The municipal courtroom at Cortez City Hall has a new name: the “Roy Lane Courtroom,” in honor of the retiring police chief of 38 years.
Cortez Police Chief Roy Lane announced in November that he would retire. About 20 police officers and a dozen members of Lane’s family showed up to a City Council meeting Tuesday night as councilors unanimously approved a resolution to rename the municipal courtroom.
“He’s a highly esteemed leader in the community, demonstrating impeccable character and commitment to his job over the years,” Cortes Police Lt. Andy Brock told the crowded room.
Lane was not present because of his health, according to Brock, who is serving as interim police chief.
Lane has served as Cortez police chief for nearly 39 years, Brock said, the longest of any in the state. He has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years, including the Pat Steele award from the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police in 2016.
Staff noted in their report that the courtroom was a particularly apt recognition for Lane.
“The vision of the municipal courtroom is rehabilitation, which is a shared vision of Chief Lane, reflected in his support and participation with the Bridge shelter, Renew, and DARE, Drug Abuse Resistance Education,” staff wrote.
Mayor Karen Sheek emphasized his work in establishing The Bridge, along with his role in supporting other community and fundraising efforts.
“Even though his primary responsibility was leading the fine people in our police department, he also played a very important role in moving our community forward in a lot of other ways too,” Sheek said.
Councilor Sue Betts, a retired police officer, said that she worked with Lane for 29 years.
“The chief gave me a start,” Betts said. “He always supported me. If I did something wrong, he was the first one to tell me. But he also would still stand beside me through all the mistakes I made.
“He helped a lot of people, he gave a lot of people their start in law enforcement, and for that, I think we’ll all be grateful to him forever.”
Councilors thanked Lane’s family for attending the meeting, saying Lane would have been proud.