PUEBLO, Colo. — Steven “Chris” Noeller has been selected as the next chief of police for the city of Pueblo, an appointment pending city council confirmation. If confirmed, it will be effective August 10.
“I want us to continue moving forward as an organization and as a community,” Noeller said during a one on one interview with FOX21.
Noeller has been serving as acting chief of police since the retirement of Chief Troy Davenport. He has been Deputy Chief of Police since November 2017, overseeing the Operations Bureau which accounts for patrol, traffic, Honor Guard, Chaplains Corps, and the drone unit. He started as a patrol officer in 1996 and moved up to detective, sergeant, SWAT Officer, and Captain.
“It’s a tough job right now, with some legislation passed, riots,” said Noeller. “The protests we have had here.”
All situations he says are driving some officers away from the call of duty. Right now Noeller says the department is short 25 officers.
“I just accepted a resignation of an officer because of some legislation that was passed and the impact he felt from that,” Noeller added.
The acting chief is ready to tackle these issues to better retain and recruit his officers and says building on community relationships is key and promises to have officers build on their training while promoting transparency and diversity in a predominately Hispanic community.
“We are not quite where we should be in that diversity of Hispanic officers and we also need to make sure to be diverse as we promote,” Noeller said.
PPD forms part of Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement Training; a program that teaches officers to step up when they see other officers going against the badge.
“We are all human beings and human beings react certain ways under different pressures and police officers are no different,” Noeller said.
He admits he too has been at fault, reports recently emerged claiming several officers submitted formal complaints against him.
“I’m a human being I make mistakes, I loved the officers that I served, every single one of them, even the ones who have filed complaints against me,” said Noeller. “I want to be the best leader that I can be but sometimes my job requires me to hold people accountable, the citizens expect me to hold officers at a certain expectation, sometimes people have a hard time being held accountable. That doesn’t explain all the complaints but it explains the majority of the complaints.”