Wednesday, December 26, 2018

State Patrol Member is Also a Top-Notch Dog Trainer!

State Patrol Director of Strategic Communications Kelly Roll is a high-performing, high-results professional who helps to shape the perception of the Colorado State Patrol.  In addition to her demanding job, it turns out that  Roll also excels at her hobbies -- which include running a ranch and training dogs!

"How she juggles her job, being a mom, running the Rock'n R Ranch AND training dogs is so unbelievable to me," said Victims Assistance Unit Director Denise Poeppel.

Roll recently earned third place in the 2018 Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year Contest.

Kelly currently runs the Rock'n R Ranch, and she and her family are building a 45-acre dog training complex in rural Colorado, named K9cation. The family-owned and operated business is primarily focused on dog training and activities, with future expansion coming in 2019 for a larger boarding and enhanced training and sports facility.

Her award nomination quoted Kelly: “It’s an honor to be nominated for this prestigious award.  I admire Great Mats for putting this incredible program together. The real honor is hearing testimonials from the families I help that their dogs love coming to my facility to play and train.  I believe I am providing an experience like no other and that the connection built between these dogs and their owners is going to make a difference with dogs staying in their homes, never to return to a shelter or rescue organization, thereby allowing those great programs to get even more dogs into homes. This is one way that I can give back to the world of dogs, for the love my dogs have given me.”

Kelly's nominator shared this touching story about their journey with their adopted shelter dog, Obi. "Being that we had never had a dog, we needed help with being a better family for Obi.  He was eating his food one day and our littlest approached him to give him love. Obi was still brand new to our home and his first instincts were to protect his food no matter what and by doing that he bit her in the face. This was frightening both for him as it was for us.  We then had to decide if he was the right dog for our family. After some thought and some safety planning we decided that we needed to find a trusted training program because the second option was to surrender him to the shelter. We found Kelly and Margaret at Rock'n R Ranch.  ...

"Rock'n R Ranch is family.  We knew the moment we (humans) had our first exchange with Kelly and Margaret that this was the right place for Obi.  Once he was able to attend after his quarantine it was just a marvel to see how Obi week by week became a whole new dog and we better masters for him.  Kelly and Margaret pin pointed Obi's attributes and areas that needed improvement. He started as a dog without confidence, scared, and combative with new dogs and people.  Kelly and Margaret took their time to pin point these behaviors in detail and showed us how to redirect these during individual and one on one sessions. We continued to do trainings that were taught in class at home, and as our pup continued to transform so did his new humans. Obi's tail would wag as soon as we hit the road to head down to Rock'n R Ranch.  It's his fun place where he learns and interacts with other dogs.

"Obi is now as confident as ever.  Other children are able to handle him. We are able to take him out in public and trust him as he allows other dogs and humans to interact with him.  He loves his family and trust us. He knows that we love him so much. This all in part to the amazing work that Kelly and Margaret did for Obi and us, his family.  If it weren't for their fabulous training I believe Obi would have had to gone back to the shelter..."

Thursday, December 20, 2018

50 Years of Emergency Response: From Plane Crashes to Historic Disasters

Photo by Rod Hanna, Steamboat Pilot
Half a century ago this month, Chuck Vale was among the founding members of search and rescue in Routt County, Colorado. (Read the story here).

Forty years ago on December 4, 1978, Rocky Mountain Airways flight 217 left Steamboat for a routine return back to Stapleton airport in Denver. The flight never made it. Shortly before 8 p.m. that day,  Chuck was one of  more than 60 Coloradans who mobilized on a long search and rescue mission through 60 inches of fresh snow in steep mountain terrain. They located the aircraft at 6:05 a.m. the next day.

Amazingly, the team was able to save all but one person in the crash.

Today, Chuck continues to work in emergency response as a Field Manager with the Office of Emergency Response within the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM). His emergency response career spans five decades, starting in the days before the highly organized, multi-agency network of emergency response we rely on today.

With such an extensive history in this field, we asked Chuck to reflect back on the past 50 years and share his insights and memories.

How did you get involved in Search & Rescue?
I was one of four snowmobilers who came upon a deceased individual 13 miles from the trail head. The Sheriff at the time had no way to help. So we helped bring him out for his family. And then we created "Routt Winter Rescue." I was one of eight charter members; Later it became "Routt Search & Rescue." I was on the team for 15 years and on the board for eight. I was also a part of what became CSRB in the early days to help identify statewide concerns.

What brought you to CDPS? 
I was the Emergency Manager/ ARFF Chief for Routt County for 20 years. The OEM Director then (it was in DOLA) asked me to go to work for him as the Northwest Region Field manager. It's been a great ride.

What has changed most in Search & Rescue and/or emergency management since you began your career?While I was in S&R we went to the legislature and got the S&R fund started. This allows a small funding source to assist the volunteers. The S&R statute was also cleared up and put [under the jurisdiction of ] the County Sheriff's.

Emergency Management has come along ways. When I started it was "Civil Defense." It has now become more of a profession. The statute has been cleaned up, placing the responsibility on the County Commissioners to create an office and "keep current" an Emergency operations Plan. We have identified that there are 5 mission areas that need constant work in order for a county to be prepared for a large emergency.

What has been most rewarding and/or challenging about your career in emergency response? The most rewarding was the reunion of those of us who responded to Flight 217. What a great opportunity to see responders, victims and families from an incident you were a part of 40 years ago! (Watch the news story here.)

 Anything else you would like to add?
Everything we do is for the victim! It takes a Team!

Monday, December 17, 2018

State Patrol Communications Staff Rise to Occasion During Chaotic Storm in Moffat County

The Colorado State Patrol office in Craig dispatches State and Federal agencies for 11 counties and all of the police/fire/EMS units in Moffat County. The center is made up of 12 dispatchers, two team leaders, two Supervisors, and a regional manager.  Recently, CSP Craig handled an incident that rocked their center and required several dispatchers to go above and beyond for the community and for their teammates.

On August 31, a significant thunderstorm rolled through Moffat County, causing chaos. The Moffat County Road and Bridge Shops were hit by lightning and caught on fire; the fire ruptured a 4,000-gallon diesel fuel tank and threatened a second fuel tank. Then the storm spread across the county, causing several sizable wildland fires.

The incident required all hands on deck. Communications Officers Dana Burkey, Sherrie Johnson and Ryan Buttermore were intensely busy answering the overwhelming amount of incoming 911 calls and radio traffic. The situation had escalated quickly, and the three communications officers were simply unable to keep up. Team Lead Michaela Smith and Communications Officers Kaycee Race and Melissa Doubrava were off duty at the time. This group of three recognized the significance of the incident and, without prompting, responded to the center to assist in any way they could. These six amazing dispatchers were able to divide the radio talk groups and filter through the hundreds of incoming calls. Those calls included several other emergencies that had nothing to do with the many fires. This group of six rose to the challenge and went above and beyond that day.

Like so many other communications centers around the State, CSP Craig Regional Communications Center keeps moving forward, giving 100%, and making sure their units and their community are safe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

DFPC Firefighter Praised for Off-Duty Save

By Sarah Sanford, DFPC Public Education Specialist 

This story starts off with a hero sitting on his back porch enjoying the beautiful late morning sun and drinking coffee. This unlikely hero didn’t know what his morning would entail, but a public servant is always prepared to answer the call to duty.

Lucy R. Murphy was visiting from Florida, watching her daughter's house. She was cooking up a breakfast of sausage and bacon when she decided to pop out to grab the mail. When she stepped outside the front door, suddenly the door slammed behind her! She hadn't taken her phone or keys with her for the short distance, so found herself locked out of the house, the bacon cooking on the stove, the puppy inside. With no access to her phone, she couldn’t call 911, and she started to panic.

Lucy was starting to see smoke and she didn’t know what to do. She suddenly remembered that her daughter mentioned that the neighbor was a firefighter. She rushed to knock on his door.

Josh Matheny, center.
Josh Matheny’s morning coffee was interrupted by a panicked knock. He went to the door to find Lucy asking him to come and help her find a way back into the house. She explained how she locked herself out and left the bacon on the stove. She was worried that she might burn the house down and needed to get back in NOW!

Lucy and Josh hurried back over and searched all over the exterior of the house to find an opening. Josh found it a little amusing that she was encouraging him to “break a window or a door!” She would pay for it, she said. Instead, Josh quickly spotted an opening on the third floor. He looked all over to find a ladder. Finding the ladder, he climbed up and opened the window to enter the house.

The house was filling with smoke and the fire alarms were going off. Josh took the bacon off the stove and opened the windows to air out the house.

Lucy recently sent a thank-you letter to DFPC’s Professional Qualification and Training Chief Mark Quick to explain Josh's heroic actions that day and to express her gratitude. To Lucy -- and to us --  Josh is a hero.

Friday, October 19, 2018

State Patrol Conducts Public Opinion Survey

Conducted approximately every two years, the Colorado State Patrol performs a public opinion survey to get a grade from the people we all serve daily.  Through the use of contact cards, social media, press releases, interviews, and yes, a little bribery, tens of thousands of people are directed to to voice concerns, kudos, advice, or stories of their interactions with the agency.
CSP Chief Matt Packard with a participant who
 completed the survey and earned a branded mug.

For the duration of the survey, every contact a trooper or port of entry officer makes is told about the survey.  This can make for some interesting responses from people that may also have received other “paper” but it helps establish that everyone has an opportunity to voice their opinion regardless of circumstances.  Beyond the general “grading” of interactions, survey takers have numerous open ended questions they may answer, including a section to give Chief Matt Packard advice on how to run the Patrol!

“Being visible and engaging our communities are top priorities for our organization,” said Chief Packard. “We value the opinions, thoughts, and feelings of the people we serve. If there is a way we can improve, we want to know what that is. We welcome all feedback.” 

To add an incentive for people to participate, special CSP travel mugs have and will continue to be awarded to people that not only take the survey but promote it by using the hashtag #CSPValuesMyOpinion on their social media accounts.  And the members that are mentioned as encouraging the most people to participate also get a chance at a mug themselves! 

With thousands of expected responses, the State Patrol will have a chance to determine what areas we excel in, and what areas the general public sees as needing improvement.  These responses will be compared with years past, and implemented in future plans to continue to make the Colorado State Patrol one of the leaders in law enforcement across the country!
Incentive mugs help drive participation.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Honoring those who Embody our Values: CDPS Presents 2018 Executive Director's Awards

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey presented awards to individuals and teams who exemplify the department's values and live the CDPS mission on a daily basis.

The 2nd annual CDPS Executive Director's Awards honored employees in the following categories:

Engagement Award

An engaged workforce is critical to our ability to deliver services. So critical, in fact, that it is written into the very mission of CDPS. The Engagement Award recognizes someone who fosters an environment that promotes collaboration, communication, trust, and respect for differences. These award winners contribute towards departmental goals and place team goals above personal desires.

Nicolette Starkey
As the trainer for the CBI Identification Unit, Nicolette was responsible for training a large cohort of temp aides for CBI’s Arapahoe project. This project entails processing 100,000 criminal identification cards within a 9-month timeframe. To give you an idea how outstanding she is at engaging employees, Nicolette was nominated by THREE separate aides for this award.

Her trainees describe a leader with “wit, patience, understanding, and positive attitude.” Despite the high demand for her time, she is consistently available, flexible, and proactive in reaching out to help new employees. She mentors her trainees to be problem-solvers and encourages them to develop and use good judgment.

Nicolette understands the importance of trusting and empowering her trainees, supporting them with her in-depth knowledge while never micro-managing. In addition to training aides on the “hows” of their jobs, she also ensures they understand the goals and objectives of the project so that they can be engaged in the “why” behind the important work.

Raechel Aderete
Raechel is a champion of department-wide cross-collaboration. As staff to the Sex Offender Management Board, she frequently engages staff assigned to other CDPS task forces and boards to determine best practices and solutions for challenges. Raechel frequently partners with the School Safety Resource Center to provide community education and training regarding sexting-related issues. This helps improve the safety of many Colorado youth. Raechel also collaborates across units and departments to support the Stand Up Colorado campaign to reduce relationship violence among juveniles.

Raechel’s collaborative spirit, positive attitude and solution-focused approach draw colleagues to her throughout the department. She eagerly takes on special projects to further the department’s mission, regardless of her workload. She is a positive force within CDPS and operationalizes our mission through her ambassadorship and collaborative efforts.

Excellence in Leadership Award

This award recognizes leaders who pave the way for others to shine. Recipients help others strive to meet their goals and achieve success. These individuals establish a vision for others follow; they seek challenging opportunities, and inspire others to share those challenges. 

Cpl. Chris Sandoval
Chris leads by example. He expects excellence of himself and others, and sets clear expectations. He is humble and willing to admit his mistakes. He is transparent, open and available. He mentors and guides his employees through positive encouragement and guidance. He walks the walk, working just as hard or harder than anyone on his team. And he puts his staff before himself.

Chris is usually on duty before anyone else, and he is often the first to volunteer to respond to a crash. His attitude has inspired his team to follow suit. Members jump at the opportunity to step up or to help one another.
Honesty, professionalism, courtesy, honor, respect, and humility thrive in the environment he creates. In the office Chris encourages members to take a positive, problem-solving attitude. In turn, the Troopers around him are motivated to go out and have a positive impact on the public.

Devon Rhoads 
In 2017, Devon was tapped to stand up a “Watch Center” to gather, analyze and distribute information and intelligence to CDPS leadership and external partners. By the time he was asked to head the effort, only two weeks remained to get the Watch Center operational.

During this time, Devon worked diligently to coordinate all of the moving pieces to successfully establish the Watch Center.  He did this by collaborating with CIAC personnel and representatives of other divisions who had a role in the Watch Center.  Devon developed an implementation plan, administrative manual, 24/7 staffing schedule, and work processes to ensure the Watch Center was a success.

As Devon will tell you, he did not do this alone. This success is the result of ALL of the CIAC members contributing, along with members of CSP, CBI and DFPC. So, if any one in here played a role in launching the Watch Center, please stand up so we can acknowledge your contribution. [pause for applause]. Thank you.

The Watch Center project is just one example of how Devon exemplifies our guiding principles and core values. Devon focuses on recruiting, empowering and supporting the right people to get the job done in a way that meets the expectations of customers. His leadership is inspirational and directly improves our ability to safeguard lives and provide diverse public safety services to local communities.

Lisa Yoshida
Lisa exemplifies the qualities that a good leader should have: integrity, positive attitude, honesty, and openness. Lisa exhibits passion for CBI’s work and a desire to make CBI the best that it can be. She has earned a reputation for great ideas and hard work. Her open communication invites trust and collaboration. Lisa is able to use these qualities to influence the people around her to accomplish the goals of the organization.

As a Training, Research and Development Manager, Lisa is the first point of contact for all new hires to CBI’s Forensics Services.She adapts her teaching and communication style for a wide range of new employees, from people just starting their careers to seasoned professionals.

Lisa also manages all research done by Forensic Services. She acts as a liaison, mentor and coach for staff conducting research projects. Her guiding hand has helped ensure many successful research projects.

Lisa has played an integral role in achieving the organizational goals of Forensic Services and CBI’s Strategic Planning Initiative (SPI). Her efforts have a direct impact on the amount of cases that Forensic Services can produce.

Vaughn Jones
The nomination for Vaughn Jones was nothing short of poetic:

“When I think about my time working with Chief Jones over the last 3.5 years, two words come to mind: honor and integrity. Jones is a regular person like you and me with wants and worries. Yet he stands taller than most of us. He is a protector, a brother, a sounding board, he is a
firefighter through and through. He is a man who values life because he has seen too much death.

I have seen him make some very difficult decisions -- decisions that only a good leader can make. I have seen him spend time away from the people he loves most in this world with the mission of serving his State. He sacrifices his personal time for the good of others. Chief Jones doesn't preach the brotherhood of man. He lives it.

Chief Jones is highly skilled in communicating with his employees, colleagues and superiors in a way that others cannot. He demonstrates decency, self-respect and moral soundness. Chief Jones has a great deal of integrity and that is seen in the decisions he makes and the way he protects his employees. He wants the best for his employees at every level, and genuinely cares about them.

Vaughn has dramatically impacted this entire organization. Specifically, he build this section of DFPC from the ground up, growing it from a handful of people to over 100 members serving the state. From aviation to ground resources to mitigation programs, Chief Jones has built and will continue to create one of the leading wildland agencies in the country.”

"GSD” Award

The name of this award comes straight from Director Hilkey and his Western upbringing in a world where people know what needs to be done, and they hunker down and Get….Stuff Done. The “GSD” Award recognizes an individual or team for their ability to Get “Stuff” Done in order to make a significant impact towards helping move initiatives, goals, and objectives of the organization forward.

Debbie Goerlitz
When Procurement’s fiscal year-end process kicked into high-gear in April, the team was short-handed. During this time, Procurement receives daily pushes from every division of CDPS. This year in particular, the already-shorthanded team experienced another member leaving the agency for a different career. Debbie took on more than half of that team-member’s contracts. It isn’t easy to complete a projects midway after another person has started the work. But Debbie picked up the slack and made sure everything got done in a timely manner. She completed more than 200 Procurement tasks between April and June. This is more than twice the amount usually performed by each Procurement agent in the year-end process.

On top of that, Debbie helped complete multiple long-term contract projects. With Debbie’s help, Procurement experienced one of the cleanest fiscal year-ends to date. And in the midst of getting so much done, she provided outstanding customer service, fostering stronger relationships with internal CDPS customers.

Direct-to-DNA Workflow Project Team
Lance Allen
Teresa Cheromcha
Jennifer Dahlberg
Megan Duge
Melissa Grass
Sarah Haugrud
Gina Mann
Hillary Manger
Kayleigh Matook
Justin Maxwell
Sarah Miller
Lindsey Roup
Caitlin Rogers
Stefanie Trahey
Chiara Wuensch

At the end of 2017, the CBI E11 team set out to explore a new “direct-
to-DNA” workflow to make sexual assault kit testing more efficient and effective.

The E11 team consists of analysts at all of the CBI labs. Caitlin Rogers researched and created the workflow to be approved by the E11 group. Justin Maxwell created a metrics mechanism to easily track cases and stats as the project moved along.

Pueblo Lab staff piloted the new workflow over a three-month period,
completing about 80 cases. They tracked data throughout the pilot and found that the new workflow increased the net percentage of eligible DNA profiles for CODIS entry by 18 percent. As a result, by July 2018 this workflow was implemented statewide by CBI as a standard procedure for sex assault kit analysis.

This team implemented a more efficient, scientifically supported process and also improved their reporting results to better meet the needs of law enforcement agencies. CBI can now better assist in investigations to solve more sex assault crimes in an efficient manner.

Innovation Award

This award is given for implementing a cutting-edge, creative solution that provides new benefits to the department or the community. 

Caitlin Rogers
Caitlin Rogers was part of the GSD team. She was nominated separately for the enormous, innovative role she played in making that project possible.

Caitlin is a CBI Forensic Services Bio/DNA analyst. She researched, designed and implemented the new Direct-to-DNA workflow for CBI Forensic Services.

Caitlin talked to scientists and technical leads at laboratories across the U.S. and Canada to develop a solution to address this issue. She analyzed screening tests and downstream results, questioning the way we’ve always done things to see if there was room for improvement. She then developed a series of workflows to change CBI’s entire testing process to make it more thorough and reliable.

At the end of the pilot program, CBI determined that the workflow Caitlin developed was a success. It resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of cases with a profile being entered into CODIS – an essential metric in measuring the success of DNA cases.

The workflow Caitlin developed helps address the backlog of sexual assault kits at CBI as well as increase success rates in obtaining usable DNA profiles. This workflow puts us at the leading edge of forensic laboratories nationwide.

CODIS Project Team 
Alfritch Anderson
Robert Barnes
Rachel Harmon
Steve Holland
Dave Montoya
Jose Ontiveros
Pam Schaner
Josh Ward.

CODIS, or the Combined DNA Index System, is the FBI’s criminal justice DNA database. The system contains DNA profiles contributed by federal, state, and local forensic labs. Members of OIT, CBI and CJIS partnered with the FBI on a first-in-the country project to establish more efficient, centralized IT support for Colorado’s system and to ensure its continuity of operations.

Nationwide, this had never been done before. The project involved reconfiguring six stand-alone servers and network connections into a centralized location. This allowed for a single location for IT support over the entire state of Colorado. The old, decentralized system required an on-site CBI forensic scientist to patch the operating system, update the antivirus, maintain connectivity and patch the software. Now the entire network is maintained by OIT. This allows forensic scientists to focus on their core, mission-essential duties, while IT professionals take care of their area of expertise in maintaining this technology.

This project also established a separate disaster recovery site in case of emergency. The disaster recovery site is also the first of its kind. Replication occurs every 15 minutes, ensuring no loss of data and safeguarding the continuity of operations for CODIS state-wide.

This project was not only an example of innovation, but an excellent model of collaboration across divisions and agencies.

Superior Service Award

This award recognizes someone who provides excellent customer service, taking care of their internal or external customers quickly and efficiently. These award winners find answers, handle issues, and resolve problems to keep customers satisfied. 

Ruth Strauss
This year, when DFPC received funding for additional, statewide regional fire training staff, they had to quickly mobilize to get the new employees hired as close to July 1 as possible. DFPC had to quickly write the PDQs, panel and advertise the positions, interview, make selections, negotiate salary, conduct background checks and onboard the new employees in a short timeframe.

Ruth Strauss went above and beyond her job duties in providing outstanding service to get these positions filled, from start through finish. She provided helpful guidance and was very responsive with critical feedback that helped make it possible to attract quality candidates. She worked with DFPC staff to develop a quality assessment relevant to the job, and she helped develop a rigorous fire training candidate assessment. In June, she traveled with DFPC staff to conduct candidate interviews and assessments in Clifton, Ignacio, Windsor and Arvada. All this was in addition to her normal HR duties within the hiring process.

Although this was a very time-compressed hiring process, Ruth ensured DFPC complied fully with all rules and policies. She maintained constant communication every step of the way, providing timely and insightful guidance. These positions are imperative to the success of many of DFPC’s programs. Ruth’s attention to detail allowed the division to identify and hire incredible talent who will help drive the mission forward for years to come.

Sally Bouwman 
Sally’s roll as payroll manager means she has contact with virtually every member of CDPS. As you know, pay is a very important thing for people. Sally ensures that her interactions with employees about their payroll concerns consistently end on a positive note. She is consistently calm, patient and positive. She approaches questions from the perspective of how to get to “yes.” And even when she cannot get to “yes,” Sally has a remarkable ability to clearly explain why certain things are the way they must be, and can leave people feeling good about the outcome.

Sally brings her positivity with her to various challenging changes, such as Kronos and DPA’s bi-weekly pay implementation effort. She demonstrates concern and sensitivity for the needs of 7K employees, listening to and representing their particular needs to project managers. Sally serves her internal customers by advocating on their behalf to implementation teams. In short, she truly listens and makes sure her customers feel heard.

Ride for the Brand Award

This award was inspired by Director Hilkey’s experience with ranches, where dedicated workers put in long hours, hard work, a lot of sweat, and sometimes blisters and bruises for the sake of their ranch. The “Ride for the Brand” Award recognizes CDPS members for that same sort of poignant commitment to our mission, vision and values. These award winners consistently take a stand on behalf of the department’s core tenets, and are passionately motivated to make a difference on behalf of the organization as a whole. 

Sgt. Joy Grissom
As the sergeant serving in continuing education at the CSP academy, Joy saw a need for a multi-discipline event to promote safety in the Denver-metro community. She worked very hard to launch a successful, safety fair. The safety fair includes approximately 60 area agencies from a broad spectrum of public safety agencies.

More than 2,500 community members attended the most recent fair and were exposed to a wide variety of safety information. Families attending the fair could have their car seat inspected or installed and received a wide variety of public safety messages while having a great time.

In addition to providing an opportunity for public safety agencies to interact with the public, the fair also provided a platform to connect them with each other and inspire future opportunities to collaborate. This event created a very positive image of participating agencies and showcased Colorado State Patrol’s leadership within the public safety realm.

Gabby Reed
Gabby Reed is the Legislative Liaison for CDPS. She represents the department’s interests in legislative matters. If you understand anything about how our budgets work, you know that this is critical work.

Gabby works with 100 different legislators, the Governor’s Office, CDPS members in all divisions, and various stakeholders on a wide variety of public safety issues in the legislature.

Gabby consistently works to support the department’s mission and has exceptional customer service as it relates to internal and external relationships. She knows the importance of relationships and delivers timely responses to key stakeholders. Due to her excellent management of these relationships and her outstanding understanding of the various complex issues within CDPS, Gabby has a great reputation and is the go-to for many situations and legislative issues. She excels at implementing strategic approaches in order to maintain a high success rate for CDPS. Gabby has played a huge role in maintaining a high standard for our department’s reputation among legislators and stakeholders.

CBI Blagg Case Team
Jana Bates
Teresa Cheromcha
Cindy Kramer
Sarah Miller.

From 2014 to 2018, Jana and Cindy helped prosecutors from the 21st Judicial District prepare for the retrial of Michael Blagg for the murder of his wife in 2001. During the trial, Sarah and Teresa played a vital role helping prosecutors prepare for court.

Jana and Cindy spent hours reviewing the case file to understand the work completed by prior investigators and looking for items that could benefit from additional analysis using current technology. They then met with investigators and prosecutors to explain their findings and wrote nine supplemental laboratory reports.

All four team members provided exceptional service in working with the prosecutors to prepare for court. They met for hours with prosecutors to ensure the scientific evidence would be presented accurately and understandably. Some of these meetings took place outside regular business hours. They worked closely with Deputy District Attorney Trish Mahre to prepare her for questioning the defense expert.

Following the trial, Deputy D.A. Trish Mahre wrote an email to thank CBI, explaining that assistance and support from CBI played a significant role in the conviction.”

Sunday, July 22, 2018

DHSEM Annual Employee Awards

Each Year DHSEM honors the contributions, excellence and leadership of its employees. Below are the 2018 awards and their winners.

This award recognizes DHSEM members that others turn to for help or support regardless of their rank or position within the DHSEM. Characteristics of a “Go To” person include: diligent, selfless, consistent, pitch in to help, reliable, gets it done, team player, behind the scenes, and goes above and beyond what is expected of them to support their fellow team members.

Syrita Garcia 

Syrita exemplifies everything the "Go To" award describes. She is service oriented, has a welcoming persona and always demonstrates positivity. She is always willing to assist in any task offers assistance before she is even asked to help. She works above and beyond to make sure task and projects get done. She is thorough, creative and reliable. She takes pride in her work and that is reflected not only by the products she creates but also by her personality and communication skills. She is insightful, takes initiative with requests she receives from our stakeholders and seeks out input for our SMEs to ensure that their needs and expectations are not only met but exceeded.

Ryan Mechem* 
Ryan is the “unsung” hero in the CIAC. He has delivered exemplary results to both his division team members and our numerous mission partners. His most notable efforts over the past year include key roles in the North Central Region Cybersecurity working group, cyber security incident response for multiple jurisdictions and proactive network security reviews. Over his first year at DHSEM he has widely become an indispensable talent in all things cyber. His extensive expertise has also gained the CIAC national notoriety among other fusion centers as top tier capability. Ryan’s ability to marshal open source cyber information into concise actionable intelligence has also become a resource for our private critical infrastructure partners. Private sector cybersecurity intelligence analysts that work for some of the largest communications providers in the nation count him as a “Go To” resource when it comes to vetting threat data and connecting the dots on real-time cyber attacks.

Other Nominees:
  • Chris Sorenson 
  • Caroline “Hart” Gillespie 
  • Jennifer Dye 
  • Eric Dymond 
  • Tristan Bailey  
This award recognizes persons whose positive attitudes and outlooks directly affect other DHSEM members and the communities we serve. Characteristics of “Positivity” include: positive energy, inspiring, aloha spirit, optimistic, cheerleader, encouraging, happy, calm in a crisis, collaborative, fun, takes lemons and makes lemonade.

Mikaela Ellenwood
In April 2018, the Leadership Strategies Institute C2 Team was looking for assistance in creating a final presentation that reflected positively on their experience in the class as well as on DHSEM. No one within the team had the skills necessary to create and produce the video we had decided to tackle. Mikaela not only immediately and energetically took on the task, she provided the guidance necessary for the team to accomplish their goal. She was diligent in her efforts to ensure the final product exceeded their expectations! She did this with a positive attitude and outlook- even when we had to redo some of the video and a very compressed timeline. She is a reliable and a team player and exemplifies our Core Values. She is always looking for ways to help and get involved to support the team.

Amy Shish
Whether it's making a new employee feel welcome or dealing with several projects with multiple deadlines, Amy always puts her best foot forward, providing a positive image of DHSEM and an enjoyable work environment. By embracing the core values, Amy demonstrates her commitment to STRIVE, treating others with respect and giving each of her coworkers the support and encouragement they need. Amy is a great example of a team player!

Other Nominees:
  • Lynn Bailey 

This award honors those who direct their time and energy for the greatest impact by incorporating new ideas, technology, and other strategies to maximize a positive impact on the Division. Characteristics of a “Work Smarter” person include: creative, thinks outside the box, innovative, change agent, fearless, cutting edge, idea person, progressive.

Lucas B.*
Last year several employees identified a McAfee issue. This serious issue stalled all computer work and manipulation for a considerable amount of time. Several computers were down for days. Once contacted, it took Lucas immediately took action and within 15 minutes all the issues were repaired. Lucas has not only assisted the team during numerous occasions, he's also a vital resource for the division and department as a whole. He demonstrates working smarter each and every day as he keeps a fast moving progressive division up and running electronically. Thank you Lucas for your steadfast commitment to the State of Colorado.

SRM Team 
The definition of teamwork is the “combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.” This is the best way to describe the DHSEM Subrecipient Monitoring (SRM) team that consists of four individuals that have different backgrounds and bring strength to the DHSEM organization. The SRM team is instrumental is supporting the division's mission of providing excellent grant management support. The SRM team led the Division’s Strategic Policy Initiative for fiscal year 2018 to complete 45 site monitoring visits by the end of the fiscal year; but they decided to be overachievers and will actually 48 site visits. They are small but mighty and are able to accomplish more than one would expect because they work smarter and efficiently to make sure they exceed expectations.

This award honors teams or groups of staff that achieve a common goal in support of the Division’s mission or a specific team goal that supports the services provided to stakeholders/communities through leadership, collaboration, coordination or forward thinking. Characteristics of a “Mission Accomplished” recipient include: demonstrating leadership by example and forward thinking in accomplishing a specific task or goal on behalf of the Division; a group that leads by example and inspires and motivates achievement by others or demonstrates success through coordination, collaboration and bridge-building within the Division, Department or with our customer/community stakeholders.

The team exemplifies the core values of DHSEM; are role models; exceed expectations; work great as a team and respect everyone they work with. They anticipate the needs of their subrecipients and offer assistance before problems arise. They collaborate with other teams in DHSEM to come up with processes that will be efficient and beneficial for all. and with DOLA and the other state disaster recovery programs to talk about best practices and ways to improve all processes. For the past year the team experienced several changes in staffing but with the changes they have continued to meet and exceed all deadlines, processed 219 RFRs totaling $15.51 million, monitor their subrecipients, conduct interviews for each project and provide technical assistance to each subrecipient and the contractors. They have set the tone for future grant programs.

CIAC All-Hazards Threat Intelligence Unit
The All-Hazards Threat Intelligence Unit demonstrated DHSEM Core Values, consistently punching above their weight and collaborating with DHSEM staff, field managers and external partners. Their diligent work has been a mainstay of operations for the CIAC, providing 10,000+ hours of tailored support to agencies across Colorado and to out-of-state partners. Here are just three of the items shared related to the team:
  • Analyzed and evaluated all-source data to develop 14 Threat Checks, 1 Threat Assessment, and 18 Situational Awareness Bulletins that allowed officials to implement best strategies for public safety 
  • Created 70+ law enforcement workups that led to the arrests of 6 criminals 
  • Presented at 2017 National Fusion Center Association on international terrorism and drug trafficking, FTO ideologies, the CIAC Threat Prioritization Program and Strategic Intelligence Product Policy They exceeded standards of excellence with a whole-team approach. 
Other Nominees:
  • The Field Services Team 
  • The Logistics Section

This award recognizes an “unsung” hero whose performance is outstanding, yet the recipient remains “low profile”. The award is aimed at individual who provides exemplary conduct, service, or action that demonstrates a commitment to the values of the Division. The Denney Award is named for Steve Denney, a retired Field Service Deputy who served the people of Colorado for more than 22 years. Steve was a quiet professional who led by example and never sought recognition for his many exemplary actions throughout his career.

Paul Eller 

Paul Eller led the effort over the past year to update both DHSEM's Homeland Security Strategy as well as the division's strategic plan. He demonstrated exemplary performance in these two major efforts, while maintaining a humble and service driven attitude. The work he has accomplished is highly detailed and requires organizing many moving parts behind the scenes to make the more than a dozen engagement strategy meetings a valuable experience for the hundreds of stakeholders that participated in these meetings.

He is the workhorse behind the scenes compiling the data and feedback to keep the process moving for both the new homeland security strategy and the division strategic plan. The products and efforts are top notch, reliable and on target. At the same time as shepherding these major projects, he is also a mentor and coach and a friendly ear to many of our staff who need advice or guidance. He always has time to help someone in need.

Other Nominees:
  • Riley Frazee 
  • Esther Son 
  • Michael Gartner

This award honors a person whose leadership skills (whether formal or informal) and interpersonal style inspires and motivates others to achieve their full potential or helps groups, teams and/or units achieve a common goal supporting the Division's mission. Characteristics of a “Division Director Award” recipient include: “first among equals”, mentor, respected, leads by example, ethical, principled, inspiring, advocates on behalf of others, mediator, bridge builder, courageous and forward thinking.

Devon Rhoads 
CDPS Executive Director Stan Hilkey had a vision that the CDPS would establish a Watch Center for not only the CDPS leadership but also for our external stakeholders. The Watch Center would gather, collate, analyze and distribute information and intelligence to CDPS leadership and our external partners and create a common operating picture for all involved in an incident.

By the time Devon Rhoads was asked to coordinate and lead the effort -- we gave him 2 weeks to get the Watch Center operational. He was building the plane while flying it. During this time, Devon worked diligently to lead and coordinate all of the moving pieces to successfully establish the Watch Center. He did this by collaborating with the rest of the CIAC personnel as well as all the other divisions who had a role in the Watch Center. He worked diligently to develop an implementation plan, an administrative manual, 24/7 staffing schedule and work processes to make sure the Watch Center was a success.

Devon exemplified our guiding principles by achieving the desired results; using innovative methods to get the “Watch Center” running; ensuring that the process was service oriented, recognizing the needs of the customers; and, focused on recruiting, empowering and supporting the right staff members to make the project successful.

Devon also exemplified our Core Values by exceeding expectations of CDPS Leadership; fostering a teamwork approach; treating the team and leadership with respect; maintaining the integrity of the project and himself; and, maintaining a level of excellence throughout the project. Devon exhibited a high degree of leadership by example, inspiring his team to be successful in meeting the vision of CDPS leadership.

As Devon would tell you, he did not do this alone, and the success is the result of ALL of the CIAC staff coming together, sacrificing their time and sometimes their schedules to support the success of this initiative.

Other Nominees:

  • Paul Eller 
  • Michael Gartner
Congratulations to all the winners!
*Note: For security reasons, identifying information about CIAC members may be edited or withheld on public platforms.

Governor's Talent Challenge Wraps Up First Year

During FY 2017-18, CDPS employees from all divisions participated in the inaugural year of the Governor’s Talent Challenge Lean Academy program. The Talent Challenge provides matching funds from the Governor’s Office to state agencies to provide employee development opportunities, and this year’s group focused on operationalizing process improvement concepts.

Process improvement - including soliciting and incorporating customer feedback - an area of focus for CDPS in FY 2019 based on the 2017 Employee Engagement Survey results. Through courses taught by two vendors, CDPS participants learned about the Lean methodology of process improvement and executed a group Lean project to benefit customers. CDPS members also gained experience in continuous improvement, using data to make decisions, and using customer feedback to improve processes.

Projects ranged in scope and covered a variety of CDPS business practices, including the CSP cadet hiring process, the CBI InstaCheck appeals process, and the DHSEM request for reimbursement process.

 A big thanks to the following CDPS employees who directed their time (and talent!) to the Talent Challenge:
 Lance Allen
 Terri Anderle
 Afsoon Ansari
 Trish Aragon
 Chris Augustine
 JoAnne Barry
 Viktor Bojilov
 Tina Buneta
 Ted DeRosa
 Jennifer Dye
 Eric Dymond
 Dan Elder
 Amber Feldman
 Michelle Geng
 Melissa Hemme
 Melissa Lineberger
 John Lynkiewicz
 Mark Mason
 Justin Mullins
 Jackie Perez
 Lisa Pine
 Kimberly Ramsey
 Richard Ryberg
 Kinzie Wallden
 Shawn West

 What’s next? In FY 2019, CDPS received a position dedicated to promoting the use of process improvement tools and leveraging the knowledge of this team. The Colorado Talent Challenge will continue next fiscal year, likely maintaining the same focus on Lean and process improvement. If you are interested in participating, please speak with your supervisor and be on the look-out for registration details.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

CBI Announces Updated Background Check Program

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is working to implement an updated program providing fingerprint-based criminal history background checks for employment and licensing purposes. Once implemented, the program will make it more convenient for applicants to obtain fingerprints by locating fingerprint services throughout the state. The new program will also increase efficiency and timeliness by transmitting fingerprints to law enforcement agencies electronically (instead of via a mailed hard copy). Processing time and rejections are also expected to decrease tremendously.

CBI is in the process of implementing the Colorado Applicant Background Services (CABS) program in response to Senate Bill 17-189, which allows “any third party approved by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take an applicant’s fingerprints for the purpose of obtaining a fingerprint-based criminal history record check.”  The CBI recently awarded two contracts allowing third-party vendors to print and submit non-criminal applicant fingerprints for the State. These vendor services will be located throughout the State, making it easier for applicants to submit prints at a location nearby rather than driving long distances.

The CABS program will be supervised by the CBI, abiding by all National and State security guidelines. Once the CABS program is in place and fully functioning, applicants who must provide fingerprints for background checks will do so through the CABS program, rather than going to their local law enforcement agency for fingerprinting services. Applicants will visit the vendor’s enrollment website to enroll and schedule an appointment with that vendor.

The CBI encourages all organizations who currently maintain non-criminal accounts with the CBI to utilize the CABS program upon implementation this fall. The estimated roll-out date for the CABS program is September 24, 2018.  The CBI anticipates incorporating a grace period to allow for an efficient transition from the current process to the CABS program process. Agencies who manage civilian applicants today for their organization already have established Colorado Non-Criminal Justice accounts with the CBI. Each of those accounts will be included within the CABS program database matrix of accounts that will be imported into the vendors' secure enrollment website.

Physical fingerprint cards will not be accepted thirty days after the CABS program roll-out. Beginning July 1, 2021 the State will not accept non-Law Enforcement and non-CABS submissions.

This program will only change the venue in which fingerprints are currently processed and transmitted to the CBI. The CABS program will not impact the way the results of the background checks are currently administered.  All background check results will continue to be provided to the respective agency accounts via the CBI’s Secure Document Delivery System (SDDS) as they do today.

During Fiscal Year 2017, approximately 200,000 individuals were fingerprinted in the state of Colorado for non-criminal purposes, and this number increases annually as legislation continues to mandate background checks for professions and positions of trust.

If you have any questions regarding the CABS program, please contact CABS Program Administrator Peggy Moore at 303-239-4329 or via email at

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Division of Criminal Justice Annual Awards 2018

The Division of Criminal Justice celebrated their annual employee awards on June 7, honoring the following individuals and teams:

Employee of the Year - Peg Flick
Peg Flick went beyond her normal job duties to help develop an Access database for the Office of Adult and Juvenile Justice Assistance (OAJJA). Prior to receiving Peg's help, OAJJA staff had to manually collect, enter and analyze quarterly juvenile holding data from approximately 220 law enforcement agencies across the state -- some 5,500 entries annually. Collecting the data, trying to read hand-written entries, and then organizing, reviewing, calculating and reporting on the data was extremely time-consuming. Peg developed an electronic form that automatically calculates certain data points to flag entries when a potential violation had occurred. Peg also worked to implement a solution to ensure the form worked for the city of Denver, which submits the greatest number of entries.

Innovation - Laurence Lucero

Laurence has helped make complex data sets easier to access and understand for the public through her innovative use of technology. Using the Office of Research and Statistics (ORS) web site and software called Tableau, Laurence has built informative web pages and created interactive, online data visualizations and tables. Two major dashboards that she created last year cover law enforcement contacts with students on school grounds and an analysis of race/ethnicity at major decision points (arrest, filing, disposition, sentence, etc.) by crime type.

Laurence frequently has ideas for new information to display on the ORS web site. In 2017 she began to expand the ORS dashboard on community corrections, drafted a dashboard of marijuana data (not yet posted), and continues to update the existing dashboard material that she originally developed. In addition, Laurence also developed a Tableau visualization for the OAJJA website on disproportionate minority contact, reflecting her collaborative, cross-unit work orientation.

Innovation - Michelle Geng

Michelle Geng is the Adult Standards and Community Notification Coordinator for the Sex
Offender Management Board (SOMB). One of the projects that Michelle tackled was updating the SOMB's Sexual History Packet, which is used as part of the treatment process and during polygraph tests to evaluate the offender's sexual history. The old packet could be difficult to understand and came across as judgmental and confrontational.

Michelle laid  the foundation for a more comprehensive, easy to understand, and non-confrontational questionnaire. The new packet focuses not only on problematic sexual behaviors but also on healthy sexual behaviors, which can be equally as important when addressing treatment needs of offenders. Michelle managed to write personal and probing questions in a matter-of-fact but non-accusatory manner. The packet is  intended to be filled out with the treatment provider, allowing the offender and therapist to begin  building a therapeutic relationship early on. Michelle's revisions allow for more comprehensive information collection, addressing more topics in greater details. The questions will also make it easier for polygraph examiners to generate more applicable questions and allow offenders to avoid bad results by discussing this information up-front. The new packet has been received well by professionals as well as offender advocates, both groups acknowledging the vast improvements.

Team Productivity - Human Trafficking Team (Maria Trujillo, Cate Bowman, and Brendan Davidson)
The Human Trafficking team within the Office for Victims Programs is a small but highly productive machine. They complete an enormous amount of work as the administrative staff to the Human Trafficking Council, as well as spearheading other initiatives outside of Council mandates.

With the help of the Council, the team created a Human Trafficking 101 training, a training for law enforcement and a training for service providers that assist human trafficking victims. They also launched Train the Trainer programs and successfully earned a grant to hire a part time Human Trafficking Trainer. Because of these efforts, the team trained more than 975 people and 49 facilitators. Brendan and former staffer Caree also translated the Human Trafficking 101 training into an online course on SABA.

In addition to their training efforts, the team also staffed the data and resource taskforce, a standards for housing taskforce, and a public awareness working group for the Council.  Finally, recognizing that there were other state agencies across the nation working in similar capacities, Maria and her team took the initiative to start a national compendium of state agencies working on Anti-Human Trafficking issues. The compendium has regular phone calls to discuss trends, issues, etc. in the field as well as an on-line library of resources that Brendan has helped to create and update.

Community Service Award - DCJ LSI Cohort 2 (Raechel Alderete, Lindsey Johnson, Shelley Siman, Diane Pasini-Hill, Anna Lopez)

Each and every day, employees at DCJ give dedicated service to the state of Colorado.  But there are some employees who take their service to the community outside of their work and some who bring community service to work.

On March 15, more than 100 individuals from across CDPS participated in a volunteer event for Project Angel Heart. The DCJ LSI team organized and advertised the event, coordinated supplies, and helped achieve the result in 300 bags being created! The event was done in manner that was fun, engaging, and supported cross-office and cross-division collaboration.

Monday, June 25, 2018

CDPS Customer Connection: Are You My Customer?

According to author Ken Miller, one of the “myths” of public sector work is that governments don’t have customers. After all, can a citizen choose where to get a driver’s license or a hunting permit? While government may not have customers in the same sense that the private sector has customers, every public employee provides a product or a service to a specific end user. Yes, public employees ultimately serve the taxpayers and citizens, but each of us also has at least one direct internal or external customer. Your direct customer may be the colleague sitting next to you, or it could be a teacher applying for a fingerprint-based background check. We each also have stakeholders and beneficiaries that indirectly benefit from our work, or have an interest in how the work is done.

As a public employee, how do you identify your direct customer?

  • A direct customer can generally be defined as a person or group that consumes the product or service provided. 
  • A stakeholder is a person or group that affects or is affected by the product or service provided, but that does not directly consume the product or service. 
  •  A beneficiary is a person or group that indirectly benefits from the product or service provided. Taxpayers, for example, are beneficiaries of every government service, though all taxpayers may not be direct customers of each product or service. 
Improving customer service means knowing exactly who it is we serve and the “product” we deliver.

During the “Hangout with Hilkey” earlier this month, we challenged CDPS employees to create customer lists. If you’ve created your customer list already, thank you! If you haven’t done so yet, there’s still time to take a few minutes to list your customers. All lists that are submitted to will be entered in a drawing for a prize in early July.

 From “An Organization Your Customers Understand,” by Robert Simons (2005), here’s a list of key questions to help you create or refine your customer list:

  • What services do you provide? By function? Touchpoint? 
  • What is the value of the interaction (quantitative or qualitative)? 
  • Who does your mission statement say that you serve? 
  • Who do your employees & colleagues think that you serve? 
  • Who do people outside of your organization think you serve? 
  • What individuals, groups does your organization directly affect through regular interactions? 
  • What behaviors are you able to affect, drive? 
  • What individuals, groups influence the way you provide your service /product? 
  • Who does not directly consume your service / product, but benefits? 

 At CDPS, FY2019 is the Year of the Customer, which means maintaining a customer focus in all that we do and soliciting and incorporating customer feedback to make continuous improvement. Throughout the year, we will be sharing customer service tools and tips and also highlighting examples of great customer service by CDPS members. If you have a customer service success story or lesson to share, we’d love to feature it here!

This article was written by Jana Locke, with reference and images from OSPB Performance Academy 2015.

Friday, June 8, 2018

By Margaret Ochoa, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Specialist, CSSRC

When the legislature tasked the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) to create an educational program to prevent juvenile sexting in 2017, the first concern of the Center was reach. The model needed to satisfy the mandate that juveniles who had been cited with a civil infraction under the new statute could access an educational program, regardless of where they lived within the State. Distance learning became the priority. Although the CSSRC staff enjoy being road warriors, this task was too large to meet statewide needs in person.

In an effort to emulate evidence-based learning design, the Center met with implementation experts from EPIC (the Evidence Based Practices in Implementation for Capacity resource center ) in DCJ. Friendly edits, constructive suggestions, and hard truths later, the course was ready for production, but online courses are expensive to produce, and the Center’s budget is frugal.

In stepped Jan Coffindaffer and Kristina Gavit from the Office of Professional Standards in CBI. That office develops national accreditation standards for the CBI; standardizes policies and training; conducts, reviews, and investigates complaints and allegations of misconduct; and reports on CBI statistics and inspections. It was the technical expertise of Kristina and Jan, together with their love of design and familiarity with Saba Publisher, that helped the Center’s ideas take flight. They worked tirelessly to ensure the product was operational, effective, engaging and attractive.

With the course visual production underway, the Center needed to record the audio. Major Jeff Goodwin, who has been the voice of the Center’s online work since its inception, was in between and working two jobs due to his recent promotion. Along came Trooper Josh Lewis, CSP’s Public Information Officer in charge of social media, who seamlessly picked up where Major Goodwin left off, rendering a flawless performance. Trooper Brady Kobus agreed to voice the role of a youth who had submitted an impact statement. That was a tall order, given the sensitive nature of the topic.
This course, which is unusual for the Center in that its audience is juveniles rather than the adults who serve them, needed an additional element. In an effort to fully engage adolescent girls as well as boys, the Center sought additional voice-over talent. Patricia Billinger, Public Information Officer for DPS, lent her voice to the project to keep costs down.

The School Safety Resource Center received the benefit of the generosity of our partners at CBI, CSP, DCJ, and EDO in a collaborative effort to serve Colorado’s youth. We are grateful to all of you for your efforts in making the project a reality while protecting our budget. The course is tangible evidence that our divisions take the Department’s motto “Safer Together” to heart.

To view the final product, please visit the CSSRC training web site or watch the videos on this YouTube playlist.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

CDPS Graduates Second Cohort of Leadership Strategies Institute

CDPS celebrated the graduation of the second Leadership Strategies Institute (LSI) cohort on May 3. 2018. Participation in the LSI is not for the faint-of-heart. All members of the cohort worked in Emergenetics-based teams and taught sessions to their LSI colleagues during the course of the year; they interviewed a leader, studied leadership books, participated in vigorous discussion developed solutions for challenges within their divisions and across the department.

Networking with members of other divisions and the value of new-formed relationships was a highlight again for participants of this year’s institute.

“I assumed that I would pick up pointers [during the LSI] but I initially thought that because I have been a leader in some form in private business for longer than most of our cohort had been alive, LSI would be a sharpening of already existing skills.  I was mistaken.  It ​not only presented new concepts, but more importantly for me made me face myself and others in situations that can usually be avoided as a manager.  I had to be myself," said Cohort 2 member David Woodward. "I went into LSI wondering how I would fair with a room full of successful, powerful, and confident millennials.  What I learned was that while they were all of that, they were also accepting, compassionate, and interested in my story too ... while my LSI diploma is so very valuable to me and will have a prominent place in my work space, above it will be the picture of the people I met at LSI and deeply care about.”​

The 2017-18 LSI Design Team included: Jana Bates, Patricia Billinger, Tyler Campbell, Amanda Conant, Ty Crocker, Melissa Lineberger, Jana Locke, Christian Mohr, Karyn Murphy, Lisa Pine, Kevin Rants and Beth Roome.

"It is an honor and a privilege to work with an amazing team that designs institute sessions, and members of our organization who take time and energy from their year to participate as part of the cohort," said Beth Roome, who leads the Design Team for the LSI.

Please join us in congratulating the 2017-2018 LSI graduates:
Chris Schaefer CBI
Emily Philip CBI
Ted DeRosa CBI
Tammi Krebs CBI
Jan Coffindaffer CBI
Shanley Brezen CBI
Traci Schwartzbauer CBI
Sarah Allen CSP
Jeffrey Chmielewski CSP
Helena Shea CSP
Jamie Colyer CSP
Seth Soukup CSP
Tanner Hutt DFPC
Joellen Thiel DFPC
Adam Trojanowski DFPC
David Woodward DFPC
Melissa Lineberger DFPC
Raechel Alderete DCJ
Diane Pasini-Hill DCJ
Shelley Siman DCJ
Anna Lopez DCJ
Lindsey Johnson DCJ
Electra Bustle DHSEM
Denise Popish DHSEM
Kristina Bomba DHSEM
Perry Boydstun DHSEM
Jen Waters DHSEM
Kellie Dunlap DHSEM
Devon Rhoads DHSEM
Monica Bagchi EDO
Dean McDaniel EDO
Kevin Rants EDO
Ruth Strauss EDO
Bobbie Mooney EDO

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Trooper Josh Lewis Honored for Public Service

As designated by U.S. Congress,the first week of May is Public Service Recognition Week – time set aside to honor public employees and to educate the public about the many ways government workers make life better for all Americans.

To celebrate the important contributions of State employees, the Governor’s Office and the Department of Personnel & Administration (DPA) hosted a special event on May 11 to honor employees who most exemplify the significant and invaluable contributions public servants make to the quality of life in our state. Honorees demonstrate superior service to the people of Colorado through the three E’s: Efficient, Effective and Elegant.
CDPS Director Stan Hilkey (right) joins Lewis at the
Public Service Recognition Week award ceremony.

Each department in the executive branch selected one employee to honor at the event. The Colorado Department of Public Safety selected Trooper Josh Lewis for the honor in 2018. Trooper Lewis was chosen because of the outstanding work he performs on social media. He connects with the public in a way that educates, informs, encourages safety behaviors, fosters trust, and strengthens the relationship between the State Patrol and the people we serve.

Trooper Josh Lewis has been a member of the Colorado Strate Patrol Public Affairs section for more than five years and recently became an integral part of the agency’s newly developed social media campaign. Trooper Lewis serves as the point of contact for the CSP Facebook and Twitter accounts. Due his efforts, the Patrol has more than 87,400 Facebook followers and 21,000 Twitter followers. Trp. Lewis not only stays on top of the trends that will bolster followers, he also honed his video skills and began producing instructional videos for the public. His Facebook Live messages, which share vital safety information in a fun and informative way, have earned several million views and drive large amounts of traffic to State Patrol social media platforms. Trooper Lewis’s work with social media gives the Colorado State Patrol a positive image while engaging the public in public safety awareness and education.

Lewis pauses to take a selfie with Governor Hickenlooper.
The Trooper's social media personality has built trust and rapport with the public.

We would also like to take a moment to congratulate the other CDPS employees who were nominated by their peers or leaders:

Karyn Murphy (Executive Director's Office) 
As Executive Assistant to Deputy Director Bec Spiess, Karyn provides exceptional internal service but also interfaces frequently with the businesses and partners CDPS works with.

Alice Huyler (Compliance and Professional Standards)
Alice provides exemplary service to 1033 and 1122 law enforcement agencies across Colorado, going beyond mere oversight to provide extensive education, outreach, and preventive efforts.

Donna Rosen (Finance) 
Donna is constantly on the phone with fire vendors, answering questions and skillfully resolving billing issues. She problem-solves fire billing concerns to ensure that fire departments, vendors and subcontractors get paid while protecting the interests of our taxpayers.

Dan Volz (CBI)
InstaCheck Agent In Charge Dan Volz made enormous efforts to minimize the impact of the massive hail storm last May on InstaCheck’s public services. In addition to that, he has led the way on a number of initiatives that truly made a difference, including creating a career development program in InstaCheck and overseeing the development of a new, improved  billing system.

Justine Williams (DHSEM)
Justine developed a comprehensive, division-wide sub-recipients monitoring program that promotes elegant and timely customer service. She adeptly rallied her team to build a relationship with sub-recipients and provide them with education, training, and best practices so they can meet all the requirements of the grant program. Her efforts helped support local efforts to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to and recover from all-hazards events with an overarching goal of protecting the citizens, visitors, and communities of Colorado. She planned, developed, implemented and managed a program that received high remarks from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an example of what an effective monitoring program should be.