As we celebrate 50 years as a City, the first exciting project for 2019 is the Passport to Wheat Ridge. This is your very own passport to dozens of Wheat Ridge businesses and events! This passport includes discount offers and coupons from businesses across the City, along with information about signature special events that build relationships within our community.
The 2019 Passport to Wheat Ridge is a limited edition tour around the City, as only 500 have been printed and they are only available for the 2019 year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the City of Wheat Ridge.
The proceeds from the 2019 Passport to Wheat Ridge are funding the restoration of the Wheat Ridge Police Department’s first patrol car, Unit 1, and will support other programs hosted by WRPD such as Operation Blue Santa, National Night Out and the Child Safety Fair. Unit 1 will be making appearances at events throughout 2019 once the restoration is complete.
The Passport to Wheat Ridge is $25.00 and available for purchase online or at City Hall.
There are over 30 businesses participating in the Passport to Wheat Ridge.
Once you purchase your Passport to Wheat Ridge you may pick it up at City Hall, 7500 W. 29th Ave., Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Front Desk.
Where in Wheat Ridge? Greetings Photo Scavenger Hunt - June
Celebrate art in Wheat Ridge by taking photos each week of art in different locations throughout the City. Photos will be featured on Facebook throughout the month of June. Using the Greetings artwork that was originally unveiled on the outside wall at Anderson Park, the Cultural Commission is celebrating the installation of art around the Wheat Ridge community. Find your favorite and take a selfie! Pick up a "Greetings from Wheat Ridge postcard" to use in your photo at the info booth at Localworks' Friday Movie Nights and the Criterium.
Happy Birthday Party and Ice Cream Social (Performance in the Park) - June
At one of the Performances in the Park this June, we will be celebrating the City's 50th birthday with cake and ice cream! Come join us at the pavilion at Prospect Park, W 44th Ave. and Robb St. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and a picnic to enjoy with your cake and ice cream!
Anderson Park Reopening (TBD) - June/July
To celebrate the renovated Anderson Building, ballfields, parking lot, and pavilion, we will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony with you guessed it, more birthday cake at Anderson Park. Cold temps and snow have impacted construction but we're excited to reopen for the summer. Stay tuned for the date and time of the grand reopening.
HEAL Committee 50 Ways to Stay Healthy - June
The HEAL Committee which stands for Healthy Eating Healthy Living, is a collaborative community committee comprised of members from Lutheran Medical Center, Localworks, the City of Wheat Ridge, Jefferson County Public Health, Kaiser Permenente, HEAL gears up again in June with 50 activities designed to keep Wheat Ridge residents healthy. Stay tuned for dates, times and locations.
Localworks Friday Night Movie - Unveiling of WRPD's Restored Unit 1
There is nothing better than spending a summer evening outside with family and friends. Feel free to bring a picnic and enjoy a movie in the park, live music and activities for kids. Activities will start at 7 p.m., and the movie will begin at dusk (between 8:30 and 9 p.m). WRPD will unveil the newly restored Unit 1, the first patrol car, thanks to Seyfer Automotive for their sponsorship and the generosity of those who purchased a Passport to Wheat Ridge. There's still time to get yours!
WRPD Child Safety Fair - July 15, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Join officers from Wheat Ridge Police Department for the Annual Child Safety Fair. Firefighters, police officers and Jefferson County Sheriffs join the fun with a bike rodeo, face painting and other games and activities. This event is designed to teach children about safety while offering a fun, family-friendly event.
WRPD National Night Out - August 6, 4 - 6 p.m.
The celebration includes a tour of the Police Department, a display of various police vehicles, in addition to crime prevention displays to educate the community of the importance of local anti-crime efforts. Kids and families can also enjoy face painting and free refreshments. Complete your Conversation Coin Collection at the event. Don't know what these are? Check in with an officer at the event at Hayward Park, 7500 W. 29th Ave., and enjoy an evening of fun and education for the whole family!
Carnation Festival - August 9 - 11
This year is the 49th anniversary for the Carnation Festival. The first Carnation Festival was in August of 1970 to celebrate the first anniversary of Wheat Ridge becoming a City. Once named the "Carnation Capital of the World", Wheat Ridge embraces its heritage through this spectacular event. This year will be a special one as we celebrate the official incorporation at the festival which is always filled with food, music, culture, and fun for people of all ages! https://thecarnationfestival.com/
Happy Birthday Incorporation Date Celebration - August 12, 7 p.m.
Join us at City Council on August 12 for a reading of the proclamation and more birthday cake to recognize the official incorporation and swearing in of the first City Council or Aldermen as they were called in 1969.
Heritage Day at the Historic Park - August
The Wheat Ridge Historical Society hosts monthly events at the Historic Park and August will offer a special celebration of 50 years of the City's history. Check out Mayor's Matters and the Connections newsletters for more details and times later this spring. Or go to the Historical Society website https://www.wheatridgehistoricalsociety.org/
Localworks Ridgefest - September 7, 3 - 9 p.m.
Localworks Ridgefest is a free event highlighting the unique character, culture, and one-of-a-kind charm of Wheat Ridge. The event will feature four bluegrass bands, a classic car show, chalk art, vendors, food trucks, local beer, lots of kids' activities and more. Visit Localworks for more information.
Haunted Wheat Ridge Tour - October
Did you know there are haunted locations throughout the City? Stay tuned for more information on this spooky trip through history in and around Wheat Ridge.
Localworks Trunk or Treat - October 26, 4 - 6 p.m.
Join us for a fun and safe trick-or-treating experience for kids and their families. Participating businesses and community members decorate the trunks of their cars with creative disguises and hand out candy to kids. The event also features a photo station, carnival games and a trunk decorating competition. Get there early as the line can get pretty long.
Thankful Wheat Ridge - November
We'll be traveling around Wheat Ridge to capture "on the street" interviews with residents, business owners and visitors asking the question "what makes you thankful about living, working, playing in Wheat Ridge?" Keep an eye on @CelebrateWR50 for dates and locations in November.
Wheat Ridge and Localworks Holiday Celebration - December 7, 3 - 6:30 p.m.
Start off your holiday season with carolers, hot cocoa, crafts, train rides and more! Join in for the official tree lighting for the City of Wheat Ridge at 6:30 p.m. at The Green on Ridge at 38, 7101 W. 38th Ave.
1845-1861 – Kansas Territory existed from 1845-1861. It covered parts of Colorado, including where current Wheat Ridge lies.
1859 - Wheat Ridge “roots” were first established during the Gold Rush of 1859, when the City served as a rest stop for miners headed to mountain gold camps. It was later named Wheat Ridge for the golden ridges of wheat noted by travelers passing along the Overland Trail.
1859 - Many residents of the mining region felt disconnected from the remote territorial governments of Kansas and Nebraska, so they voted to form their own Territory of Jefferson on October 24, 1859. The following month, the Jefferson Territorial Legislature organized 12 counties for the new territory, including Jefferson County.
1859 - Built in 1859 on the 1st registered homestead in the State of Colorado, the Coulehan-Johnson Cabin was originally located at about 48th and Upham on the Stevens farm. It was then moved to the Wolf farm and then moved to Johnson Park by Judge Samuel Johnson. The Cabin was later moved to its current home at the Historic Park in 1985.
1860 – One thousand people from six different communities in Jefferson County voted for County officials. Walter Pollard was elected as the first Jefferson County Sheriff by receiving 187 total votes. He served from November 7, 1859 – November 11, 1860. For 110 years (1859-1969) the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was responsible for law enforcement in the area that came to be known as the City of Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
1861 - The Territory of Colorado was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 28, 1861, until August 1, 1876, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Colorado. The boundaries of the Colorado Territory were identical with those of the current State of Colorado.
1867 - The first school in Wheat Ridge was constructed in 1867 at W. 32nd ave and Wadsworth Blvd. It was built by Martin N. Everitt on his land and is said to be where the school district evolved from.
1870 - The History of Richards-Hart Estate: James Richards arrived in Colorado with the rest of the 59-ers to find a fortune in gold. By the late 1860s he was successful enough to marry and purchase 160 acres on Sloan's Lake, where he built "Lake Side" circa 1870. Richards was also a prominent and active citizen in the early Wheat Ridge community. He was an officer of the School Board District Number 8 and a delegate to the Republican State Convention in 1882. He continued to be a prominent businessman until his death in 1883, while the family lived in the house until 1911.
1873 - The second Everitt School was completed in late 1873 on the land once owned by Abram Slater at W. 38th Ave. and Teller St. The building is now a residence. The school accommodated 25 children at full capacity. The teacher was paid $40 a month and her salary later was raised to $60.
1876 – Colorado becomes a state on August 1, 1876.
1880 – Mr. and Mrs. Brothers pose next to their horse and wagon. Mr. Brothers was related to Henry Lee, one of the founders of Wheat Ridge.
1886 - Samuel Bert White and his family located on a tract of land on which the sod house stands, known as the "Soddy," built in 1886. Built of sod blocks, the 675 square foot building has 30 inch thick walls representing about 5,000 square feet ·of native tall prairie grass. The sod acts as wonderful insulation to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Mr. White was interested in horticulture and raised several acres of celery, and also sold celery seeds to those who were interested in raising celery as well.
1887 - "This photo of the Wheat Ridge School picnic in the spring of 1887 is said to include all the residents of Wheat Ridge plus three from Denver and two from Golden." - the Wheat Ridge Sentinel. There are approximately 52 people in the image.
1888 - Abram Slater is pictured standing outside his home that was built in 1888. Slater was a pioneer, Wheat Ridge rancher who arrived in the area in approximately 1859 looking for gold. In the late 1870s, Slater donated land for the construction of a one-room schoolhouse. Today, Stevens Elementary School sits on that site. Slater Elementary was also named after Slater.
1893 - Photo of Ernest Apel Farm in 1893. In 1890, Apel rented a plot of land to begin a truck garden with John Brown. In 1891, John Brown returned to the East coast. Ernest stayed in Wheat Ridge and went on to become a very successful truck farmer, later bringing his son Arthur and son-in-law Joseph Bacher into the business.
1897 – Wheat Ridge Methodist Church Picnic in Fruitdale District, near 44th and Wadsworth.
1905 - Lutheran Medical Center began in 1905 as the Evangelical Lutheran Sanitarium, a tent colony for tuberculosis patients. As medical advances diminished the demand for tuberculosis treatment, community leaders decided the center should meet a new need. Community-based Lutheran Hospital, a not-for-profit, general medical facility located on a 100-acre campus, opened its doors in 1961.
1905 - Wheat Ridge High School Boys Basketball Team, 1905-06 Champions.
1905 – Wheat Ridge train, this passenger train traveled from Denver to Golden. It passed through Wheat Ridge with stops through town, including a stop at Eliches. The tracks were laid along the, now, RTD G-Line route..
1909 - The George Smith Store was built on W. 38th Ave. between Reed and Teller Streets. It was the only store in the area at that time. Orders were taken at the store, and delivered the following day by a driver with two horses and a wagon. During the winter months when the snow was too high, the groceries were delivered by sleigh.
1910 – Wheat Ridge school class photo
1913 - In 1900 Fred Bunger moved to Wheat Ridge where he was active in gardening, raising fruits and vegetables and doing a commission business. He was also the community's first postmaster, serving for nine years. The post office was built in 1913 at 38th and Teller. It was later moved to the Wheat Ridge Historical Park.
1919 – The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” is ratified in 1919 and becomes the law of the land. The first arrest in Colorado for prohibition was in Wheat Ridge. Frank Daniels was arrested for making moonshine.
1922 – Arial view of Lutheran Medical Center.
1926 - Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District is originally formed in 1926 as the Wheat Ridge Volunteer Fire Department.
1926 - Wheat Ridge's first fire truck was a Julius Pearse and was bought in 1926 from the Columbia Gardens Fire Department. At that time the fire department had twelve members, and George Hively was the first fire chief. The fire truck was located at the Wheat Ridge school grounds on W. 38th Ave by Upham St. before the station was built.
1926 - Construction of the Tower of Memories at Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery began in 1926. Pictured is the original rendering of the building design by Gothic architect Charles A. Smith. The project was initially estimated to cost 1 million dollars. The builder hit bankruptcy in 1928.
1927 - Fruitdale School - The property was deeded to the Jefferson County School District in 1883 and the first school was built on the site in 1884. The original building was destroyed by fire in the 1920s, after which noted Denver architect and developer Temple Buell designed the existing red brick school building in 1927. Additions on both sides of the building were constructed in the 1950s.
1930 - Construction of the Tower of Memories resumed in December of 1930 and continued for 11 years by architect Francis J. Kirchhof. The original Gothic embilishments were removed and blended with modern design. When World War II caused shortages of man power and materials construction came to a halt once again.
1940 – 48th and Teller transfer station for the Wheat Ridge Train.
1942 - In 1942 the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District was formed.
1947 - July 1947, the Wheat Ridge Grange was able to purchase a site for its own Grange Hall. The hall was finished in 1954 and still is in use today. Throughout its active history, Wheat Ridge Grange has played a strong role in community leadership and activity.
1948 – The 9 acres of land for Panorama Park was acquired in 1948. The park features baseball/softball fields, soccer field, football field, basketball, horseshoes, tennis courts, playground, picnic tables, pavilion, BBQ, restrooms.
1948 – The 5 acres of land for Randall Park was acquired in 1948. The park features baseball/softball fields, basketball, all purpose court, playground, BBQ, restrooms, picnic table, and pavilion.
1948 - John Monroe was the final architect of the Tower of Memories, completed in 1948. The final tower stands on a two story base, and seven stories high at 158 ft., and is home to 6,000 crypts and 5,000 niches for cremated remains.
1950 - Around 1950, Sheriff Carl Enlow sketched the first shoulder patch for Jefferson County. In the mid to late 1960’s, members of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office were able to sign up to work off duty in the unincorporated area known as Wheat Ridge. These officers were authorized to wear a green rocker with the one word, “WHEATRIDGE” above the Jeffco shoulder patch. This became the first Wheat Ridge patch.
1956 – First, and only, Wheat Ridge Law Enforcement officer, Ray Isley, to be killed in the line of duty. He was a retired Jeffco officer who started a security business in Wheat Ridge. He would stop by businesses along 38th Ave. and leave orange tickets to show that he had stopped to check in on the business after hours. One evening as he was checking out a grocery store on 38th and Ames, he happened upon a robbery. They opened the front door and fired one shot through the windshield, hitting Isley, and killing him.
1957 – The 2 acres of land for Stites Park was acquired in 1957. The park features baseball/softball fields, basketball, playground, and picnic tables.
1958 - Wheat Ridge High School was built in September 1958.
1960 – The 9 acres of land for Paramount Park was acquired in 1960. The park features baseball/softball fields, soccer field, basketball, playground, picnic tables, horseshoes, pavilion, BBQ, and restrooms.
1966 - The current Everitt Middle School location opened in 1966 as a junior high school with 1,090 students.
1967 - The 3.5 acres of the Baugh Property was acquired in 1967.
1967 – The 44 acres of land for Prospect Park was acquired in 1967. The park features baseball/softball fields, football field, basketball, trail head, BBQ, playground, tennis, concessions, pavilion, picnic tables, natural environment, lakes, fishing, restrooms, and horseshoes.
1969 - June 17, 1969 was election day in Wheat Ridge. The campaign to incorporate Wheat Ridge as a city started after it was announced that if Wheat Ridge did not incorporate, they would become a part of "Jefferson City". When the final votes were tallied on election day, the score read: 3183 for incorporating Wheat Ridge, 2636 against. Thus, the City of Wheat Ridge was born.
1969 – Wheat Ridge was officially incorporated on August 20, 1969.
1969 – The first City Hall of Wheat Ridge was located at 38th & Vance.
1969 - The first elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge was Albert "Ed" Anderson. He was elected in August of 1969.
1969 - The first patrol car, Unit 1, was purchased on September 30, 1969 from Johnnie Harper Ford. Unit 1 is a 1969 Ford Galaxie.
1969 - When Wheat Ridge was incorporated as a city, the City was given 100 days to put together a Police Department. The City hired off-duty officers from Jefferson County on October 1, 1969
1969 - “The First Badge”: There were 9 of these badges issued, numbered 1 – 9. These badges had no rank designation. Used from 1969-1970.
1969 - In August 1969, the City of Wheat Ridge was incorporated. The new city contracted with Jefferson County for law enforcement services. Nine members of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office agreed to become the first Wheat Ridge police officers, although they were still paid by the county. They wore new shoulder patches that had the same shape and green color of the Jeffco patch, however, this patch had the word “POLICE,” the Colorado state seal, and the three words, “WHEAT RIDGE COLORADO.” This particular patch only lasted from about August to November of 1969.
1969 – Jack Bramble is elected as Acting Police Chief from November 1969 – June 1970. He assisted in the incorporation and served on the first City Council from 1969 to 1973. Jack had served in the Army and had extensive experience in motorcycle training. He was a member of the El Jebel motorcycle team and had trained the Colorado State Patrol and Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies in motorcycle techniques. With his law enforcement experience, he was asked to be the first Acting Chief of Police while the City searched for a full time Chief. He received no pay for his duty.
1969 - In November 1969, the Wheat Ridge City Council decided to discontinue the law enforcement contract with Jefferson County and start their own police department. One of Chief Bramble’s first actions was to switch the police uniforms from green to blue in order to symbolize the change from county to municipal law enforcement. The shoulder patch also changed to blue, but remained identical to the previous green shoulder patch.
1970 - In honor of the City’s birthday, the area’s agricultural history and carnation production, a festival was born. The Carnation Festival is one of the longest running festivals in Colorado, the first was in August of 1970. In the 1960s, the city had 32 different carnation growers and sent flowers to the White House every Monday morning. The bouquet was displayed in the front foyer with a card stating: “With compliments to our nation’s capital, Wheat Ridge Colorado, Carnation City,” per the Wheat Ridge Historical Society.
1970 – WR moved into the 2nd City Hall at 3805 Newland.
1970 - “The Star Badge”: This series had a star in place of the badge number. They also had “Patrolman” engraved on them. Used from 1970-1973.
1970 - The first full-time Wheat Ridge Police officers were sworn into WRPD on March 21, 1970.
1970 - The WRPD moved to the basement of 3805 Newland in 1970.
1970 - The original City Seal of Wheat Ridge was designed by Eron Johnson, age 18, grade 12, at Jefferson High School. Johnson submitted a drawing to the citywide contest for kids to design the new City Seal, and won the grand prize on April 25, 1970. This seal was used until 2007 when the City voted to rebrand and design a new logo.
1970 - Ed Pinson was sworn in as the new Police Chief for WRPD on June 4, 1970. He served from 1970-1982. He had previously served as a police officer in Englewood and as a Sergeant in the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. Within his first year as Chief, Ed created a Civil Service system, a dispatch center, and obtained a federal grant to hire 10 additional officers. He established the first, and only, police academy operated by Wheat Ridge police officers.
1970 - During the early 1970s, Lutheran Hospital officially became Lutheran Medical Center (LMC). More than a change in name, the move signaled the organization's growth as a provider and its continued commitment to meeting the health needs of the community.
1971 – Wheat Ridge Police Department grew to 19 officers, and 5 patrol cars. 1971 was also the year the first female Police Officer was hired, Patricia (Pat) Hopper. Pictured here is Pat Hopper, Chief Ed Pinson, and Lt. Ernie Canfield in front of the second City Hall.
1971 - In 1971, the Prospect Valley Fire Department merged with the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District. Pictured: 1960 International (R185) / American (MC237) 500 gallon water tank / 500 gpm pump, former Prospect Valley Fire Department Engine No. 1.
1972 – The 1 acre of land for Happiness Gardens was acquired in 1972. The park features a community vegetable gardens.
1973 – WR moved into the 3rd City Hall at 44th and Owens.
1973 - In 1973, a six-floor tower was added and with the expansion of the critical care unit in 1985, the number of licensed beds rose to 409, the current capacity level today.
1973 - “Blackington Patrolman Badge”: This series was made by the Blackington Company and had COLO engraved in the badge number panel. It also still had “Patrolman” on it. Used from 1973-1981.
1974 – Paul Abramson is elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge.
1974 – Homer Roesener is elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge. He serves from 1974-1976.
1974 – The 1 acre of land for Wheat Ridge Historical Park was acquired in 1974. The park features picnic tables, and multiple historic buildings including the Red Brick Museum, Soddy, first Post Office, Johnson’s Log Cabin, Tool Shed, Baugh House, and Water Tower.
1974 – WRPD adds a motorcycle and a van for Community Services Team to the fleet.
1974 - Wheat Ridge Historical Society was founded in 1974 during an effort to preserve The Soddy. The Historical Society seeks to bring the community together and to give every generation a chance to learn about how the past has shaped our present.
1974 - Columbia Heights Fire Department merged with Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District in 1974. Columbia Heights Volunteer Fire Department (CHVFD), and served the area from Sheridan Blvd. to Harlan St. and W. 29th Ave. to W. 33rd Ave.
1975 – The 2 acres of land for Apel-Bacher Park was acquired in 1975. The park features tennis courts, playground, picnic tables, pavilion, and a BBQ.
1975 - In the mid 70’s, the police department was running low on shoulder patches and needed to order more. Always looking to save the tax payers’ money, the department found an overseas company willing to reproduce the patch at a considerable savings. One day, a huge box arrived containing several thousand patches. It was immediately recognized that these patches were not really a faithful duplication of the “The Blue Patch.” The shape of these new patches had been oversimplified and rounded off from the unique shield shape that had descended from Jefferson County. What remained was an even more unique shape for a police patch that could only be described as the shape of a peanut shell. The “Peanut Patch” lasted for about 25 years. During this time, many Wheat Ridge police officers, particularly those attending the police academy, were subjected to being called, “The Peanut Patrol” by members of other law enforcement agencies.
1976 – Hank Stites is elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge. He serves from 1976-1978.
1976 – The 1 acre of land for Boyd’s Crossing was acquired in 1976. The park features a playground and picnic tables.
1976 - The Richards-Hart Estate was purchased by the City of Wheat Ridge in 1976 for approximately $200,000. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 5, 1977. The estate is tucked away in a historic Wheat Ridge neighborhood, and is a wonderful site for weddings and receptions, rehearsal dinners, parties and community gatherings.
1977 – Wheat Ridge moves into the current City Hall Municipal building. It houses WRPD, City staff, City Council Chambers and Courts. Hayward Park was originally Hayward Farm, it was on the open land of the City Hall property.
1977 – The 5 acres of land for Hayward Park was acquired in 1977. The park features trails, playground, picnic tables, and veterans’ memorial.
1978 – Oliver Phillips is elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge. He serves from 1978-1979.
1979 – Hank Stites is re-elected as Mayor of Wheat Ridge. He serves from 1979-1987.
1979 – The 12 acres of land for Fruitdale Park was acquired in 1979. The park features trails, playground, picnic tables, pavilion, natural environment, restrooms, BBQ, horseshoes, and a dog park.
1979 - Wheat Ridge qualifies it's first year as a "Tree City." The Tree City USA program is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. Wheat Ridge has achieved this title every year since 1979.
1980 – The 9 acres of land for Lewis Meadows was acquired in 1980. The park features trails and natural environment.
1980 - The City acquires a building, formerly used as a church, for the Wheat Ridge Active Adult Center. The Active Adult Center serves the recreational and education needs of Wheat Ridge area adults and seniors.
1981 - The first-ever Farmers 5000 was held in August of 1981. Athletics, along with Key Club ran the race for many years, but they needed a larger organization to help with funding the race. The PTSA has been running the race as its main fundraiser ever since it took over from the athletic department. Governor Dick Lamm is pictured at the race.
1981 - “Officer Badge”: This was an updated Blackington badge. The changes were “COLORADO” spelled out in the number banner and “OFFICER” instead of the “PATROLMAN”. Used from 1981-2000.
1982 – Howard Jaquay, “Jake Way” is sworn in as the second Chief of Police. He served from 1982-1989. He received a BA in Psychology, which, he says, “taught me what I can’t know about people”. He served in the US Army in Berlin, Germany and in Vietnam. He says, “that was my first police experience, since they told me it was a ‘police action’ and not a war”. Jake joined the WRPD in May, 1970, promoted to Sergeant in 1972, Lieutenant in 1974, and selected Chief in 1982. He started a new position of Crime Prevention/Training Officer, and opted the department out of the FPPA pension system and started a money purchase plan. Several other departments followed his lead. Jake also re-organized the Investigations Bureau from general assignment detectives to Property, Persons, and Juvenile Teams.
1982 - The Wheat Ridge Transcript Newspaper is a weekly newspaper that serves the community of Wheat Ridge, Colorado. The newspaper is a publication of Colorado Community Media. Originally the Jefferson County Transcript, it has been published since 1982.
1987 – Dan Wilde is elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge. He serves from 1987-1991.
1989 – Jack Hurst is sworn in as the third Chief of Police. He served from 1989-2004. Jack was the previous Chief of Police at Ft. Lupton. He established a best practices Internal Affairs system, did a complete re-write of the Policy Directive Manual, established a Traffic Unit and combined Code Enforcement with Animal Control and Parks Enforcement, and directed the department to become a state accredited law enforcement agency through the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police. He increased the police department building space by 1/3 to ease the overcrowded conditions. In 2004, Jack led a city sales tax initiative that allowed the police department to add 10 additional police officers to the force.
1989 – The first WRPD Crash and Traffic Team is established.
1991 – Ray Winger is elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge. He serves from 1991-1993.
1992 – Urban Renewal Authority is established. The Urban Renewal Authority underwent a name change to Renewal Wheat Ridge. Renewal Wheat Ridge has the power to undertake urban renewal projects and execute contracts connected therewith; buy and sell property; dedicate property it owns for public projects; sue and be sued; enter property and buildings, with the consent of the owner, to undertake surveys or appraisals; condemn property or leases; borrow money; make appropriations and expenditures of its funds; invest its funds subject to certain restrictions; make reasonable relocation payments; contract with consultants or advisors to accomplish duties related to urban renewal. Members are appointed by the Mayor and ratified by City Council.
1993 – Dan Wilde is re-elected as Mayor of Wheat Ridge. He serves from 1993-1997.
1995 – City Hall is remodeled.
1997 - Gretchen Cerveny is elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge. She serves from 1997-2005.
1998 – The 16 acres of land for Creekside Park was acquired in 1998. The park features Manwaring field, soccer field, bike trails, restrooms, picnic tables, playground, and natural environment.
1998 – The Parks and Recreation Commission is established. The Parks and Recreation Commission regularly consults with the Director of Parks and Recreation; review legislation relating to parks and recreation matters to the City Council; act as liaison between the Department of Parks and Recreation and the community at large; promote and develop positive relationships with community groups. The Commission has the authority to develop Parks and Regulations for the proper management, operation, and control of the parks, parkways, and other recreation facilities within the City.
1998 – The Liquor Licensing Authority is established. The Liquor Licensing Authority makes recommendations to the Council regarding housing development /redevelopment proposals and implementation strategies. Members are appointed by the Mayor and ratified by City Council.
1999 – The 3 acres of land for Hopper Hollow was acquired in 1999. The park features picnic tables, shade shelters, BBQ grill, 2 play-grounds, basketball court, bike rack, open field play area, and a public art piece.
2000 - In 2000, a uniform committee was formed by the department to standardize specific brands of clothing so that everything would be – uniform. Chief of Police, Jack Hurst, sketched out a design idea for a new shoulder patch. A former wife of Lt. Wade Hammond completed the graphic design of the patch, and the uniform committee recommended that this new patch coincide with the issue of new uniforms. “The Wheat Patch” started a style trend for Colorado law enforcement. Almost immediately, variations of the Wheat Ridge patch shape, colors, and graphics were copied by agencies such as Golden, Arvada, Lakewood, Broomfield, and others. To complete the circle, when the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office revised their patch in 2000, they also took the Wheat Ridge shape and gave up their original shield shape that had been adopted by Wheat Ridge for so many years.
2000 - “City Seal Badge”: The same Blackington Badge with changes to the Wheat Ridge City Seal instead of the Colorado State Seal and the badge had the individual officer’s badge number. Badge numbers reflect the year the officer was hired and the order the officer was hired, for example, badge # 06-12 would be the 12th officer hired in 2006. Used from 2000-2019.
2000 – WRPD Officers worked two 12 hour shifts on New Years Eve, into the 2000 New Year. Y2K was a big topic, so every officer worked during one of those two shifts. At midnight, everyone got together for a “millennium photo.”
2000 - The Wheat Ridge Recreation Center was built in 2000. The architecture of the Recreation Center was inspired by the old barn out front and features a chanticleer perched on top.
2000 – The 8.5 acres of land for Discovery Park was acquired in 2000. The park features trails, skatepark, pavilion, splash pad, playgrounds and a public art piece.
2000 – The 5 acres of land for Founders Park was acquired in 2000. The park features trails, pavilion, public art, natural environment, and restrooms.
2002 – The Cultural Commission is established. The Cultural Commission promotes artistic endeavors within the City and makes recommendations on issues concerning culture and the arts to City Council, promotes the arts, including for-profit and non-profit art organizations and seeks citizen input and advice on the management of public art, assists the City in grant proposals and fund raising activities.
2005 – Daniel Brennan is sworn in as the fourth Chief of Police. He is still currently serving. Dan Brennan has served the Wheat Ridge Police Department as Chief of Police since January 3, 2005. He began his law enforcement career in 1977 as a police agent with the Lakewood (CO) Police Department and served in numerous operational, tactical and administrative positions rising to the rank of Commander. He served as the Director of the Colorado Regional Community Policing Institute and Colorado Police Corps prior to his appointment as Chief of Police in Wheat Ridge. Chief Brennan has received numerous awards in his law enforcement career including the Medal for Meritorious Service, Medal for Distinguished Service, the Police Service Award, Achievement and Recognition Awards, Police Officer of the Year Award and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police “Ralph Smith Professional Innovation” Award.
2005 - Jerry DiTullio is elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge. He serves from 2005-2013.
2005 - The Planning Commission is established. The Planning Commission develops and prepares a Comprehensive Plan for the physical, economic and social development of the City. The Commission also holds public hearings on all zoning cases, development plans, and subdivision plats.
2009 - In 2008, The City of Wheat Ridge recognized the need to provide a fresher image in an effort to market itself better to the public. A police patch committee was formed to design a new patch which would not only incorporate the new logo, but to also give the department a new look and a new symbol that represented some of the big changes that the department had experienced in the past few years. After considerable study and departmental feedback, “The Logo Patch” was created in 2009. The general theme of the patch was to respect the history of the department over the past 40 years and to incorporate features of previous police patches with a new professional image to signify positive changes. This patch features the same base color, added the word “Colorado”, a stylized version of the Colorado state seal, “Est. 1969” appears to signify our history, and the city marketing logo appears at the top to represent the optimism of the future. This patch is still presently used.
2011 – WRPD earns it’s first CALEA accreditation.
2013 - Joyce Jay is elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge. She serves from 2013-2017.
2013 - The November 2012 General Election, registered voters in the City of Edgewater approved the inclusion of the Edgewater Fire Department into the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District, ending 97 years of service. January 1st 2013 the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District took over the Edgewater Fire District & Station 13, and re-named the fire station to Station 73.
2016 - In April of 2016, Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District merged with West Metro Fire Rescue. The two districts had been working together for some time on many fire and emergency calls and also training together at West Metro's Training Center.
2017 - Bud Starker is elected as Mayor of Wheat Ridge, he is still currently serving as Mayor.
2017 - Fruitdale School Lofts - The Wheat Ridge Housing Authority (WRHA) began working with Hartman Ely Investments (HEI) in February 2015. HEI thoroughly vetted several reuse scenarios before ultimately pursing a redevelopment of the site into 16 apartments. The Authority sold the property on December 9, 2016 and completed the project in 2017 to repurpose the interior of the school and to restore the exterior.
2018 – On Feb. 13, 2018 Jeffcom911 announced the opening of its newly consolidated communications center. The center services eight agencies covering Jefferson County and surrounding districts. Jeffcom911 will work with fire, police and emergency medical service providers to dispatch appropriate emergency responders, as well as provide support for public safety education. Jeffcom911 was created by the consolidation of eight public safety agencies: Arvada Fire Protection District, Arvada Police Department, Evergreen Fire Protection District, Golden Police & Fire Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Lakewood Police Department, West Metro Fire Protection District, and WRPD
2018 - A recent renovation completed in May, 2018 replaced the Tower of Memories plexiglas windows with dark blue glass, repaired its tiled roof, repaired water damage and restored the front doors to their original gold color. The 15-month long restoration process was done to preserve the 90-year-old mausoleum for another 75 years.
2019 – “50th Anniversary Badge”: This badge is made by Symbol Arts. It has a likeness of the First Badge (with no rank designation and all badge numbers are “#1”). The badge is surrounded by a circle with banners stating “50th Anniversary” and “1969 – 2019” as well as the U.S flag and Colorado state flag. This badge is authorized to be worn from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. After that date, the badge will be retired and officers will return to the City Seal Badge. The badge is to commemorate the 50 years of service to the community, honor each officer, and increase team spirit.
Thank you to the following sponsors for supporting the City’s 50th Anniversary. Their generous support is helping to fund the restoration of the Wheat Ridge Police Department’s first patrol car Unit 1.
Special thanks to Unit 1 Sponsor Seyfer Automotive for getting things started by donating the cost of the engine work to get the car back on the road. Plans are to use Unit 1 at crime prevention and community events throughout the year.
Presenting Sponsors $5,000:
Gold Sponsors $2,500:
Rocky Mountain Bottle Company
Unit 1 Sponsor $2,500:
Silver Sponsor $1,000:
Wheat Ridge turns 50 this year! In honor of that very special milestone, we’ve create a video highlighting the very earliest days of our community, those who initiated our incorporation, the growth of business and economic vitality, as well as how Wheat Ridge has embraced its agricultural past for today’s focus on farm to table. It’s a city celebrated for its trails and greenbelt as well as for its small town friendliness.
Special thanks to all of those who shared their memories of this very special City.
In order of appearance:
- Division Chief Jim Lorentz-WRPD
- Janet Bradford-Community Member
- Charlotte Whetsel-Community Member
- Gretchen Cerveny-Former Mayor
- Claudia Worth-Community Member
- Idella Lewis-Community Member
- Kent Higgins-Former Reserve Officer WRPD
- Amanda Weaver-Owner 5 Fridges Farm
- Howard Jaidinger-Former WRFD Chief
- Howard Jacquay-Former WRPD Chief
- Dan Brennan-WRPD Chief
- Joe Cassa-Former WRPD Division Chief
- Joyce Manwaring-Parks & Recreation Director
- Walt Pettit-Community Member
- Steve Brown, M.D.-Lutheran Medical Center
- Jerry DiTullio-Former Mayor
- Bud Starker-WR Mayor