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Next Generation of Law Enforcement

Conversations with the police chief lead student-athlete to want to pursue a career in law enforcement to better serve all members of the community

Student Micah Smith is the kind of person you want policing your neighborhood. The 6’5, 265-pound defensive lineman is not only tough enough for the job, he’s bright enough too. The RMAC Academic Honor Role recipient and criminal justice major has always had an interest in law enforcement, but it’s his time at Colorado Mesa University and the connections he’s made both on and off campus that has made all the difference.

Originally from Castlerock, Colorado, Smith grew up with people who had similar backgrounds to his own. It wasn’t until he enrolled at CMU that he was exposed to a diverse group of individuals. He started to meet teammates and classmates from different ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds, and gained an understanding of the unique hardships that people face.

“We had a lot of conversations on the football team and in class about race, and had tough conversations about the social injustices going on in our country,” said Smith.

Many of these conversations also involved Grand Junction Police Chief Doug Shoemaker, which is why the two men started regularly meeting.    

“Seeing and meeting the police officers in Grand Junction made me realize this is a really great place to be a cop and I can feel comfortable finding myself here and learning the ropes,” said Smith. “I’ve discovered this is the place I really want to be and Chief Shoemaker solidified that by being invested and involved in my process.” 

Shoemaker, who has been in the field for more than 30 years, is a big believer that law enforcement can have a positive impact on people’s lives. He’s made it one of his life’s mission to recruit good people to the force who are there for the right reasons.

“In policing we have the opportunity to really affect people and help them get through arguably some of their darkest times,” said Shoemaker. “I always ask new recruits what their motivation is and what their passion is, and if the answer is truly communing service, I know they’re in the right place.”

Shoemaker sees potential in Smith to be a part of something that’s bigger than himself and to make a positive impact in this community.


Written by Kelsey Coleman