Two Romanian officers come to Palisade as part of exchange program

Two Romanian police officers are training in the Grand Valley for two weeks through a cultural and educational international exchange program.

Catalina Iacob, 24, along with fellow agent, Dana Moisa, 31, are members of the Romanian national police force, which operates under the Ministry of Administration and Interior. They arrived in Palisade on Monday to work with Chief Carroll Quarles and the Palisade Police Department for a week.

The duo will attend Colorado Bureau of Investigation training next week and then visit the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas before returning home to Timis, Romania.

They said they jumped at the chance to come to the United States. The opportunity arose after Palisade Police Sgt. Andy Scott did a couple stints patrolling the streets of Romania.

Scott said he asked the Romanian government to send officers in exchange.

“Who wouldn’t have (come to visit the United States)?” Iacob said.

“Everyone knows America is very powerful in the world,” said Moisa. “Everything is very well organized.”

Iacob interpreted many of Moisa’s answers.

In Romania they are crime scene investigators. “We are supposed to think like the criminal,” Iacob said.

Already they have found many things to like about Colorado and being a police officer in the good old U.S. of A.

“It is very, very great to be a police officer here,” said Moisa, whose father was also a police officer.

They audibly “ahhhed” when asked about how their Romanian police cars — which have no power windows, air conditioning nor power steering — compare with Palisade’s Dodge
Chargers. They loved the American car.

They also liked the fact police officers here can fuel up when they need to, unlike in Romania where cops are allowed only 30 liters (7.8 gallons) of gasoline a week.

“They can only patrol as long as the gas holds out,” Scott said.

The lunch-time options available to Americans also impressed them, but in a different way.

“Food. That is our only problem here,” Moisa said with a laugh. “We are not used to your fast food. It has a lot of calories.”

Unarmed while on the job in Colorado, they do carry sidearms in Romania. But Romanian cops rarely need a handgun. It is something U.S. residents might consider, they said.

“Honestly, those who make the law should think better when they make a law and put a gun in a civilian’s hand,” Iacob said. Not everyone is responsible enough to own a gun, she said.

They said gypsies in their country are similar to criminal gangs in the United States and give a bad image to all Romanians.

“Thanks to them, the Romanian people are not seen well around the world,” Moisa said.

The two officers have, with the assistance of Scott, already made an arrest of a drunken man for violating a protection order. It was a far cry from the murder case the two recently worked back home where a man and woman killed and dismembered the body of a gypsy.

After their CBI training, the two will leave for Las Vegas on Saturday.

“Every man’s dream is to see Las Vegas, let’s be real,” a wide-eyed Iacob said. “Just like many who come to Romania want to see Dracula’s castle.”


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