A town without police

Last Oak Creek officer quits force

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— Oak Creek has lost the only member of its struggling police force.

Officer Kelbey Kenney walked into the convenience store and gas station where Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman works Wednesday afternoon and slid his badge across the counter.

"He didn't give a reason," Rodeman said.

"He only said that there were a number of factors that led to the decision and he had been thinking about it for several days."

Rodeman was not surprised the officer quit. Apparently, Kenney has not worked in several days, she said.

"There are notes everywhere in the police office from people looking for him," she said. "No reports have been written for days."

Several calls, including a break-in at the ambulance barn, went unanswered.

Eileen Rossi a certified police officer who briefly agreed to serve as the town's interim chief before stepping down last month spent Wednesday afternoon in the police station making sure the guns were properly stored.

Rodeman said the Routt County Sheriff's Office has agreed to help the town with extra patrols in the short term.

The town is advertising for a police chief, a Colorado certified officer and a code enforcement officer. That advertising will continue, Rodeman said.

Oak Creek had a three-man police force until a new Town Board was elected in April.

Many of the new Town Board members, including Rodeman, ran on an election platform that included reducing the size of the police force or even eliminating it altogether.

Since June, five officers have quit, been fired or forced to resign.

According to Sgt. Richard Wood of the Routt County Sheriff's Office, deputies have been scheduled for overtime shifts over the weekend to service Oak Creek. Wood said no specific plans have been made to fill the gap beyond this weekend.

Kenney originally returned to the Oak Creek Police Department after Sgt. Dave Miller was fired.

His status was temporary, but at a recent Town Board meeting he expressed interest in staying long term after the Town hired a new police chief.

He was not interested in applying for the chief position.

Kenney served as a police officer in Oak Creek previously for a year and a half before quitting to work in the area coalmines.

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