New head cop could assume duties shortly
~ by Rick Langenberg ~
Don’t wager any bets yet, but the town of Green Mountain Falls may end its cop-less plight shortly, possibly within the next few weeks.
In fact, motorists and residents may enjoy their final days of speeding down Ute Pass Avenue, interfering with slow-strolling geese and deer and violating codes without facing the consequences.
The town’s Board of Trustees met behind closed doors Friday afternoon in executive session and agreed to make an offer to their preferred finalist for the marshal position, recommended by Interim Town Manager John Pick. Pick has declined to release any details pertaining to the name or background of the possible new marshal.
According to Mayor Jane Newberry, if the finalist accepts the position, then the new marshal could start relatively soon, pending a notification of a prior employer and other final details.
“All testing has been completed,” said the mayor. “We are moving ahead and have extended an offer.”
During last week’s trustees meeting, Pick announced that the field had been narrowed down to two finalists, both of whom attended a meet and greet with members of the public recently and partook in an executive session with the trustees. “The interviews went very well,” reported Pick, in describing the Jan. 30 special meeting.
According to previous media reports, the two finalists had consisted of a Colorado resident and an out-of-state contender.
The final marshal announcement is long-awaited as the town has gone for close to a year without having a marshal or any type of regular law enforcement force. According to long-time residents, this is the longest period the town has endured without having a marshal on duty, a GMF tradition since the late 1800s.
The town has received the support of the El Paso and Teller sheriff departments during this interim period. But according to locals, there hasn’t been nearly as much of a law enforcement presence in the last year.
This fact has made some residents and business owners a little nervous, with the prospects of more break-ins and vandalism. The media itself has come under fire with one letter writer accusing TMJ of adding fuel to the fire by doing articles on the failure of the town to hire a marshal. In the last year, the town has been the target of many national news reports regarding its marshal-less plight
The town has gone without a marshal since April 2016, when former Police Chief Tim Bradley and his entire crew of volunteers quit following the municipal election.
Last summer, the town government appeared ready to hire a new police chief, but the North Carolina finalist for the job couldn’t fulfill the final requirements, and the board of trustees was headed back to square one in the hiring process.
The town has allocated a little more than $77,000 for the job and related office expenses for 2017.