First woman named as interim police chief in Oak Creek

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— Oak Creek has named Eileen Rossi interim chief of police, making her the first woman to lead the department.

A south Routt local, Rossi retired from the Routt County Sheriff's Office about a year and a half ago.She was a reserve officer for Oak Creek when she was asked to fill the position.

Rossi worked for the Sheriff's Office for about 15 years, working her way up to investigator. She also started the Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education (DARE) program in the county.

"It's been an honor to be asked to fill in," Rossi said. "It's a community need that had to be filled."

Rossi was officially accepted for the temporary job by the Oak Creek Board of Trustees Thursday. She will start April 16 and work for 90 days while the town works to hire a full-time chief.

"I think she'll do an excellent job," Town Trustee and Police Commissioner Sonja Norris said. "I'm looking forward to working with her."

Town officials learned they needed to fill the position about two weeks ago when Dan Kelliher announced he will accept a job at the Routt County Sheriff's Office. He will start next month. Kelliher has been an Oak Creek officer for nearly five years. He has been chief for the past year and a half.

Oak Creek already has received applications for the position, and town officials hope to have it filled at the end of Rossi's 90-day duty.

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