Message from Wheat Ridge Police Chief Chris Murtha:
The foundation of the Wheat Ridge Police Department is Relationship-Based Policing. Normally, you read about an agency’s Community Policing philosophy and how that is the basis for all work done in the community. Relationship-Based Policing builds on the foundation of Community Policing and advances the idea to the logical next phase: bringing all stakeholders together whenever a problem is identified. Once the problem is solved together, we leave the interaction with a newfound relationship and an open line of communication.
Relationship-Based Policing is rooted in the idea that the community and the police should be together at every opportunity, building trust and familiarity. In other words, “the police are the public, and the public are the police” - Sir Robert Peel’s Principles of Law Enforcement. This is not a new idea, but it is certainly one that we should never stop striving to implement.
Failures in policing come when the police and the community are separated and communication, collaboration, and trust are lessened. We have seen that those agencies that “police the community” are at risk. Agencies that police with the community are better positioned to then serve the community. In Wheat Ridge, Relationship-Based Policing is not just an empty phrase but rather the way we approach this job and our community every day.
Wheat Ridge has made great progress in solving some of the long-term issues that were presented to me when I began as chief here in 2020. With an all-government approach we have been able to work on issues of concern around I-70 and Kipling, massage parlors, noise complaints, and criminal activity in and around our hotels. Some of these are still a work in progress but I know we have made great strides. Wheat Ridge is a safe place to live, work, and transit. There are solutions and they take time, so they might not be immediate and obvious, but these efforts are continuously advancing. Wheat Ridge is no longer a hidden gem; the perceptions surrounding our community are only getting better.
The past several years have been challenging. The women and men of the Wheat Ridge Police Department have met those challenges. They show up each day ready to work hard for this community. They are well trained, motivated, ethical, and compassionate. They reflect the community for which they serve. They will always stand to protect those who need protection, they will help those who need help, and they will serve with honor and distinction. The Wheat Ridge Police Department is proud to serve you and always strives to exceed expectations. The Wheat Ridge Police Department represents everything that is good about policing, and we will continue to maintain the highest standards in this noble profession.