COLORADO VINE PROGRAM MANAGER ANTHONY ANTUNA
“Get to Know Your Customers Day” is observed on the third Thursday of each quarter. Appriss would like to take this opportunity to learn a little bit more about our customers, and to spotlight just how wonderful they are.
Appriss’ flagship solution, VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is the nation’s leading automated victim notification system. Simply, victims and concerned citizens can register, via VINE, and be notified when an offender is released from custody. VINE is used across 48 states, providing millions of Americans the peace of mind they deserve.
In each state, there is at least one designated VINE Program Manager. The Program Manager is typically an employee of the entity or agency that holds the VINE contract in that location, and serves as the liaison between Appriss and their community. They are the main point of contact for all VINE-related questions, concerns, or needs that citizens may have, and are responsible for ensuring their community is knowledgeable about the VINE services available to them.
Program Managers are imperative to the success of VINE—as they provide Appriss invaluable feedback and suggestions “from the field,” so that we can be confident the service offers a streamlined, user-friendly experience and continues to be a trusted safety net for victims.
Our VINE Program Manager in the great State of Colorado is Mr. Anthony Antuna. We were excited to get to know Anthony a little better…
Name: Anthony Antuna
State/Title: Program Manager, Colorado VINE
Professional Background: I’m retired law enforcement, previously serving:
- The University of Northern Colorado Police Department for 22 years (retired as a sergeant in 2009)
- Metropolitan State University and the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus as a Title IX Investigator
- The Colorado Ending Violence Against Women Project (EVAW) as a Law Enforcement Trainer
- The Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA), training the Colorado Victim Rights Act for Law Enforcement
What drew you to your role as Program Manager? I trained in many of the same locations as my predecessor, and I was very much drawn to the way VINE provided for victim safety. I was also very interested in the programs that VINE has for law enforcement and victim advocates to assist in providing that safety. I also love the opportunity to train around the state.
What keeps you here? Working directly with those who support victims and survivors in our state. I do miss the direct interaction with victims, but I know that the stakeholders and community partners are doing a great job in working with those victims. And, I love training and meeting new people all around Colorado.
What is the best part of your job? I love teaching and talking to people about VINE and the power it provides victims and survivors.
The hardest? Sometimes, it can be addressing misunderstandings about VINE and the good that it does (e.g., when stakeholders such as law enforcement, advocates, and those in the judicial system are unaware of, or do not understand VINE). But, that gives way to an opportunity for me to teach—to promote understanding—the best part of my job!
What does VINE mean to your state? VINE is a critical component of our state, especially to those who provide direct victim services. We provide a lifesaving safety service to victims and survivors, alerting them when their offender is released from jail and allowing them to plan for their safety.
Colorado has recently enacted a new law, amending a section of the Victim Rights Act that made victim notification mandatory for certain crimes. The former section of that statute required that victims opt-in for that notification, but under the new amendment, they are now automatically registered to be notified. This means that VINE plays an even more important role in assisting jails with those notifications and keeping them in compliance with the law.
Do you have any anecdotes you can share? I had a victim advocate supervisor at a particular police department who had her investigation command staff meet with me so I could train them on VINE. After the meeting, one of the Detective Sergeants told me how impressed he was with the services VINE had to offer to support law enforcement, and he told me: “I thought VINE was just for victims.” It was after that I started to use “VINE Is More than Just the Link” in my training flyers.
Where did you grow up? Greeley, CO—about 60 miles north of Denver. I have been there all my life.
What are your hobbies? Photography. I was a crime scene investigator, and now that I have retired from that job, my photography subjects are less intense.
Where is your favorite place to travel? I like to travel to the mountains here in Colorado, as well as Washington State and Southern California.
What is your dream vacation? Traveling somewhere for more than a week. That usually does not happen!
Favorite food? Mexican
Favorite sports team? Colorado Avalanche
Favorite color? Red
Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. Why? I get to be with my family, and then I get to eat!
What books are you reading? I don’t read much. I am not that patient.
What TV shows do you watch? Bluebloods
Do you have any pets? One Great Dane, two cats, one horse, and two mules.
Favorite quote? I have a lot of “Antunaisms,” but my favorite is: “If you are going to do something, do it right or do not do it at all… but you have to do it, so do it right.”
What is interesting about you that most people don’t know? My son was a bull rider in high school, and I am, for the most part, a city boy. When he would ride, I would be behind the chutes helping to spot him or trying his rope. The folks running the rodeos had a dress code: usually western shirts, jeans, cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat. But, I did not exactly follow that dress code. I usually came to the rides right after work as a detective, so I was usually in button down shirt, slacks, and a tie. I once offered to change my attire but was told that I had already “set my standard,” and they did not want me to change.
That wraps it up for this quarter’s “Get to Know Your Customers Day” spotlight. We have enjoyed learning and sharing a little more about what makes Anthony such an outstanding partner in Colorado. Thank you, Anthony! We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to Coloradans who rely on VINE!