Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Commerce City Police Chief announces retirement

COMMERCE CITY, COLO. – Police Chief Phil Baca informed city management he will retire from his position effective Jan. 2, 2012. A 34-year veteran of law enforcement, Baca served as chief for four years.

“I want to thank Chief Baca for his years of service to Commerce City and his commitment to building a Quality Community for a Lifetime,” said Brian McBroom, interim city manager. “During his tenure, Chief Baca implemented a strategic plan that consistently reduced crime and improved community relationships. This is a testament to his belief in the concept of community policing and improving accountability at all levels of the organization.”

Under Baca’s leadership, the police department created a new crime prevention unit, implemented a north-area substation, and secured funding for a new bicycle officer program. Baca also increased the department’s focus on youth prevention and outreach activities, partnering with the Parks & Recreation Department to secure grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for programs such as the city’s first-ever police camp and Cops vs. Kids athletics. He formed the Chief’s Youth Advisory Committee to understand the concerns and needs of area youth and co-organized the city’s first Cultural Diversity Summit.

“I am proud to have served the residents and businesses of Commerce City in a manner consistent with my beliefs and values,” said Baca. “My entire professional life has been committed to practicing and enforcing law. The city has made tremendous strides during my time as chief and I look forward to seeing further improvement and growth from this department in the future.”

A former division chief with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and lieutenant with the Denver Police Department, Baca plans to spend more time with his family, travel and hasn’t ruled out taking on future law enforcement opportunities.

McBroom stated ongoing business operations will be overseen by Lieutenant Chuck Saunier, who will serve as acting chief of police, reporting directly to the interim city manager. This appointment will be brought to city council on Monday evening for approval.

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