Say hello, again, to Monticello’s newest City Policeman, Korey Dunn. Yes, hello again, to Dunn and to his family, wife Analisa and eight year old daughter, Elaina.
You see, Dunn, whose roots are in the Redd family in Monticello (his great grandfather is Ray Redd, whom all of you older folks will remember as well as his grandmother, Geraldine Redd Dunn), spent much of his formative years here in Monticello and is back to “make this my lifetime career.”
Dunn remembers the day, April 1, 1997, that he moved to Monticello with his family as an eight year old. “There was this huuuuge snow storm,” Dunn reminisces, “like the biggest storm of the year the day we pulled in.”
Coming from Texas, that would be memorable. The family stayed for six years while Dunn’s father, Kevin, worked as a juvenile probation officer, before moving back to Texas where the younger Dunn completed high school, meeting his wife his senior year in the process. “We’ve been together ever since,” smiles Dunn.
“My ties to Monticello brought me back,” he marveled. Last Christmas, Dunn brought his family to Monticello for a vacation with his father, who has remodeled and maintained the old Ray Redd home all these years, returning monthly.
“It’s funny,” he says now, “I remember growing up here, and all the adults would say, ‘the kids will move away and they’ll all come back.’ I just didn’t see myself ever coming back. And then, here I am.”
Ironically, when the Dunns came for Christmas, it was eight year old Elaina who was hooked. “[Moving back] had been on my mind for awhile, but my daughter loved it here, the snow, the playing. As we were driving back home, for her it was not “if” we move there but “when” we move there. We had never even discussed it. It was a vacation.”
That got Dunn to thinking that maybe they could move to Monticello. Then “some doors opened up, I was able to apply and take the tests to be a police officer in Utah,” and the next thing you know, they’re living in Monticello, just like Elaina said.
Dunn comes by law enforcement naturally. Besides his father, his grandfather was a deputy in Bingham Canyon in the Salt Lake valley.
He got his start on his own law enforcement career track at 18 when he took a job as unarmed security, working his way up to armed security for hospitals and apartment complexes.
Then, he started doing apartment patrol in a car, responding to calls, burglaries, domestic violence, everything an officer would respond to, only without the benefits or the pay.
“We usually got there before the San Antonio PD got there,” he says.
He kept doing security, getting his private investigator license, personal protection officer license, all the licenses a security officer could get.
Finally, he went to San Antonio College Police Academy, an 11-month course, while still working security, graduating at the top of his class. His first job was with the police department in George West, a small town in south Texas, where he has been for the past two years.
“I got a lot of good experience down in George West, a lot of calls, traffic stops, arrests,” he observed. “There was a big learning curve from security to law enforcement.
“I like helping people, trying to help someone understand why they are in trouble. I’m big on following the law. I love law enforcement. It is the best career I’ve had by far,” he observes now.
Law enforcement is “not all sunshine and rainbows,” but he still wants to help people.
The hardest part of law enforcement, according to Dunn, is having to put someone in handcuffs who you’ve dealt with in a friendly capacity, taking them to jail.
“That hasn’t happened in Monticello yet,” he says. “But, sometimes you have to. My fellow officers know I follow the law and enforce it. I tell them if I break the law, you’d better be the first one there arresting me cuz I’m gonna do the same for you. Because sometimes you have to fall all the way down to pick yourself back up.”
As for now, the Dunns love working and living in Monticello. They admit it’s an adjustment from San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the country where Analisa was raised, but they love the neighborly feeling in Monticello.
“Here,” he marvels, “people wave at you, stop and talk, bring rolls and vegetables. The community really supports the police department.” That didn’t happen so much in Texas.
Finally, how do we know that Dunn has San Juan County in his blood?
When asked where he and his family are living, he replied with the name of the family that built the home, rather than the address. No better clue than that. Welcome back!