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Grand Junction deputy chief Troy Smith selected as next chief of police in Commerce City

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By The Staff

COMMERCE CITY — Troy Smith, deputy police chief for Grand Junction for the past nine years, has been selected as the new chief of police for Commerce City.

City Manager Brian McBroom announced the selection Dec. 7, according to a city news release. The selection comes with a five-year contract at an annual salary of $132,000. Smith is slated to begin work Jan. 14, 2013.

“Troy has the leadership qualities and expertise necessary to move the city’s police department forward,” said McBroom. “During the interview process, many – including myself – were impressed with his keen understanding and first-hand approach to working through leadership transitions and implementing a culture of excellence. My conversations with law enforcement leaders reinforced Troy’s quality of character, integrity and commitment. I look forward to working with him to strengthen relationships and position our department to be one of the finest in the state.”

Smith, who brings 22 years of law enforcement experience to the position, will take over for Interim Chief Chuck Saunier, who took over following the departure of Phil Baca in 2011.

 “I also want to thank Interim Chief Saunier for his service during this time of transition,” McBroom said. “I appreciate his work this past year and his commitment to our community.”

As deputy chief in Grand Junction, Smith handled administration and support services for a department of 112 sworn officers and 91 civilian employees in a city of 61,000 residents. Specifically, his duties included overseeing the 911 communications center for Mesa County, which handles all police, fire and emergency medical services.
In addition to those duties, Smith also developed and administered the department’s $28-million budget and previously served as project manager for several capital improvement projects, including the new $25-million police and 911 communications center that opened earlier this year.

“Commerce City is a wonderful, vibrant community, and I’m honored to have been selected to lead the police department. I had the opportunity to work in and around the city years ago and have enjoyed watching it grow, radically changing its image over the years,” Smith said. “I want to thank Chuck Saunier for the leadership he provided during his tenure as the interim Chief. During the selection process, I was very impressed with the caliber and talent of the men and women in the department. I am excited to engage with them to grow the organization’s performance, accountability, professionalism and relationships.”

Smith, who graduated from University of Northern Colorado and has a master's degree in management from Regis University, started as a patrol officer with Thornton Police Department's specialized neighborhood problem-solving unit. During his 10 years there, Smith also worked as an investigator with the Metro Gang Task Force, a team leader for a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team, a supervisor with the North metro Task Force, a sergeant and watch commander for patrol operations and an administrative support commander.

Smith also has served as executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety's Regional Community Policing Institute and Colorado Peace Corps prior to joining the Grand Junction Police Department.

"Chief Smith is a gifted law enforcement professional,” said Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper. “I'm grateful for the exceptional service that he has provided to the Grand Junction Police Department, and pleased that the Commerce City Police Department will benefit from his many skills.”

Smith also attended the FBI National Academy, the University of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Leadership Program and the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Senior Management Institute for Police.

Smith also serves as vice chair of the Colorado Information Sharing Consortium and is a member of the Colorado and International Associations of Chiefs of Police. He previously has been awarded the Grand Junction Police Department’s Medal of Excellence, the Colorado State Police Chief’s Executive Innovation Award and a Medal of Valor from the Thornton Police Department.