Southern Ute tribal member Krystofer Winterhawk Carrillo is a recent graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Indian Police Academy–located in Artesia, N.M.– as of Friday, Oct. 7 and now serves the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as a Tribal Ranger. These responsibilities include patrolling a wider range of the Southern Ute Reservation and enforcing both natural resources and wildlife codes. Before taking her latest position, she also served the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as an Animal Control Officer for a total of six years before transitioning and challenging herself to complete ranger training.
Early in her career, Winterhawk Carrillo had a passion for working with animals and naturally applied for a position working as an Animal Control Officer for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. In her role with Animal Control, she had the opportunity to work with domestic animals and livestock within the reservation, ensuring to protect property, pets, and other animals from abuse, neglect, and disease. After six years of work with Southern Ute Animal Control, she made the decision to take on the Ranger Trainee position, a job position that gives Southern Ute tribal members the opportunity to complete training at the Federal Police Academy in Artesia, N.M.
As Winterhawk Carrillo continues in this new position she hopes to get to know more of the tribal membership and interact with them as they go out to enjoy the area’s natural resources. “I like seeing tribal members out there – hunting, fishing, or just even going out to hike – it’s cool to see that and to interact with them enjoying the resources, get to know them more.”
Tribal Ranger Captain, Charles Hamby is very proud of the accomplishments that Winterhawk Carrillo has made and is glad to have her be a part of their team. “After several years of her doing the job of the animal control officer, she decided that she was ready to go ahead and go through the academy – take a new challenge,” Hamby said. “It’s tough for anyone, but someone that is a mother and wife, then has to put all of that on hold for a few months while you’re going to the Academy – which the Academy itself is quite a challenge. It’s pretty amazing what she accomplished.”
“Winterhawk is one of those people that everyone just really enjoys being around her and working with her, she is very professional, she cares about the membership – she always had taken her job very seriously,” Hamby said. “When she had voiced her interest in going to the academy and becoming a ranger, every single person in our division was so excited.”
Like many before her, Winterhawk Carrillo pushed herself to reach new heights and sets a great example that you can do anything you set your mind to. She gives thanks to her family and coworkers for their tremendous support throughout the process to reach her goals. “I have two kids and a husband, and I live with my grandparents – so I had a full house that helped with the kids – while I was gone and I would call them all the time,” Winterhawk Carrillo said. “My coworkers too, sometimes I would reach out to them like ‘hey, do you have any advice on this?’–they were very supportive as well.”
Now serving the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as a Tribal Ranger, Winterhawk Carrillo takes on the responsibility of patrolling a wider range of the Southern Ute Reservation and will enforce both natural resources and wildlife codes. “We’re glad that she is back now as a Ranger, still being professional as she always has,” Hamby said. “I think her next chapter in her professional career is going to be a very bright one.”