Kremmling chief outlines police department’s five-year vision |

Kremmling chief outlines police department’s five-year vision

Meg Soyars

Kremmling Police Chief Hiram Rivera unveiled his department’s five-year plan during the town’s board meeting Wednesday.

Rivera stated that the department’s mission “encompasses a service to a community that is much more than just enforcement,” and added that their mission is accomplished with a fully staffed and diverse police force. Rivera’s five-year plan concentrates heavily on staff hiring/retention and training/professional development.

“I’m a firm believer that the success of a police department resides on its people and their expertise,” he said. “Keeping them trained and in a place where there’s consistent growth and development.”

Rivera would also like to keep salaries competitive, plus expand the department’s sick, vacation and personal leave packages to prevent burnout.

“They’re our first responders, and we should provide them a leave package that gives them the opportunity to take care of themselves and their families,” he said.

Within five years, Rivera would also like to provide officers with childcare options and assistance with finding housing.

“Housing is a struggle, but I’m happy to say all our employees have found residences. We’re not having trouble yet … but I don’t want to worry five years from now,” Rivera said.

In addition to all officers having secured stable housing, Kremmling’s Police Department is fully staffed. The department recently welcomed new hire, Officer Kristina Costa. Costa, who relocated to Kremmling from Georgia, is completing her training to become a certified officer in Colorado.

Also this year, the department plans to bring onboard a school resource officer who is trained to respond to school incidents, plus create a volunteer program for civilians to assist the police with nonemergency incidents.

Rivera also applauded Officer Bryson Hicks for his work in 2021.

“All year long he’s done consistent traffic enforcement, and I think he deserves to be commended for his consistency on the street,” Rivera said.

Last, Rivera discussed changing Code Enforcement Officer Carlos Villegas’ title to “community service officer” to better reflect all his duty encompasses.

“Carlos does a lot more than just enforce municipal code … he is educating, providing a service to the community, and wears many different hats,” Rivera said.

In other business:

• The town board voted on Ordinance 705 for raising the compensation of the mayor and the board of trustees. The board approved the ordinance. Starting April 2022, the mayor will receive $250 per regular meeting, special meeting and workshop. The trustees will receive $150 per regular meeting, special meeting and workshop.

Formerly, only regular and special meetings were paid, with trustees and the mayor receiving $50 per meeting. The raise is only available for those reelected or newly elected.

• County Commissioner Kris Manguso discussed the search for a new county attorney, with the current attorney having retired. She also discussed the recent salary increases for county positions, with some positions receiving as much as a $10,000 salary increase. However, a few departments, such as road and bridge, are still having trouble retaining a full staff at the current payrate.

• Town Manager Dan Stoltman brought forth a proposal to create a part time parks and recreation coordinator position. The coordinator would apply for grants, organize youth sports, develop recreational activities and oversee summer employees, among other duties.

Trustees were interested in having the position move to fulltime if possible. Stoltman plans to create a job description for the trustees to put to a vote.

• The trustees discussed winter road conditions and snow removal plans, such as updating public works equipment, to keep intersections and sidewalks clear.

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