Montrose, CO — The Montrose Police Department welcomed two new police officers to its ranks Tuesday evening, filling a pair of vacant positions in the department. Officers Bridgette Clarkson and David Copeland were officially sworn in during a ceremony held in the City Council Chambers before the City Council’s regular meeting.
Police Chief Blaine Hall, along with Commanders Tim Cox and Matt Smith, welcomed the officers before an audience of friends, family, City Councilors and staff, and fellow Police Department officers.
Chief Hall said he was excited to welcome the officers, adding the pair was an example of the department's outstanding staffing efforts.
Chief Hall said he looks forward to each swearing-in ceremony as new officers are added to the growing ranks of the Montrose Police Department.
“This is absolutely my favorite thing to do,” Hall said.
Officer Clarkson is the first to complete the Montrose Police Department’s new cadet program. The program allows cadets who are not post-certified to work inside the department while they complete their officer training and education. Clarkson is a graduate of the Western Colorado Law Enforcement Academy at Colorado Mesa University.
Officer Copeland recently retired from the Colorado State Patrol as a master state trooper with 28 years of service. Hall said Officer Copeland is an expert in the areas of drug recognition and impaired driving investigations. His experience will be a boost to the department.
“He’s going to be a great asset to the force,” Hall said.
Before officially swearing them in, Hall told the officers to hold themselves to the highest personal standards, both on and off duty. Their job as police officers, Hall said, was to earn and uphold the trust of the citizens of Montrose while protecting their lives and property and the community itself.
Hall also said the role of a police officer has grown to become more challenging in recent years, and Montrose has always been a community that supports local law enforcement.
"We’ve been challenged with a lot of issues in the realm of policing," Hall said, adding that these challenges will “test your integrity” as police officers.
“Your integrity is everything as a police officer,” Hall said. “And once you lose it, it’s gone forever. It’s now more important than ever. We are here to help people.”
Following the ceremony, Montrose Police Department officers were joined by Montrose County Sheriff Deputies, Montrose Fire Protection District firefighters, local EMS personnel, and West CO 911 operators as Mayor Dave Frank and Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Bynum read a declaration proclaiming that May 2022 is First Responders Month in the City of Montrose.
Information about future department recruitment and hiring will be released as it becomes available.