FOUNTAIN, CO — Fountain Police Chief Chris Heberer announced his retirement Tuesday during a Fountain City Council meeting.
Heberer announced his retirement will go into effect June 30th, 2023. News5 has since confirmed that Chief Heberer's retirement went into effect immediately, a spokesperson with the department said this was done to make the transition for Chief Cristiani easier.
Heberer's retirement ends a 29-year stint in government service as a military member and chief law enforcement executive. This includes serving the City of Fountain as Chief of Police and Public Safety Director for the last 8 and a half years.
Heberer plans to continue to serve the City of Fountain as the Fountain Public Safety Director.
In a Facebook post on the city's website, Heberer stated,
I had two main goals when I came here in 2015; leave the Public Safety Department better than I found it and train and prepare someone on my staff to take over for me when I chose to leave. I would like to list some of the accomplishments that are directly contributed to the stellar support we have received from our citizens, both Mayors Ortega and Thompson, our outstanding City Council, Scott Trainor, Todd Evans, City of Fountain staff, District 8 Superintendent, Dr. Keith Owen, Dr. Montina Romero, Joe Fabey, our city co-workers, PPIR owners and staff, and most importantly the almost 110 civilian and sworn members of the Fountain Public Safety department. Our Police, Fire, EMS, and civilian support staff have served our citizens with great compassion, dedication, and care throughout my time here. I am proud of each one of you, we are all in debt for your dedicated year-round 24-hour-a-day service for our protection and safety. You will always be true heroes in my eyes, and I am a much better person today because of you! Thank you.
Heberer went on to list the accomplishments that the Fountain Police Department has achieved under his leadership, like greatly expanding all communications through numerous platforms to the community under Public Information Officer Lisa Schneider’s direct leadership, to merging the dispatch centers with El Paso County, saving the taxpayers money, to name a few.
The City of Fountain announced in a Facebook post Wednesday that Commander Mark Cristiani would be replacing Chief Heberer.
Commander Cristiani was appointed after he was nominated by Todd Scott, the City Manager of Fountain. Tuesday evening the Fountain City Council approved the nomination. According to the City, Cristiani was sworn in on Tuesday evening.
Cristiani has been working with the Fountain Police Department since 2015 when he was hired as a patrol officer.
Below is a statement from Chief Cristiani:
I am honored and blessed to have been appointed as the Chief of Police for the City of Fountain last night on May 9th, 2023. I look forward to serving the citizens of Fountain that live in our city and those traveling through our city every day. Policing in this country is difficult but we are committed to a diverse and transparent department that will operate within the constitution and the law. We will continue to treat all people with equality, dignity, and the respect they deserve. We look forward to the continued collaborative relationship we have with our law enforcement and military partners across this region as public safety is a regional effort and we cannot operate alone. We look forward to the future relationship with District 8 and Fort Carson as we embark on staffing their schools with six new Fountain Police officers working on the military base. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not thank outgoing Chief Christopher Heberer for his tremendous leadership and guidance over the past eight years. He has been and will continue to be an asset to this region for both law enforcement and military, and we look forward to what he will do next. We thank you for your dedicated service to your country and to the citizens of Fountain and we wish you and your family all the best. I look forward to the future and I appreciate the support of the Fountain Police Department.
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