Vinnie Montez knew he wanted to be a law enforcement officer from a young age. He grew up watching the Ponch and John characters on the CHIPs TV show and loved the way they were pictured interacting with the public in a respectful way.Vinnie

Vinnie joined the law enforcement cadets program as soon as he could and became a deputy in 1998. He has now served over two decades as a Deputy Sheriff with the Boulder County Sheriff’s office.  Early in his career he says he was very “gung ho” and was warned by his fellow officers about burning the candle at both ends. Like many law enforcement officers he compartmentalized the trauma he encountered because he didn’t want anyone to think he wasn’t capable of performing his duties.

In 2008 he came across a vehicle accident and, despite desperate efforts to save the life of one of the passengers, he failed. That experience “flipped a circuit breaker” and made him re-examine his mental health. Vinnie encourages fellow officers to seek counseling if they need it but emphasizes the importance of speaking to professionals who specialize in working with law enforcement officers.

Vinnie turned to stand-up comedy as a way of dealing with the stress and trauma of his job. He is now a nationally touring comedian and has shared the stage with the likes of Gilbert Gottfried & Paul Rodriguez. His Dry Bar Comedy special “Armed & Hilarious” debuted in 2019. Cop stories and his Mexican heritage underpin much of his routine because “truth can indeed be stranger than fiction.” Many of his performances are fundraisers for law enforcement & military charities.

Vinnie is active with the Humanizing the Badge initiative. His Facebook post “You don’t know me” encourages civilians to get to know their local law enforcement and has received 3.2 million views and 11,000 comments.

TAKEAWAY:  “Just like stand-up comedy, if you want to be a good law enforcement officer you have to invest the time and dedicate yourself to the craft.”