Former Greeley cop swaps blue for pink
Veteran officer finds Mary Kay cosmetics to be just the ticket
July 8, 2003
By Mike Peters
GREELEY - Ann Blush has a mantra she repeats when asked about her change of
"I went from nightsticks to lipsticks, tough to fluff, mace to your face and
bullets to blush," she says.
After 18 years in law enforcement, Blush turned in her badge and started selling
Mary Kay cosmetics. She still drives a Harley-Davidson, but now it's pink.
Blush started her law enforcement career in 1979 as a jail officer in McLean
County, Ill., and became the county's first female deputy in 1981. Later that
year, she moved to Greeley. She was with the Weld County Sheriff's Office for 10
years then served as a Greeley police officer from 1991 to 1997.
She wasn't expecting to change careers. She had attended college in her home
state of Illinois to become a teacher but drifted into law enforcement.
Then, in the autumn of 1996, Blush received a radio call to assist campus police
at the University of Northern Colorado.
"There's a man with a gun in a dorm room, and he may be threatening others," the
police dispatcher said.
Blush was on her way when another officer in the area said he would handle the
call. So she went to answer another call in her patrol area.
The UNC call involved 25-year-old Joe Gallegos, who allegedly had killed three
people at his home in southwestern Colorado and had driven to Greeley to
confront to his ex-girlfriend, a student at UNC.
Blush's husband, Jim, was a member of the SWAT team that had gone to the
dormitory. A Greeley police sniper eventually killed Gallegos as he threatened
to kill the women in the room.
Blush worried about her husband all day, unable to concentrate or even eat. That
night, when it was all over, she told him about her feelings.
"He told me, 'That's how I worry about you all the time,' " she said. "I never
knew he worried about me like that."
Shortly after the conversation, Mary Kay came along.
"It's a more positive organization than police work," Blush said. "As a cop, you
see everybody at their worst, whether they're the victim of a crime or a
criminal. Now I see people when they're friendly, happy. People I've met in this
business actually like me when we meet on the street."
"When I'm on the job for Mary Kay, I'm not pulling drunks over at 2 in the
morning," she added.
Blush's new job also pays more. Her salary depends on how long and hard she
works. She is now a senior sales director, with 50 women in her group.
Blush also has returned to school and is close to getting a degree in elementary
and bilingual education at UNC.
Blush and her husband have motorcycles and like to ride them on vacations.
They've also traveled to South Dakota for the annual motorcycle rally in
In April, with the help of a friend, Blush took a little more of the edge off
and had her "construction yellow" 1995 Harley-Davidson repainted pink - Mary Kay
The cosmetics company is famous for the pink Cadillacs often awarded to
high-selling sales representatives, but Blush decided to make a statement with a
"When I had the yellow bike, nobody even noticed," Blush said. "But when I go by
on a pink Harley, they look."
She also added some lipstick lip prints on the gas tank and windshield. She
isn't sure how other Harley owners will react, but she hopes it might attract
some new clients.