Montrose, CO — The Montrose Police Department announced today the promotion of two officers from among its ranks to fill the commander positions left vacant following Commander Blaine Hall’s promotion to Police Chief and Commander Gene Lillard’s election as the next Montrose County Sheriff.
Detective Sergeant Tim Cox and Patrol Officer Matt Smith were each promoted to the rank of commander.
“It was a very competitive process and all applicants did well,” Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall said. "Both Tim Cox and Matt Smith did exceptionally well and were selected to be the next two commanders to help lead the Montrose Police Department to the next level.”
Commander Cox is a 15-year veteran of the Montrose Police Department and a Montrose native. He is the commander of the department’s SWAT team and has been working as a detective sergeant since 2016.
Cox joined the department at the age of 21 after attending Mesa State College and says he sought a career in law enforcement "in general to help people and make a difference in the community."
"I wanted to continue to support the Montrose Police Department and to continue to serve the community through a different avenue,” Cox said concerning his decision to apply for a new role as commander.
Smith is a native of Paonia and first joined the Montrose Police Department in 2008 after being inspired to pursue a career in public service. From 2003 to 2008 Smith was the superintendent of the Devil’s Thumb Golf Course, overseeing personnel, budgets and overall administration of the golf course.
“Working in recreation wasn’t fulfilling to my community. I liked what I was doing, but it wasn’t a service to the community that I wanted it to be, and I decided to throw my hat in the ring after seeing an ad in the newspaper,” Smith said.
Smith left the department and joined the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office 2013. In 2016 he began working with the Montrose County District Attorney’s Office as an investigator. In the summer of 2017, he returned to the Montrose Police Department as a patrol officer.
"Patrol is awesome — you get to deal with everybody every day, you great a cross-section of our community, it helps you really navigate difficult contacts with folks, and you get to know people," Smith said.
Following the transition of Hall and Lillard to their new roles, the police department turned its attention to filling the commander vacancies. The hiring process included a panel consisting of members from the city manager and city attorney's offices, human resources and Police Chief Hall.
Smith said he was looking for a leadership opportunity at the department and decided to apply.
"I've always wanted to be in a position of positive influence and change," Smith said. "And to have an impact you have to seek out positions that allow you to do that, and put your self out there to make a positive change for an agency."
After working as a detective, Cox said he brings years of experience to the position.
"I’ve worked with every aspect of the department and, knowing the issues that patrol faces and knowing the issues that investigators face, and the struggles that the community is facing through issues like mental health and drugs, I feel I can help," Cox said.
Both men begin their service as commanders Monday, December 10. Hall said there will be a public promotion ceremony at the next regular City Council meeting scheduled for December 18 at 6 p.m.
"We are so excited to have them on board with our administrative team," Hall said.
For more city news visit: CityOfMontrose.org.