Behind the Badge: Sgt. Franklyn Ortega helps community and officers connect in more ways than one

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PUEBLO, Colo. — A Pueblo Police sergeant helping not just his community amid this ongoing pandemic but other police departments across the world.

Sergeant Franklyn Ortega is the Pueblo Police’s Public Information Officer. Over the course of his career he has been hard at work promoting diversity throughout his community and beyond.

“I want to be one of those guys when I retire, that people miss me and that I’m a man of value,” Ortega said.

Off camera, Ortega is helping his community and officers connect.

“The diversity we have in the city and the department, I think it just makes us stronger and it’s kind of like America, that’s what makes America strong is the diversity we have,” Ortega said.

Pueblo is sister cities with six cities across the world:

  • Bergamo, Italy
  • Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Lucca Sicula, Sicily
  • Maribor, Slovenia
  • Puebla, Mexico
  • Weifang, China

Many of those cities have been impacted by COVID-19.

“Our sister city in Italy was one of the worst-hit,” Ortega said. “In Chihuahua we’ve shared some policies with them some procedures we’ve been doing and they’ve done the same for us in response to COVID-19.”

Nearly half of the department’s force represents underrepresented populations, to the Pueblo Police Department- that’s one of their biggest strengths.

“Our community sees people that look like them, think like them, act like them and it makes it easy to relate with people we work with,” Sgt. Dennis Furbush with Pueblo Police said.

Sgt. Furbush has worked with Ortega for years, last November, Ortega took him and other Pueblo police officers to Chihuahua Mexico to help with SWAT training. They put on a forty-hour basic SWAT school for the agencies.

“I like it every time we get to go over there because I take people so they can get to know the place, know the people, and know things they didn’t know before,” Ortega said.

However, this relationship also helps them better serve.

“That’s one of the things that help us interact with our community and is going to the places they are from, and understanding things they deal with,” Ortega explained.

All while honoring their badge.

“The badge we have it’s about four ounces and it one of the heaviest things you can carry, it has a tremendous amount of power and responsibility,” Furbush said.

“I really appreciate this job I have and it allows me to do great things and help out people,” Ortega said.

Ortega has also been working with the health department to help translate important messages and health alerts. His father is an immigrant from Mexico and named him after the man, Franklyn, that helped him adjust to life in America.

If you know of someone who should be featured on Behind the Badge, nominate them.

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