West GarCo 2022 in review: New police chief takes over in Rifle

New Rifle Police Chief Debra Funston gets sworn in by Rifle Mayor Ed Green in early 2022.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

Rifle welcomed a new police chief in January.

Debra Funston, a former Palisade chief of police, was sworn in and took over for former Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein. Klein is now Rifle’s city manager.

Funston brought with her 35 years of experience in law enforcement.

Throughout her tenure, the Montrose native has immersed herself in just about every facet available in any given police department. One day, she’s an overseer of a Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and a patrol supervisor. Another day, she’s armed to the teeth as a tactical team member or investigating high-profile cases as a detective supervisor.

Funston is also a graduate of FBI Rocky Mountain Command College and has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and a master’s degree in public administration.

“A lot of times we’re meeting people on their very worst day,” Funston told the Citizen Telegram in January. “To be in a position where you can come in and at least alleviate to some extent somebody’s really worst day, to me, is very gratifying.”

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