Most policemen have little time or energy after than their grueling day jobs, but Denver Police Capt. Ed Lujan is exceptional for his work on the beat, in the pension fund board room — and the gridiron.
Mr. Lujan has been a Denver police officer since 1973 and a trustee of the $2.3 billion Police and Fire Pension Association of Colorado, Greenwood Village, since 1988. He also officiates at high school and NCAA Division II football games in the Denver area.
He loves being a football official because "it brings me in contact with young kids, you get a lot of exercise and I've gotten to meet a lot of people who aren't policemen. We've got stockbrokers, bankers, even morticians who officiate. I think it's what's kept me young," Mr. Lujan said.
An off-duty security job at Denver public school football games in 1983 rekindled his love of the game, having played from first grade through high school. After meeting some of the officials at the games, he was interested enough to memorize the football rule book and pass an entrance exam in 1983.
Mr. Lujan, 55, said officiating has helped him maintain his long career as a police officer, where job stress causes many to retire in their early 40s. Remarkably, Mr. Lujan has never been called away from the field while officiating a game, even when he held active roles as a patrol district captain or head of the police SWAT team. He currently oversees the police department's juvenile division.
Being a football official has its own set of dangers and difficulties, Mr. Lujan said. "You get knocked down a lot. Especially at the college level, these kids are so big and so fast, it's hard to get out of the way," he said. His worst injuries have been a bruised lung and ribs when he was smashed to the ground by an NCAA Division II player. Mr. Lujan said Denver-area officials meet every six weeks or so, even in the off-season, to keep themselves up to date on the rules.
Mr. Lujan has served four terms as police and fire pension fund vice chairman and four other terms as chairman of the board of trustees of the Colorado Police & Fire plan. He will retire Sept. 1 from his police-related jobs and intends to become an institutional marketer for a money management company. "After all, I know so many plan sponsor trustees from around the country after being one for so long," he said.
His retirement activities will also include a two-year stint as president of the Colorado Football Officials Association, beginning in 2005, and — of course — more officiating. "I'm going to keep doing it as long as I'm physically capable," Mr. Lujan said.