Link Strate started his career in law enforcement in Arvada in 1987. Now, he is taking the lead as the departments newest chief of police. Having worked in many areas, Strate said it was not the …
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Link Strate started his career in law enforcement in Arvada in 1987. Now, he is taking the lead as the departments newest chief of police.
Having worked in many areas, Strate said it was not the years, but more the experiences that shaped his career to this point.
“There is a unique law enforcement community in Jefferson County,” Strate said. “The agencies are so willing to work together. Having been here in Arvada, it's an incredible community and they truly embrace us as a law enforcement agency.”
Former Arvada Police Chief Don Wick retired in December of 2017 sparking a nationwide search. However, the top two candidates were both members of the Arvada Police Department — Strate and Deputy Chief Ed Brady, who had been serving as interim chief of police since Wick's retirement.
“Between Link and Ed, it was impossible to make a bad choice,” said Arvada City Manager Mark Deven. “We are blessed to have amazing leadership in the Arvada Police Department. Both finalists expressed their unwavering support for the other during the process.”
The selection of Strate as the new chief was made July 3 after interviews, including a citizen panel, a panel made up of department personnel and a public reception.
Throughout his career Strate has served in patrol, investigations and traffic. As a commander he oversaw the Community Response Impact Team and the Criminal Investigation Bureau. And as deputy chief he managed the multi-year transition from the department's dispatch center to the new regional communication center, Jeffcom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Science in Organization Leadership from Regis University.
Strate has trained with the FBI National Academy, the School of Police Staff and Command through Northwestern University and the Senior Management Institute for Police with Boston University. He is also trained and certified by the Patterson Center as a strategic planning facilitator. His community involvement includes serving on the Family Justice Center Executive Committee and the Boards of the Jefferson County Regional Lab, Jeffcom and Ralston House.
“I would like to thank Ed Brady for serving as Interim Chief during the last six months, an assignment he fulfilled with maximum dedication and commitment,” Deven said. “I look forward to working with Link Strate and know he will work with all of our officers and civilian employees to build on the foundation of excellence associated with the Arvada Police Department.”
Moving into his new role as chief, Strate is focused on the departments continued effort of implementing its community policing strategy. With three community police stations and one more on the way, the strategy is designed to make law enforcement part of the community.
“When we started this we anticipated that it would be good way to engage the community,” Strate said. “But we were pleasantly surprised at how quickly they embraced that.”
Strate said integrating the sector stations into the community has been so successful that the new station in West Arvada, the Whisper Creek Station, will have a larger community room to offer more interaction between officers and the community.
Some challenges the department currently faces is recruitment and retention of officers. With Colorado at full employment, and Arvada's requirement that officers hold four-year degrees, the department has a lot of competition for quality candidates.
“Our requirements are very high, so we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to attract quality talent here,” Strate said. “It sounds simple, but it's a big challenge right now.”
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