GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Today City Manager Greg Caton announced the selection of Matt Smith as the new Chief of the Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD).

The national search for a new Chief of Police was a comprehensive one. In addition to the standard application review and background check, the process included opportunities for police department peronnel and the community to meet each candidate and ask questions. We were impressed with the caliber of candidates, and felt the process was key to determining the most qualified candidate to take on this important role for our city. I am happy to announce the selection of Matt Smith as the new Chief of the Grand Junction Police Department. He was selected based on his experience in law enforcement as well as having a reputation as a strong compassionate leader. We believe his longstanding relationships will help to create an environment of mutual trust and cooperation wihtin the Grand Junciton community.”

City Manager Grag Caton

Before the search began, input was collected from an online survey designed to gather additional community input on the type of experience and characteristics being sought in a new police chief.

According to Grand Junction City Officials, the city received 31 applications in total from both in-state and out-of-state candidates. Candidates who passed the initial screening process were invited for a telephone interview. Three candidates were selected for the next steps in the process; however, one candidate withdrew. The two remaining candidates participated in a two-day assessment event, including a reception for the community at the Avalon Theatre that Western Slope Now covered.

Smith has served as the interim Chief of Police in Grand Junction for the past three months. According to the city, he began his law enforcement career with the Cortez Police Department but has been with the Grand Junction Police Department since 1999. For the last three years, Smith has served as a deputy chief for the department. During that time, he has overseen the Operations division which includes patrol and all other uniformed personnel as well as the Services division which includes Investigations, Training, Internal Affairs Office, The Records Department, and the Property Evidence Lab, as well as the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center.

In the past 24 years, Smith has been promoted through the ranks at the GJPD, being promoted from Sergeant to Commander and then finally to Deputy Chief three years ago.

Special assignments included participating as a deputy on the Grand Valley Joint Drug Task Force, as a Special Weapons and Tactics officer, and providing oversight of the Community Resource Unit, and School Resource Officers, Code Enforcement, Professional Standards, the driving program, firearms, patrol tactics, and serving as the SWAT Commander.

Additionally, Smith is a veteran of the United States Navy and serves as a member of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the FBI National Academy Associates. Smith attended Colorado Technical University and received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He is a graduate of the 271st FBI National Academy and the 58th session of PERF’s Senior Management Institute for Police. Smith also attended the National Tactical Officers Association SWAT COmmand Decision-Making and Leadership course.

Smith was spotted on-scene at an active shooter situation on Patterson Road on Tuesday. The suspect was brought into custody in just over an hour.