This post is part of our ongoing #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday blog series.
Guest blogger: Katie Berland, Community Relations Coordinator, Grand Junction, Colorado, Police Department
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” –Albert Pike
The Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD) 2015 Portrait Series, the project began with a simple conversation that turned into something more. Nathan Lopez, the photographer behind the series, wondered: does anyone thank the power lineman after the electricity comes back on after a storm? From there, his decided to show the community that the men and women who serve them do so for a reason. They do it out of the goodness in their hearts.
The Grand Junction Police Department is located in the heart of Western Colorado and is home to gorgeous mountain views and hard working men and women—just like those at the GJPD. The GJPD prides itself on a higher standard of policing and proudly serves the community. These portraits capture the reason why our officers get up in the morning, put on the badge, and walk the thin blue line every day—not because they have to, but because it’s what they are called to do.
Officer Suzette Freidenberger has never known a time in her life that she didn’t want to be a police officer. “Being a police officer is in my blood, my family has been in law enforcement for generations,” said Officer Freidenberger. She considers the GJPD to be her family and proudly wears her badge and protects her community with honor.
“This is what I was meant to do, and this is what I love to do,” said Officer Zac McCullough. Officer McCullough is a three-year veteran to the Grand Junction Police Department. For Zac, he believes in leaving a positive impact, shifting preconceived notions, and supporting both his work community and the community of Grand Junction.
Officer Isaac Gallegos remembers where he was on September 11, 2001. That day would change him and shift his ideals. That day gave him a new understanding of “right and wrong” and “good and evil.” “I wanted to do something about it,” said Officer Gallegos. He decided to become a police officer. Isaac believes the children of the community are the future. He proudly advocates and fights for their rights and works to make his community a better place. He said, “Anyone can destroy something, but it is a gift to be able to change a life for the better.”
Deputy Chief, Michael Nordine, has known what he wanted to do in life since he was in the 9th grade. A 32-year veteran of the GJPD, he still finds purpose, drive and passion for what he does. Deputy Chief Nordine is an advocate for his community and approaches his line of work as a “people business.” He knows the importance of building relationships on an individual level and puts emphasis on strengthening the community. Deputy Chief Nordine has always known it was his place to serve the public and support those who do the same.
Police Service Technician, Cara Pellowski, has 14 years of law enforcement under her belt—10 of them with the Grand Junction Police Department. PST Pellowski has never been a sworn officer, though she proudly wears her badge in support of the community and her department. Cara is a proud mother, dog owner, and partner to her boyfriend. She has a drive to push herself to grow as a woman and a professional, that drive is the same reason she puts on her badge every morning.