FORT COLLINS COLORADOAN - Raised in rural southeastern Colorado, Francis Gonzales saw himself as an athlete destined to keep his distance from cops. That was just the way it was for minorities like him.
"You respect law enforcement," Gonzales remembers his father saying.
"Don’t trust them."
Fast-forward to 2017 and 60-year-old Gonzales is the first to admit time has a funny way of changing a person's perspective. Even more than time, an injury while playing baseball at Colorado State University and a car wreck near Old Town Fort Collins altered Gonzales' path and led him to a 35-year career in law enforcement.
The silver-mustached sergeant retired in April from Fort Collins Police Services, leaving a legacy of assignments ranging from gang and drug task forces to the Old Town beat. The man many call "Paco" can spin a yarn in extraordinarily vivid fashion about the city's most infamous crimes — his attention to detail is remarkable to even the sharpest detective.
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