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Jan 27, 2011 10:11 AM by Bea Karnes

Former Springs Police Chief interim Chief in Pueblo

Former Colorado Springs Police Luis Velez has been named interim Police Chief in Pueblo, as the city studies its personnel requirements.

Here is the complete announcement from the City of Pueblo:

The City of Pueblo is pleased to announce the appointment of Luis Velez as Interim Chief of Police effective February 16, 2011, for an indefinite term. Velez brings both extensive law enforcement and public administration leadership experience to the job. Velez will assume the position following the retirement of Chief James W. Billings, Jr. and the decision of City Manager Jerry Pacheco to temporarily suspend the Police Chief recruitment process to conduct an organizational study of the Pueblo Police Department, which is currently in progress.

City Manager Jerry Pacheco states, "Luis Velez can provide the leadership continuity we need to carry on the important work of the department in service to the Pueblo community. His background, experience, and dedication to public service are exemplary. I look forward to his contributions and perspective as we continue the process of clarifying our challenges, successes and opportunities for change."

Luis Velez' thirty-one year policing career culminated with his appointment to the Police Chief position in Colorado Springs in 2002, in which capacity he served for over four years before retiring to pursue other interests. Velez went on to become the Vice President of Education for Colorado Technical University until late 2010. Fluent in Spanish, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado and a Doctor of Management degree from Colorado Technical University. Velez is a graduate of both the FBI National Academy and FBI Executive Institute, was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) board in 2004, and was the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs Public Administrator of the Year in 2006. Velez was a pioneer in the creation of the Gang Intervention Network (GangNet) and received numerous commendations for his innovative police work. He is a current member of the El Pomar Foundation's Hispanic Advisory Council, Emerging Leader Program, and Multi-cultural Youth Leadership initiative.

Chief Billings offers his support for the selection by stating, "I have known Lou Velez for several years and I have a great deal of respect for him. The members of the Police Department, as well as the community at large, will find him knowledgeable, approachable, and professional. His selection as the Interim Chief should facilitate a smooth transition in the process to appoint the new Chief of Police."

The organizational study of the Pueblo Police Department is anticipated to conclude later this spring at which time City Manager Pacheco will determine next steps in identifying a permanent Police Chief.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the City Manager's Office at (719) 553-2655.

THE CITY OF PUEBLO IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER

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