Between Wheat Ridge and Lakewood Police Citizens Can Feel Safe


Posted Sat, Mar 9, 2013

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — The beginning of the month, is the end of the week for Officer Brian Cook of the Wheat Ridge Police Department. Cook works the 3 p.m. – 1 a.m. swing shift four days a week.

“We all work 10 hour shifts for four days and have three days off,” Cook says. “All of your work is due by your Friday whether it really is a Friday or not.” Officer Cook.

All the television shows that depict Police Departments as bustling epicenters of flurried activity committed to solving crime in a 44 minute span of time are sorely mistaken.

Officer Cook works to fill out police reports on the current case he is working on: an investigation follow-up on stolen firearms involving minors. Making calls, taking notes and using social networking sites as an investigation tool takes up much of Cook’s time.

The Wheat Ridge and Lakewood police department badges.

The Wheat Ridge and Lakewood Police Department badges.


The Wheat Ridge Police Department has 72 officers that cover four different beats of the nine square mile town. Wheat Ridge officers patrol, check security, serve warrants, check vehicles/license plates, and while not required to stay in their beat, the minimal supervision they have allows them to focus on backing each other up in potentially dangerous situations and keeping citizens safe.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Lakewood, the city to the south of Wheat Ridge, also has an impressive police force. Agent Charles “Chaz” Orrice of the Lakewood Police Department, has been working for nearly six years in the force of 200 plus agents and detectives that Lakewood has to keep its’ 144,000 citizens safe. Lakewood has two sectors and 12 beats (areas of focus) that have full time police coverage and other task forces, like Orrice’s that are considered the “fill in team.”

“I like working on Colfax [Avenue] because there’s always stuff to do,” Orrice said.

In a four hour period, Orrice responded to a call of a woman who suspected she was being followed by armed men, assisted in a drug task force operation, helped a homeless man retrieve his stolen belongings from a motel, made two arrests regarding a motel room paid for with a stolen credit card, and ran countless license plates to be certain the cars were registered and not stolen. Patrolling on Colfax keeps Orrice and other agents busy.

Orrice said that he will get about five to 10 calls a night, while Cook said that Wheat Ridge gets anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 calls a month. With Wheat Ridge having more crime per capita than Denver, it is not surprising Cook receives so many calls.

Both policemen, while responding to calls, were very professional, kept calm demeanors, and whether they were dealing with an enraged homeless man or a child who was getting checked on regarding their welfare, they were very patient and kind.

Understanding the police are out there to keep citizens safe, to pursue justice and find the truth in these two cities can help citizens feel secure. Policemen like agent Orrice and Cook are out there right now keeping the streets protected from people who wish to do harm and aren’t always out there to give the average American a speeding ticket.

“Whenever someone sees me, they slow me down when I’m just like them, I’m trying to get somewhere,” Orrice said.

The Lakewood Police Department is located:

445 S Allison Pkwy
Lakewood, CO 80226
Phone: 303-987-7111
Emergencies Dial 91

The Wheat Ridge Police Department is located:

7500 W. 29th Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Phone: 303-237-2220
Emergencies Dial 911

About Grace Holton

Grace Holton is a Broadcast Journalism Major at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

View all posts by Grace Holton

10 Responses to “Between Wheat Ridge and Lakewood Police Citizens Can Feel Safe”

  1. Davy Says:

    Nicely written story. Almost feels like the reader is with you on your story. Like your ending quote.


  2. Jen Sasser Says:

    Good story! A lot of information and an interesting read!


  3. Stephanie Alderton Says:

    I like your quotes, and would have liked to see more of them. I’m curious about “using social networking sites as an investigation tool.”


  4. Stephanie V. Coleman Says:

    I like the contrasting stories for the different areas. Great idea to add to your story.


  5. Ted Says:

    I don’t agree with your title or your bias that police presence equates to safety. But the information you used for your article is organized and reads well. Ending with a quote is always a solid finish.


  6. J.R. Johnson Says:

    Very well paced story. Kept my attention all the way through.


  7. Andrew Says:

    It’s cool that you got to go on all of those calls, would have been interesting to see the interactions.


  8. Maureen Says:

    well written story. good job.


  9. Emily Pennetti Says:

    Great story! interesting to see how districts differ so much


  10. A A Says:

    Nice insight to the officer’s work and shifts.


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