MONTE VISTA — “The most important accomplishment of any law enforcement agency must be establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with the community they serve,” stated George Dingfelder who was recently hired as the new Chief of police for Monte Vista.
Dingfelder was raised on a ranch in southeastern Montana, and after graduating high school he immediately joined the U.S. Army. There he spent over six years as a military police officer. During Dingfelder’s time in the service, he was in Alabama, Georgia, Korea, and finished his service at Ft. Carson.
After finishing his military career, Dingfelder was hired by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) in January 1995. In June of that year, after completing CSP Academy, Dingfelder was assigned to Monte Vista as his first duty station. For the past 25 ½ years Dingfelder has served as a part of the Colorado State Patrol. During his tenure with the State Patrol, he has been able to spend most of it in rural Colorado and the San Luis Valley.
“I spent a couple of years in Eagle County when I got promoted to Sergeant with CSP but came back to the SLV when the first opportunity arose. I end my career with the CSP as the District Commander for Southwest Colorado where I oversaw field operations for Alamosa, Durango, and Montrose troops,” said Dingfelder.
Along the way, Dingfelder has also accomplished a great deal of higher education. He has a BAS in Public Administration from Colorado Mesa University and a master’s in Criminology from Grand Canyon University. Dingfelder also graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command in 2008 and graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2019.
When asked what made him interested in becoming the Police Chief for Monte Vista Dingfelder answered saying, “I came to the SLV, specifically Monte Vista, 25 years ago with the intent to stay two years and transfer back to the front range. I quickly realized how much the San Luis Valley reminded me of growing up in Montana. The rural values and lifestyle were what I missed the most while I was in the Army.
"Coming to Monte Vista and the San Luis Valley in 1995 immediately felt like home.” Dingfelder also shared that early on in his career with CSP he knew his long-term goal was to retire and continue in law enforcement as a Chief of Police somewhere in rural America. When the position opened up in Monte Vista, Dingfelder knew the timing and opportunity were right, “I know the community from having started my civilian law enforcement career in Monte Vista and I knew the City leadership has done an excellent job moving Monte Vista in the right direction in all areas. I felt Monte Vista was a great fit and threw my name into the mix,” said Dingfelder, sharing how fortunate he felt to have been hired saying, “I am honored and humbled to take on this role.”
When asked what he hopes to accomplish for Monte Vista in his new role of Police Chief Dingfelder answered saying, “First and foremost, we do work for the citizens, visitors, and business owners of Monte Vista and it is an honor and privilege to be entrusted with those responsibilities. Currently, I believe the Department has done a great job in establishing a positive relationship with the community and citizens.
"We will continue to build on that and be responsive to the needs of the community by providing competent and professional law enforcement services. At the end of the day, it is not about what I want to accomplish, it is what is best for the citizens and the City. We will ask for input from the citizens on what they want to see and what they expect from their Police Department.”
Dingfelder hopes to continue to foster community engagement as the force has already been doing, “We will be mindful and respectful of everyone we serve. The Department is doing some great community engagement already by hosting Coffee with a Cop, National Night Out and other community events. But we have the opportunity every day to engage our community through the normal course of business when we meet citizens and the community.
"It is my expectation that we will be fair and honest and treat everyone with dignity and respect even when we are doing our job and arresting someone. As well, we will be responsive and available to the citizens,” stated Dingfelder.
When Dingfelder is not working he enjoys spending time with his wife Stephanie and their two children. They enjoy going to Denver for sporting events or watching plays at the Creede Repertory Theater. Dingfelder is an avid Colorado Avalanche and Rockies fan and tries to attend games often. When he is not doing any of those things Dingfelder says you can find him in the gym or going for a run. Dingfelder started as the Police Chief of Monte Vista on June 1.