Oak Creek Oak Creek's police chief is one of six men hired to be new deputies for the Routt County Sheriff's Office.
Oak Creek Chief of Police Dan Kelliher said he will start his new job on April 2, ending nearly a five-year stint in Oak Creek, with the last year and a half as chief.
"I'm looking forward to getting back on the road," Kelliher said. "I spend a lot of time behind a desk right now."
Oak Creek's new town manager, Ray Leibensperger, now has one of his first tasks on the job cut out for him. Leibensperger, who started work last week, said he and other town officials have someone in mind to act as an interim chief until a new chief is hired, but he didn't want to release the name until the town knew for sure.
"Whether or not that person will take the job, I don't know," Leibensperger said.
Leibensperger found out about Kelliher's hire right after it happened through his son-in-law, John Chapman, who also was one of the six new deputies.
Chapman came from Florida last year to work for the Steamboat Springs Police Department. Now he will be a Routt County deputy.
"He's a really good guy," Routt County Undersheriff Dan Taylor said. "We feel lucky to have him."
Chapman isn't the only new hire with experience from the Steamboat Springs Police Department. Garrett Wiggins, who was on the city force for two years, also was hired. Taylor said the Sheriff's Office is excited to recruit Wiggins because he has 12 years of police experience.
Both new deputies will start work later this month.
The county's other three hires were officers for the Routt County Jail. Jason Blackbourne, Jerard Geis and Curtis Luster all have been hired to patrol the road; however, the three won't start immediately.
Each has to finish field training at a police academy. Blackbourne already has started the training, which takes between 12 and 16 weeks, while Geis and Luster start their training in April.
As far as Taylor can remember, this is the most deputy hires the county has ever had at one time.
If all the new deputies started at once, it would be difficult to train them at one time to work for the county, he said. If everything works as planned, when Geis and Luster finish their field training sometime in the summer, the Sheriff's Office will be at full staff with its deputies.