University Park Police Chief Gary Adams is in Colorado today, applying for the top cop’s job in the city of Pueblo.
Adams and five other candidates have a busy schedule. After a round of interviews this morning with “individuals from all ranks,” they were scheduled to appear at the Pueblo Convention Center for a public “meet and greet” this evening, said Marisa Walker, Pueblo’s director of human resources.
Adams, who has led the University Park Police Department since 2000, did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment Tuesday. But University Park City Manager Bob Livingston said Wednesday that he would hate to lose Adams.
“He’s done an excellent job for us,” Livingston said. “In the last 10 years, he’s really turned this department around.”
Under Adams’ leadership, the UPPD was accredited for the first time by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies in 2004. This year, the department was named a “flagship agency” by the commission.
The UPPD has also grown since Adams took over, per statistics provided by city spokesman Steve Mace. In 2000, University Park had 33 sworn officers; today, it has 39. Part of that increase can be attributed to the establishment of a three-officer traffic division in 2007. The city also has eight civilian dispatchers, twice the number it had in 2000.
The Pueblo Police Department has been led by Jim Billings for a dozen years, and he’s been a cop in the city of 100,000 residents for more than 30 years. But he’s retiring in February, and Adams is one of the five final candidates bidding to replace him. The others are:
- Jay Coons, a captain in the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office
- Michael Denney, assistant chief of the Mesa (Arizona) Police Department
- Andrew McLachlan, deputy chief of the Pueblo Police Department
- Robert Thomas Jr., chief of the Delta (Colorado) Police Department
- Rodney Walker, deputy chief of the Colorado Springs Police Department