of the largest sheriff's offices in the country, in Harris County, Texas. He has 28 years of experience.

Two candidates share the least number of years in law enforcement. Robert Thomas Jr. became the Chief of Police of Delta, Colorado two years ago. He has 26 years of experience.

Finally, Andrew McLachlan is a Deputy Chief here in Pueblo. He spent all 26 years of his experience here, and has worked his way up to Deputy Chief from just a patrol officer.

Some say, despite having the fewest number of years in law enforcement, McLachlan may have an advantage over the other candidates, because he already knows Pueblo and is active in the community.

City Manager, Jerry Pacheco, has the final say. He says he'll release the names of the finalist on Tuesday.


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