What do you do?
Officer M. J. Lujan

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I am a special police officer in the Code Enforcement Division of the Colorado Springs Police Department. I currently work at the Gold Hill Police Substation.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I respond to citizen complaints of municipal code violations on private property for the Westside. My territory is west of 1-25 to 36th street and north of Highway 24 to Fillmore.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       I have been a code officer for eight years and stationed on the Westside for three years.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       Since I enjoy talking to people, I think it is the best position in the Police Department... especially being on the Westside, where the diverse cultural backgrounds and small-town feel show the neighborhood’s pride.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       Most residents comply with the city codes but sometimes we have to clean up, mow lawns and get landlords to make living conditions better. I would like to see a bigger budget to improve the neighborhood. Right now, we are squeezed for money.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       Some of the residences we go into are very unclean. Training can only prepare you for many things but not all. Walking into a home that was a meth lab or has 30 to 40 animals, most of them sick, hits you with the reality of hazardous exposure.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       Everyone cares about improving their neighborhoods. The Organization of Westside Neighbors has a strong voice in government here and a vested interest in improving the small businesses. I am very supported by the Westside community for the work Code Enforcement needs to accomplish.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.