Steamboat Springs On Sunday, Capt. Gary Torgerson of the Colorado State Patrol became the supervising officer of Jackson and Grand counties to go along with Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties that are already under his control.
Joining 14 troopers stationed in Steamboat Springs, Craig and Meeker will be six additional troopers assigned to Grand and Jackson counties, said Torgerson, a 20-year veteran.
"These troopers are experienced and outstanding officers," Torgerson said. "It is a real benefit to our troopers to get these officers. We will now have more experience and expertise."
Prior to the realignment, Sgt. Mike McGinley, who is the supervising officer of the five troopers who patrol highways in Granby, Kremmling and Walden, reported to the captain in Frisco.
Top officials in the State Patrol thought it would be better geographically to have these troopers report to Torgerson, who works out of the Craig office, he said.
"Geographically, the change makes sense," Torgerson said. "They were assigned out of the Frisco office, which is real busy with Interstate 70 and the Eisenhower Tunnel.
"It did not make sense to have them report to that office."
Torgerson does not believe the coverage area the troopers are currently assigned to will shift any, but he does believe it will be easier for the troopers in the various counties to work together, he said.
"We will be helping them out once in a while when they are short-staffed," he said. "They also will be available to help in our coverage areas if we need it."
Torgerson said it will be a challenge to manage the five counties, but he is excited about the new job responsibilities.
"I will be traveling more," he said. "I know those troopers a little bit, but I am looking forward to getting to know them better."
Torgerson took over as the supervising officer for Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties about a year ago. Prior to coming to Craig, he worked on the Front Range. Torgerson's superiors work out of an office in Grand Junction.