The City of Grand Junction has selected three finalists in its national search for a Chief of Police: Matt Smith, Interim Chief of Police for the City of Grand Junction; Andy Harvey, former Chief of Police for the City of Pharr, TX; and Jim Hughes, former Chief of Police for the City of Maricopa, AZ. An event for the community to meet the candidates is planned for Thursday, January 5, 2023, from 4 – 6:30 p.m. at the Avalon Theater in the Mezzanine on 645 Main Street for community members and police personnel to meet the candidates.
“We are very pleased with the caliber of the 31 applications we received from law enforcement professionals within Colorado as well as from out of state,” stated Greg Caton, City Manager. “We have high expectations for the next Chief of Police to lead the women and men of our department. These dedicated professionals have established strong relationships within our community and every day exemplify the department values of professionalism, integrity, compassion, and service.”
Matt Smith is currently the Interim Chief for the City of Grand Junction Police Department having been appointed to that role in September of 2022. Smith joined the Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD) in 1999 after serving with the Cortez Police Department. Smith has been a deputy chief for GJPD for the past three years overseeing both the Operations division as well as the Services division. During his tenure with the Grand Junction Police Department, Smith has been promoted through the ranks from Sergeant to Commander to Deputy Chief. Smith holds a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Colorado Technical University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the 58th Session of Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police. Smith also attended the National Tactical Officers Association SWAT Command Decision-Making and Leadership course.
Andy Harvey most recently served for two years as the Chief of Police for the City of Pharr, TX and prior to that for two years as the Chief of Police for the City of Palestine TX. While with the City of Pharr, Harvey oversaw 62 sworn personal and another 100 staff and was appointed as the Interim City Manager. While the Chief of Police for Palestine, a city of 20,000 residents, Harvey oversaw 40 sworn, and 14 professional staff. He graduated from the University of North Texas with a master’s degree in Criminal Justice. He is also a graduate of the Leadership Command College in Huntsville, TX, the Caruth Police Institute in Dallas, TX, and Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Police School of Supervision in Plano, TX
Jim Hughes served for 10 years as the Chief of Police for the City of Maricopa Police Department in Maricopa, AZ. While with Maricopa PD, Hughes oversaw 102 employees, 76 of whom were sworn. He was responsible for the agency’s transition to a community-based policing model focused on building relationships with neighboring law enforcement, other city departments and community stakeholders. He also enhanced mental health programs through a partnership to bring a 24/7 mobile crisis team to Maricopa and introduced a 911 mental health call diversion program. Hughes graduated from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
After applications closed on Oct. 21, 2022, an initial screening was conducted followed by phone interviews which resulted in three of the candidates being moved forward to the next steps in the process.