Officers earn Ken Jordan nomination
February 14, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Spc. Spencer Rozell's Friday nights begin the same way each week -- 9 p.m. he arrives at Fort Carson; 9:30 p.m. he's in a shift brief meeting; 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. he's in his squad car, chasing taillights.
"The more people I can take off of the road, the better," he said, eyes focused on the cars and trucks passing by. "I like to think that I can make a difference."
Rozell, a military police officer working in the traffic section with the 148th Military Police Detachment, 759th Military Police Battalion, works the midnight shifts Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights -- prime time for catching impaired drivers.
Twenty minutes into his Feb. 8 shift, he pulled a car over for speeding on Chiles Avenue. After citing the driver for driving 12 miles over the posted speed limit -- a $160 citation after processing fees -- Rozell continued his patrol, driving up and down the streets of Fort Carson.
"I have a passion for law enforcement," he said. "I like keeping the roads safe."
Rozell began working night shifts in July with the determination to detect motorists driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In 43 shifts, he arrested 10 drivers with DUIs.
In one investigation, an impaired motorist was driving 76 mph in a 30 mph zone on Magrath Avenue.
For his efforts, Rozell has been nominated for the Ken Jordan Award for Excellence in DUI Enforcement, an honor given by the Pikes Peak DUI Task Force to officers working in El Paso County. The winner of the award will be announced Feb. 19.
"It's definitely an honor," said Rozell, who's taken part in three additional DUI cases since being nominated. "To me, it's very prestigious."
One of seven nominees, Rozell said he was flattered to be nominated alongside officers from the Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado State Patrol and Fountain Police Department. Officer Paul Engebretson from the Fort Carson Police Department also earned a nomination.
"My wife says I'm an adrenaline chaser," Rozell said. "I would much rather be busy … even if it means a lot of paperwork for 10 minutes of excitement."
A volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician before joining the military, Rozell said he joined the Army to serve his country and to see the world.
"I wanted to deploy," he said.
"I wanted to see a different country, and they told me I could be an MP on top of that."
In 2010, he deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, with the 552nd MP Company, 728th MP Bn., from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
"Our mission (in Afghanistan) was completely different than here," he said. "We mentored the (Afghan National Police) to get structure to their way of life. … We showed them this is how we do it, build off of this."
Rozell said the most memorable parts of the deployment were the long days and occasional firefights.
"We had an 18-hour firefight one day … but at that point in the deployment it's no big deal," he said. "There were long days where you'd get two or three hours of sleep before you had to get up again. I remember being dead on your feet, but you still keep going."
Staff Sgt. Jason Murray, noncommissioned officer in charge, traffic section, 148th MP, said that for a Soldier to be nominated for the civilian award was especially impressive as MPs juggle law enforcement duties as well as Army commitments.
"(Rozell) is doing enough out there that he should be nominated," Murray said. "That's crazy with the operation tempo that the military has."
For the third year in a row, Engebretson has been nominated for the Ken Jordan Award.
"Even to be nominated is huge," he said. "The other officers being honored … they're the top in their field. To be recognized as being at their level, it's a huge honor."
A former military policeman, Engebretson has been working at Fort Carson since 2008. In 2012, he arrested 32 motorists on DUI-related charges.
"He's an excellent DUI officer," Rozell said. "He's very passionate about DUIs and he has the experience."
"I love being out there making the community safer," Engebretson said. "I take a lot of pride in it."