Granby PD welcomes new officer, recognizes distinguished service, bids farewell to 2
Granby’s Police Department experienced a bit of a watershed moment Tuesday night as the department swore-in a new officer, bid farewell to two others, and recognized the distinguished service of David Miller and Jeff Heitzenrater.
Tuesday night’s ceremonial proceedings for the Granby Police Department occurred during the Granby Board of Trustees meeting. The proceedings were officially listed on the board’s agenda as oath of office ceremony for the department’s newest officer, Jake Fisher. The evening event began with a recognition ceremony for all of Granby’s officers; five in total including the department’s chief, as well the department’s administrative sergeant and the spouses of all the department’s employees and their immediate family.
Following the recognition ceremony Granby Town Clerk Deb Hess administered the oath of office to Fisher. Fisher recently completed his police academy training in Adams County and according to Granby Police Chief Jim Kraker has past experience working in the Grand County Jail. Fisher was brought onto the Granby Police force earlier this year for some field training prior to his completion of police academy.
While Granby has brought on other officers in the past several years Fisher’s swearing in ceremony was of particular import as it marks the beginning of his career as a law enforcement officer. Following Fisher’s swearing in ceremony Chief Kraker presented officers David Miller and Jeff Heitzenrater with commendations for distinguished service.
Miller’s distinguished service commendation was related to a months long effort Miller undertook to assist a troubled young man about whom local law enforcement agencies received repeated calls for assistance and response. The commendation letter from Kraker notes that local dispatch received repeated calls that the young man was knocking on doors in the community asking for food and a “warm place to sleep” and that the young man had numerous interactions with law enforcement related to incidents involving trespassing and shoplifting among others.
After months of “dedicated work” Miller was able to reconnect the young man with his biological father, who lived in southern Colorado, even going so far as driving the teen to his father’s residence across the state. The commendation letter notes that the young man is now enrolled in an alternative high school program and that he is scheduled graduate in 2019. The letter further notes that the young man has had no documented criminal incidents since entering the program.
“The young man’s father summed this up best as I spoke to him in November,” the commendation letter reads. “Regarding his son, he stated, ‘Officer Miller saved his life. None of this would have happened if he hadn’t tried.”
Heitzenrater’s distinguished service award was related to an incident that happened on Oct. 21 this year and involved a suicidal subject. On that night Heitzenrater responded to the Fraser area to assist other law enforcement agencies on a report of a suicidal subject carrying a firearm. Further reports indicated the male subject had made threat to commit suicide by cop.
Heitzenrater and Grand County Sheriff’s Deputy Luke McDonald set up a perimeter on Grand County Road 8, near the location the male subject was last seen. Within minutes a man, who was armed with a handgun, exited a nearby wooded area and began approaching Heitzenrater and McDonald. Despite commands to stop the male party continued towards the two officers. Heitzenrater employed one of the department’s less lethal weapons systems in an effort to subdue the subject without killing him.
Heitzenrater was able to successfully strike the advancing subject with the less lethal round, causing him to drop the handgun he was carrying. Deputy McDonald then finished subduing the subject with his stun gun.
“Both officers showed incredible restraint and courage as they were approached by a known armed person,” reads the commendation letter for Heitzenrater. “Corporal Heitzenrater’s calm and ultimately effective deployment of the less lethal weapon system clearly saved the officers involved from having to deploy lethal means to stop the male subject’s clear attempt to provoke a lethal response.”
Also announced Tuesday night was the impending departure of two of Granby’s officers. David Miller will soon be transitioning to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office after spending six years with the Granby PD. Officer Craig Parten, who has led the department’s school resource officer program for the past two year, also announced his upcoming retirement. Parten, whose career in law enforcement stretches back to 1976, informed the town board that he would be officially retiring next week before moving south to warmer weather in Texas.
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The Grand County Sheriff’s Office fielded 256 calls from July 25-31 while dispatchers answered 570 calls for all first-responder agencies in the county.