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Newest Colorado Springs police officers discuss reconnecting with community following protests


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado Springs Police Department got a little bit bigger this week as it celebrated the new set of recruits graduating from the academy.

On Tuesday, 30 recruits graduated from the police academy and became police officers. It was a smaller class size than what Lt. Korey Hutchison, the director of the academy, usually sees.

"Our last class was 68 and that was the largest that we ever started," Hutchison says. "Our typical size is anywhere from 35 to 45."

COVID-19 changed the way these recruits were trained, but that wasn't the only change these future officers witnessed.

Violent riots against police brutality sparked across the country including in Colorado Springs. It led to a new, sweeping statewide police reform bill that changed how law enforcement operates. It also led to the creation of a police oversight commission in the Springs.

While no recruits dropped out because of the change, Hutchison says it did affect them. "We had several conversations with them throughout the academy while some of the protests were going on," Hutchison says, "And we talked to them about how important it was to have quality people on the police force."

However, Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell said the social outcries already affected his department's recruiting.

"We are already hearing from people that we originally started talking to about going into law enforcement saying, 'I don't want to do this,'" Mikesell said, adding that it's not only happening with recruits. "Then you are also seeing large groups of those that were ready for retirement dropping their papers saying hey I'm not going to continue with dealing with this."

However, these new officers want to show residents there are those who genuinely care about their communities.

"I mean everybody has their First Amendment rights and they can feel and believe how they choose," William Parsons, one of the graduates, said. "We hope that we can change their opinion of police."

Graduate Justin Cropper agreed. "The reason why I wanted to join was just to show people, it's not always going to be that way," Cropper says. "We care about the community the police officers, we care and we want to do right by you."

These officers told us they still have a few weeks of training left, but will start their patrols by the end of September.

Colorado Springs / State & Regional News

Chase Golightly

Chase is a reporter and an anchor for our weekend evening newscasts. Learn more about Chase here.



  1. Now if someone would just get a hammer and a chisel and knock that piece of old useless concrete called Ninski off the force, there’s a chance CSPD could experience a fresh breath of air. Old school old farts like Ninski are exactly what needs to be pushed out of a modern growing city like the Springs. His belief that the police force’s business is none of the citizens’ business is so outrageously outdated-I think he forgot what funds his paycheck.
    Time to retire Ninski.
    Hang it up and go fishing. In Mayberry RFD-maybe you can guard the Winn Dixie part-time.

  2. 30% will be gone within 5 years! “We want to connect with the community” but after a few years of BS they’ll have had enough!

  3. “However, Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell said the social outcries already affected his department’s recruiting. “We are already hearing from people that we originally started talking to about going into law enforcement saying, ‘I don’t want to do this.'” Mikesell said it’s not only happening with recruits. “Then you are also seeing large groups of those that were ready for retirement dropping their papers saying hey I’m not going to continue with dealing with this,” Mikesell said.”

    If the job no longer appeals to the public then perhaps all agencies need to reconsider that the system is not working and fix it. This is only supported further by losing tenured LEO’s that are unwilling to change and adapt to what the communities want from their local LEA’s.

    We as a community should want LEO’s that want to do Law Enforcement righteously. When everyone can see that the cost of placing yourself in danger every shift, does not equate to the paltry salaries most LEO’s make. I’m not even discussing having to deal with the politics of working for a Sheriff’s Office during an election year, or how other elected officials attempt to manage a LEA like it is a revenue generating wing of the government, it was never meant to be this. The same tenured cadre of leadership that is unwilling to adapt to what their communities demand from them only further burden this problem. Problems like inadequate training that doesn’t meet what is written in that same agencies policies and procedures because of the cost of ammunition; having enough personnel to actually facilitate running enough 24/7/365 line officers with enough shift supervisors to adequately cover the entire county with proper back-up / cover units; Battle Fatigue – Having to pull a full 12-hour shift, then have to stay on shift for a court trial that same day, just to pull another shift that night with little to no sleep, hoping the court case didn’t go 2 days; the list goes on and on.

    Quite frankly, after observing how LEA’s operate, I wouldn’t want to join back up and do this again. I am quite open and candid when I speak to people on a one-on-one basis about how different LE really operates, instead of what the public’s perspective of how they should operate is. Government agencies are just like any corporation. Their cadre of supervisors and elected officials have their own agenda and they only push that agenda. Their line officers believe they know what they are doing after becoming POST certified and FTO’d. So the cadre and the line officers are often on completely different waves and often working against one another.

    The problem is when the agencies Policies and Procedures advise a training will occur every quarter, but they only physically train every year, the line officer inquires about how, if a shooting did occur, they would pull my training records, how would the agency respond. Obviously the training records don’t match the requirements listed in the P&P. But this is known by the cadre of supervision as they are who schedules the training’s for the year. Will the agency attempt to blame the officer if the shooting went bad. Does the training supplied by the agency match the training required in the P&P to remain proficient, No. But the agency will not take blame or fault, because this would open them to a proverbial slew of vicariously liable lawsuits and no cadre supervisor or elected official want to be sued, so they leave the officer out there alone to defend his actions, without the agencies support. Mind you all the while this is going on, no one in the public is aware this even occurs.

    Certain agencies had good LEO’s for a long time, but when enough of the bad LEO’s got promoted and the good ones got passed over time and again, those good officers have a tendency to feel unwanted and leave for a different career. Which is quite unfortunate because these good LEO’s were doing the job legitimately with knowing their pay was sub-par because of one reason, they felt they were making a difference in the community they worked within. Once the luster wears off and these new officers become acutely aware of these problems most leave. As stated above within 5 years, the rest either continue trying to make a difference until they retire knowing they will never promote and be salary capped, or buy-in entirely to the “Good ol’ boys” club that is ran by the cadre of supervisors, get promoted and not be salary capped, then the cycle is just repeated again and again.

    1. Oh BOO HOO….. they made their beds now they gotta lay in them. If they had been “transparent” when they said they would maybe things would be different.

  4. The only people that have problems with the police are criminals or sympathizers. The majority of the community stands with the police. Tired of capitulation and the pandering to scumbags that should be struck down everytime.
    Back the blue
    All lives matter

  5. Must be a bunch of losers to choose law enforcement as a career in todays atmosphere of police disrespect and hatred.

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