LEHI, Utah (ABC4 News) For close to two decades he was a welder and a warrior. He made his living welding and was part of the Utah Army National Guard. Then, about nine years ago, David Colqui says he realized police work was the perfect job for him. We find out why in our behind the badge report.
We followed Corporal David Colqui recently during his shift. At one point, he had to deal with a three-car accident at the point of the mountain. He says it’s a predictable problem out in Lehi, but he says police work, in general, is not. “Working patrol – I check on duty and I am excited for the shift – exciting to see what is going to happen.” That unknown element and the opportunity to help – are the reasons Corporal Colqui loves law enforcement. “I like being that guy to come fix that problem.” But there was a time he wasn’t sure police work was for him. The 39-year-old was a welder – who also served in the Utah Army National Guard. He says he signed up when he was still in high school. “I was 17-years-old and the recruiter asked me if I wanted to blow things up. And 17-year-old kid – you tell him he gets to blow things up. How do I say no.” But he says it went from blowing things up to almost being blown up when he was sent to Iraq. “About one out of every three convoys would be hit with IED’s – most of the hits were on the trucks we were escorting.”
His ability to handle the dangerous and stressful situations caught the eye of a fellow solider who was a police officer in New Mexico. “For years he would tell me – Corporal you’ve got what it takes – police need guys like you. You need to be a cop, you need to be a cop. I was making good money as a welder at the time. I would say no, no. Its not for me. And cops don’t make that much money.” But he says – over time – and the more he thought about it – the more it made sense. It was on the second deployment that I decided that’s what I need to be doing.” “I’m not using my abilities to operate in a high stress environment – I’m not putting that to good use – cause not everybody can do that.” A perfect example of that may be Corporal Colqui’s response to a car accident a few years ago in Lehi.
“The van lit on fire. We were able to get there. I was able to pull him out of the burning vehicle. 52 Unfortunately, he was burned so severely he died a couple of days later.”
Serving and protecting has been something he has done for his entire adult life. And he says he’s proud to do that every day as a police officer in Utah. “It reminds me that making the decision to become a police officer was the right one.”
To hear more from Corporal Colqui’s story of deciding to become a police officer – check out the WEB EXTRA video along with the story video.
And to nominate a first responder for a future Behind the Badge story, go to: https://www.abc4.com/badge