It was out with the old and in with the new for Westminster in 2011. A new police station replaced the old one.
A new police chief replaced the not-too-old one when the latter became the new city manager. An old tradition of lighting your own fireworks became new again thanks to a change in city law.
But Westminster wasn’t immune to tragedy and controversy. A local man took his own life but not before killing his sister. And dancers and churchgoers battled it out over alcohol.
1. Westminster Police Department got a new home: The WPD moved into a brand new, state of the art, building in 2011 after 43 years in the old one. The new three-story station features a forensics lab, an Emergency Operations Center, and an upgraded 911 communications center. And it came in $10 million under budget.
2. And a new chief: Ron Coopman became the new chief of police on March 12 after a short interim term. A captain since 2004, Coopman had been second in command to Chief Mitch Waller. The 25-year veteran of the department took over when Waller was hired as Westminster’s city manager.
3. Fireworks ban lifted after two decades: Westminster residents could celebrate Independence Day with their own fireworks for the first time in over 20 years this past July 4. Westminster voters made “safe and sane” fireworks legal for the holiday. Local non-profits were also permitted to sell the fireworks.
4. Murder-Suicide in Westminster: Frank Munoz, 34, shot his 23-year-old sister and then himself at his mother’s Westminster home. Both siblings lived at home and were arguing over Frank’s lack of financial contributions to the household. Their mother was home and fled when Vanessa was killed.
5. Sensation Dance denied alcohol license: Politically, 2011 was a quiet year in Westminster. But an application to sell beer and wine at a dance studio turned contentious when over a dozen concerned residents, including the pastor of the city’s oldest Church, asked the City Council to just say no.