Getting to know you

New ISPD chief spends first month meeting employees, community members

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/11/21

The first few weeks at a new job is all consuming. There are dozens of new names and faces to remember, and titles and protocols to memorize, and doing most of it virtually doesn’t help. Plus, if …

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Getting to know you

New ISPD chief spends first month meeting employees, community members

Posted

The first few weeks at a new job is all consuming.

There are dozens of new names and faces to remember, and titles and protocols to memorize, and doing most of it virtually doesn’t help.

Plus, if the new job is police chief, there’s a lot to juggle — keeping the public safe, taking over supervisor duties and meeting employees, and becoming a stakeholder in communitywide conversations.

This is what Nate Buseck has experienced since becoming the Idaho Springs Police Department chief on April 5.

“It was a little overwhelming at first, but it’s starting to calm down,” he said, adding that he’s starting to be more proactive in seeking out community members rather than reactive responses.

Buseck joined ISPD after serving as a captain and second-in-command in Cheyenne, where he worked for 21 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of New Mexico and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

He and his wife have four children — the oldest of whom attends a local college — and the family recently rented a house in Evergreen. Buseck said the long-term plan is to move closer to Idaho Springs.

During his first month as chief, Buseck has been focused on getting to know the employees and hearing their ideas on how to improve things. He described them as very diligent and motivated, saying the officers specifically requested more training, which has been limited because of COVID-19.

Along with that, he’s also started working on short-term and long-term equipment upgrades, such as purchasing rifles for every officer and upgrading the software for the police vehicles’ mobile data terminals.

Buseck said he’s also learning about community issues, such as upcoming summer events and gridlocked traffic.

His department is working with the Sheriff’s Office on a plan to address gridlock in the city when an accident or construction closes Interstate 70. Buseck said it’s important to balance businesses’ needs for customers with residents and emergency vehicles’ need to reach their destinations easily, and he anticipated presenting that plan to the City Council soon.

While he hasn’t gotten to meet everyone in the community yet, he hopes to soon, adding that he prefers in-person conversations.

“Not having that face-to-face interaction can be frustrating,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of people over Zoom so far, but I’m starting to meet more people (in-person) as they have events coming up.”

So far, everybody’s been very friendly, he said, and he’s excited to be in Idaho Springs at what seems to be a period of transition.

“I almost want to take a before and after photo,” Buseck continued.

Cindy Teuling, records supervisor, said Buseck is her third chief in the 21 years she’s worked at ISPD. She felt that Buseck was doing well so far in getting to know everyone.

“He’s taking our ideas into consideration, and he doesn’t jump to conclusions,” she continued.

Buseck’s been very good at being available to anyone who has questions or comments, and she said they’re welcome to call the department during office hours, and Teuling and her coworkers can connect them with the chief.

Mayor Mike Hillman was confident that Buseck will be a great asset to the community, saying the new chief is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable.

Hillman said he hopes Buseck and the department’s long-term goals include addressing the city’s drug abuse and mental health needs, and transient population.

While it’s certainly been an adjustment for Buseck — moving from a city of 70,000 to a small mountain community — and he acknowledges that there’s still a lot to learn, he commented: “Police work is the same.”

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