Kremmling hires interim police chief

Kremmling's Mayor Grover Pryor chats with police chief candidate Jesse Lisenby during the hiring process in September, 2020. After serving as an officer, Lisenby was chosen as interim police chief, beginning Nov. 21, 2022.

The town has hired an interim police chief, officer Jesse Lisenby, who assumed the role on Nov. 21. Lisenby is replacing former Police Chief Hiram Rivera Jr., who left the force on Oct. 3.

Lisenby is not a stranger to the Kremmling Police Department. In September 2020, Lisenby applied for the position of Kremmling police chief, along with Rivera. Rivera was ultimately chosen as chief; he then hired on Lisenby to join him that December. Lisenby served as an officer until 2021.

“We’re really excited that Jesse is coming back to join us because he has a very community-minded policing mentality,” said Kremmling Town Manager Ashley Macdonald.

Lisenby’s history of police service began with the Beaumont Police Department in Beaumont, Texas. He then went on to become an officer with the Fort Worth Police Department. Lisenby is also a veteran, having served five years in the Army Special Forces.

“Toward the end of my five-year enlistment, I decided to go into a career in law enforcement. To me, (this job) was just an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Lisenby stated during his interview for the police chief position in 2020.

Lisenby has also described himself as an avid outdoorsman, with a passion for fly-fishing. Lisbeny’s wife, Jennifer, is also a fly-fisher. Kremmling was once a vacation spot for the couple during their excursions to the Colorado River. They decided to make it their home, so Lisenby applied for the Kremmling police department.

Over the past year, the department has seen the departure of two staff members aside from Chief Rivera — code enforcement officer Carlos Villegas and officer Kristina Costa. Since Lisenby is a veteran of the Kremmling force, he is expected to bring a sense of stability to the department.

Currently, the town of Kremmling is working with the recruiting and consulting firm KRW Associates to create a job posting for the permanent police chief position. Macdonald said the town plans to have the posting up publicly by January 2023 at the latest.

Lisenby will lead current officers Bryson Hicks and Katherine Stauhs. Stauhs joined the team after finishing police academy in August, then had her badge pinning ceremony on Oct. 19. Hicks is a veteran with the department, having served since November 2019.

“We’ll be posting for a third patrol officer around the same time of posting the police chief’s position,” Macdonald added. “It’s definitely important for coverage and making sure that we provide law enforcement response to the community.”

In the meantime, Macdonald said the town is glad to welcome back Lisenby as their interim chief.

“What the board really appreciates about Jesse when he did work for us — and what we’ve had great feedback from the community about — (is) how he engaged the community,” Macdonald said. “He’s going to do a great job.”

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