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Grayson takes helm of Police Dept.

Posted: Friday, Dec 21st, 2012

Chief Jim Grayson

Moving from interim chief to full position, Grayson brings along wealth of experience.

MONTE VISTA — James R. "Jim" Grayson has been hired as Monte Vista chief of police after serving in the interim since the resignation of Rick Needham.

Grayson, 53, says he has been a police officer his “entire adult life,” beginning when he was working on his BA at the University of Southern Mississippi.

He says his desire to live in Colorado began to grow while he was in college in 1979 when he attended a conference of Lambda Alpha Epsilon — the National Criminal Justice Association — in Colorado Springs.

He then went to work at the North London Coroner’s Office while studying at the British Academy of Forensic Sciences.

The idea of working in forensics looked good until, Grayson says, he realized he would be with dead people most of the time and, “I’m a people person… a living people person.”

Returning to Colorado, Grayson went to work in the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, where he served more than 20 years in a variety of capacities, retiring as commander of the patrol division.

“I was retired for two days — I went camping,” Grayson says. He then took a position teaching at Colorado Technical University (CTU), taught part-time at Pikes Peak Community College and became an adjunct faculty member at Pueblo Community College. He’s currently an adjunct faculty member at Trinidad State Junior College-Valley Campus.

Grayson has extensive experience instructing graduate and undergraduate programs in law enforcement operations and report writing, introduction to criminal justice, criminology, criminal law, crime lab management, court management, law enforcement management and corrections management.

He holds a BA in criminal justice from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and has done doctoral work at CTU in management with a dissertation on police accountability.

With all his experience, Grayson feels he can make a good contribution to Valley law enforcement.

The fact that he loves Monte Vista is icing on the cake. “Even though it’s a small town, it’s not boring,” he says of the police department.

One issue here is that Monte Vista has a “disproportionately high crime rate,” a situation he hopes to rectify through partnerships with businesses, schools and the community.”

He sees the area as great for family life. His wife teaches in the Colorado Springs, Pueblo area one or two days a week and spends the rest of her time in the San Luis Valley; his daughter is a defense contractor in the Springs and his son is in college, studying to become a geologist.

Speaking of hiring Grayson, Monte Vista City Manager Don Van Wormer sees it as a good fit.

“We had been talking about it for a while,” Van Wormer says.

Grayson agrees and adds, when the time was right, “I took the job.” Besides, he likes his staff and what can get better than that?

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