MONTE VISTA - John Rosecrans was appointed Chief of the Monte Vista Police Department in Sept. 2017. Many in the community are sad to see him leave after two and half years of dedicated service and say he will be missed. Monte Vista resident and active member of neighborhood watch, and coffee with a cop, Margo Alexander shared, “What I totally appreciated about him was he had his heart in this city. He worked very hard to make this the best place possible. With getting his police force in shape with the classes, the morale, and how to perform their duty. He was a leader. He had all these wonderful visions of things to do and followed through on a lot of them for the benefit of the town.” Alexander also shared how much she appreciated the time he gave to the community saying, “He was always polite. Always had a minute to talk to you. He was just one of these really good people that you treasure to have known. And being in neighborhood watch for most of the meetings, he gave his time above and beyond the call of duty.”
Calvary Baptist pastor Bob Galey who was Rosecrans’s pastor during his time in Monte Vista shared, “I think he was a man full of integrity. I think he inspired professionalism among the police department. I think he made the community feel better about their community just because of the things that he did and the arrests that he made. The whole time he was here, I don’t think he did anything but improve Monte Vista.” Galey also served on Rosecrans’ advisory committee. Galey explained that Rosecrans formed the committee with members from all over the community to give him feedback on goals that they thought were most important to the community and input on how to implement those plans. The board also helped with finding funding for different police related projects. “In his opinion, in order to best serve the community he wanted a community board that would help him look at grants and other decisions and so forth and some of the bigger items like the canine unit that there is no city budget for. The advisory board was there to try and get grant money to raise funds, and to go to different events and provide awareness to the community that these things existed. Of course when we got the dogs, and when we got the canine modification to the vehicle, it really did change the drug scene in Monte Vista,” said Galey.
Margaret Hurd who serves as the chairman on a special canine advisory council set up by Chief Rosecrans commented, “He was a man of integrity. I think there’s a difference in the word integrity and honesty but he was both. He was very humble, highly intelligent and a very good leader. His men spoke highly of him. He was very involved in the community. In neighborhood watch, coffee with a cop, and speaking to different service organizations.”
“I think John Rosecrans was a huge part of why this community has become safer. I feel he had great integrity and cared about the community,” stated Monte Vista Mayor Dale Becker.
During his time as police chief, Rosecrans introduced Monte Vista to the nationally recognized community-policing event called “Coffee with a Cop.” The community building event happened the first Wednesday of every month at Rain Brews restaurant. It was used as an opportunity for the police department to build relationships with the people they protect, discussing issues and having conversations over cups of coffee. Rosecrans also started the celebration of National Night Out in Monte Vista. Although the event has been happening for years in other places all over the country, he introduced it in Monte Vista as a way to bring neighbors and law-enforcement together.
Before starting his career in Law Enforcement, Chief Rosecrans served five years in the United States Army special forces. In 1998 his law enforcement career took off when he began serving the citizens of Northglenn as a police officer, sergeant and commander. He served on the Northglenn Police department for 19 years before becoming the Police Chief in Monte Vista. He was a Commander with Northglenn in charge of the support operations when he left. He supervised areas of operation including the SWAT team, community relations, records division, traffic operations, fleet management and grants.
Rosecrans has also pursued a great deal of higher education along the way, completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1990 from Colorado State University. He continued his education in Public Safety and graduated with a master’s degree from the Northwestern University Center for Public safety in 2018.
Throughout his career Rosecrans has also received several awards and achievements which include completing Leadership in Police Organizations, special forces Qualifications Course, special forces Communications Course, Department of Defense Arabic Language School, Distinguished Expert Marksmanship Award, and Community Policing Award to name a few.
During his time as Police Chief for Monte Vista Rosecrans oversaw the second largest police department in Rio Grande County/ San Luis Valley, managing 14 sworn officers, 3 civilian employees, and a population of approximately 4,500 people with a budget of $1.2 million annually. Rosecrans strove to transform the department to reflect 21st century policing by streamlining the department’s organizational structure to improve efficient workflow between the department’s units and strengthen effective policy processes. He also made positive changes in the community, prioritizing community engagement and outreach.
When asked what his favorite part about Monte Vista was Rosecrans answered saying, “My favorite part of Monte Vista was the people. There are so many good people in Monte Vista who want what is best for the town. But there are still too many who don’t want change and who are not willing to forget the past to make the future better. It will really take strong and committed leadership at so many levels to move Monte Vista past this issue.”