Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Pueblo finds 'the right guy' in naming former CSPD chief its boss

By: JAKOB RODGERS
July 6, 2011
0
photo - Lou Velez served a four-year stint as Colorado Springs' police chief, leaving the department in September 2006. Photo by THE GAZETTE FILE
Lou Velez served a four-year stint as Colorado Springs' police chief, leaving the department in September 2006. Photo by THE GAZETTE FILE 

The former head of the Colorado Springs Police Department will be sticking around Pueblo a while longer.

Luis Velez was named Pueblo’s police chief Wednesday after serving as interim chief since February, said Ray Aguilera, president of the Pueblo City Council. He said city officials didn’t consider anyone else for the post.

“We felt that he showed the kind of leadership that we were looking for in terms of some of the problems that we had here in Pueblo,” Aguilera said.

On Feb. 16, Velez replaced James W. Billings Jr., who retired.

Within two months, Velez was tasked with overhauling the force when a report by a consulting firm criticized the department for a lack of leadership and poor morale, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. The report also said many in the department harbored a perception of favoritism, and sick days had been improperly used, the newspaper reported.

His appointment comes nearly five years after he resigned from the same post in Colorado Springs following the revelation that more than 20,000 pieces of evidence in nearly 10,000 cases had been improperly disposed. During the scandal, Velez faced a no-confidence vote by his officers.

Pete Tomitsch, president of the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association, said he was glad Velez received a second opportunity in Pueblo.

“He served Colorado Springs for many years and we wish him well down there,” Tomitsch said. “Just because he wasn’t a good fit for our department at that time… doesn’t mean he isn’t going to be a good fit for Pueblo.”

Aguilera said the abrupt end to Velez’s last job didn’t factor into the decision to hire him in Pueblo.

“I think that was just a little error in judgment maybe on his part, that maybe he hired a guy who didn’t have the breadth and experience that he needed to do the job,” said Aguilera, of the evidence disposal scandal. “But in terms of his integrity and his honesty, we think he’s the right guy.”

Call the writer at 476-1654.

Comment Policy
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.