Ames Police Department promotes officers to information and community resource positions


Matt Belinson / Iowa State Daily

Ames Police respond to a fire on Aug. 28, 2020.

Mackenzie Bodell, Senior Reporter

Sgt. Amber Christian and Nate Rivera will share an office after moving up and filling the public information and community resource roles for the Ames Police Department.

Christian was selected to fill the role of administrative sergeant for the department. In this new position, she will have primary responsibilities for public information.

Christian has spent 13 years with the department, and she has worked every patrol shift. She worked on child sex abuse cases as a detective for almost three years before being promoted to sergeant. Christian then served as a sergeant for all three shifts the department works.

She also worked on specialty assignments, this new position being one of them. She spearheaded the use of force training, firearms instructor team and crisis negotiations team.

Christian currently sits on the department’s awards committee. She is also the board president of the Boys and Girls Club of Story County.

Christian’s role as the administrative sergeant is a new position for the department. When Chief Geoff Huff first stepped into his role as chief, it was one of his goals to get this position up and running, according to Christian. As the first person in the role, she is creating the position as she goes.

“I look forward to creating a position that takes some of the work off of the frontline supervisors that are on patrol,” Christian said. “I handle a lot of the things that can prevent the patrol supervisors from being out in the field with their people.”

Sharing an office with Christian is Rivera, who will fill the community resource officer position, replacing Officer Kurt Kruger. Rivera will focus on community problem-solving, outreach, engagement and youth development. He will also organize the Citizen Police Academy put on by the department.

Rivera has spent 20 years with the department. Similar to Christian, he has worn many different hats within the department.

He has worked every patrol shift at least once, the department’s safe neighborhoods team and spent 16 years on the entry team. Recently, he switched to the marksman observer team. He was a traffic accident reconstructionist for about ten years and was a car seat tech for three years as well.

Regarding specialty assignments, Rivera runs the active shooter response and the tactical medical programs.

Rivera has always enjoyed the constantly changing nature of his work.

“My office, up until about eight days ago, had four wheels and windows all the way around, right,” Rivera said. “The dynamic nature of this work was always really attractive to me.”

Rivera looks forward to the engagement opportunities he will have in his role. He wants to change what outreach and engagement looks like.

“I want to make it a little more personal and maybe not necessarily as dramatic in its reach, but more intense in its engagement,” Rivera said.

As the two share an office, there are some projects they will work on together. One of their main goals is to build the department’s social media presence and platform. Historically, the department has not been very active on social media. Rivera and Christian are now trying to find a happy medium of online engagement that works best for the department and the community.

The other shared goal of the pair is to strengthen their student relationships. Being a college town means students are woven throughout the Ames community.

“Having a positive relationship with the student body is really important for us,” Rivera said. “If they view us in a positive light, if we can garner some social credit with them, it makes our job a lot easier.”