Published: Oct. 17, 2023

The CU Boulder Police Department is home to a unique pair. One is embarking on a new career; the other, going back to the work she’s always loved. And they can talk about their shared passion at the family dinner table.

New CUPD officers Cathy Chestnut and Matt Dillon with Chief Jokerst and Boulder Municipal Judge Jeff Cahn

Left to right: Officer Cathy Chestnut, Boulder Municipal Judge Jeff Cahn, CUPD Chief Doreen Jokerst and Officer Matt Dillon (October 2023)

For new CUPD Officer Cathy Chestnut, it’s a homecoming of sorts. Chestnut served as an officer under the command of CU Boulder Police Chief Doreen Jokerst for many years at a different Colorado agency, as Jokerst rose through the ranks at the Parker Police Department.

For Chestnut’s son, newly sworn CUPD Officer Matt Dillon, choosing a career in policing came as naturally as listening to his mother’s advice. “My mom always told me to follow my heart, and it brought me here,” said Dillon, who graduated in June from the Community College of Aurora’s police academy, the same academy his mother completed in 2005.

Dillon's decision to join CUPD was also influenced by serving in the United States Marine Corps for five years. “I learned it’s no longer about me; it’s about the person to the left and right of me,” said Dillon, who decided he could apply the same service mindset closer to home.

Chestnut was most recently the voice on the other end of the line for those who called 911 on campus. “I was hired as a dispatcher in January of 2023. During my time in dispatch, I realized that my place was back on patrol, as I feel I have a lot to contribute with my training and experience,” she said.

Both mother and son say they’ve felt supported at CU Boulder. “I love working at CUPD because everyone has been warm, welcoming and extremely supportive of my transition to patrol,” said Chestnut. 

“It’s a privilege to be able to work here,” said Dillon. “The ability to serve this campus feels like protecting the future,” he added.