New to the force

5/5/2014

By KELTON BROOKS

By KELTON BROOKS

kbrooks@gctelegram

The Garden City Police Department's core values are duty, honor and courage, and it now has three new officers recently sworn in who hope to personify and uphold those values.

Cody Rohrbach, 29, and Colton Graham 22, both of Colorado Springs, and Brian Rodriguez of Garden City. Rohrbach and Rodriguez were sworn in April 28, and Graham April 7.

All three officer are currently in the training process and soon will attend the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center near Hutchinson for 14 weeks. There, the cadets will learn lessons and certifications that they are able to apply to the streets of Kansas when they graduate. The newly sworn-in officers then undergo an extensive training program of 12 additional weeks with the Garden City Police Department prior to being released as a solo officer.

Rohrbach and Graham said they are both soaking up as much knowledge as they can before they head to the academy.

"It's an honor," Graham said. "It's a big deal and something I've always wanted to do since I was a little kid, and I've taken every step possible to get to this. It's a great start, and it doesn't end here."

Graham added that he always has looked up to law enforcement as role models because of their professionalism and ability to act promptly when an emergency situation arise.

"It's something I felt I was called to do," he said. "I'm focusing on getting certified and find out what happens then."

Rohrbach took a different approach before he was sworn in as an officer. He spent nine years in the military as a Marine and five years in the Army. He said the military has led him to the police department to help others on a smaller scale.

"You always learn something new when you're able to help someone," Rohrbach said. "I'm starting a new career, and I'm excited to go down this path."

Rohrbach came to Garden City with his wife and daughter, and said when he first arrived, he was shopping in the downtown area with his family and experienced a friendly and welcoming atmosphere from people within the community. By having his family here, he said that gives him more motivation and drive to protect the community.

A variety of distress calls come in to the police department daily from domestic violence, theft, crashes or other unforeseen events. Both acknowledged the dangers that come with the badge and uniform and pledge to serve the city, but Graham added his parents were a little nervous, but supportive.

"They are nervous, but you can get hurt any job you're doing. But we get training on how to protect ourselves and protect others. That's what we are here to do," Graham said.

The two officers said their acclimation process to the city has been smooth because they both spent time in smaller towns when they were younger. As far as the people within the community, Graham said the tight community can speed up his growth within the city.

But Rohrbach spoke of one phenomenon that's going to take some time getting use to.

"The small town is nothing new to me, but it's a little bit windier out here," he said as he laughed.

Rodriguez was not available for comment Monday due to a death in the family.

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