Police chief search under way

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— Oak Creek began the first of four interviews for its police chief position Thursday. A panel consisting of members of the Town Board, Oak Creek reserve officer Eileen Rossi and Steamboat Springs Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing are conducting the interviews.

Three candidates, Dale Martin Orlowske, Larry Elarton and Bob Yant, were scheduled for interviews Thursday.

A final candidate, Charles Oliver, is scheduled for an interview on Nov. 8. Elarton called to cancel his appointment, but the panel plans to reschedule.

All candidates are certified by the Colorado POST and were approved by a review board of Routt County Sheriff John Warner, Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta and Steamboat Springs Director of Public Safety J.D. Hays.

According to a list released at the Oct. 24 Town Board meeting, Orlowske most recently served as a police officer with the North Slope Borough Police Department in remote northern Alaska.

Yant, who interviewed in the late afternoon on Thursday, is still employed as a detective at the Montezuma County Sheriff's Office, but served for a year as the police chief of Lochbuie, a small town in Weld County.

Once the four candidates have been interviewed, the panel will choose one man they feel would best suit the position of Oak Creek police chief.

The town has been without a police force since Oak Creek's last officer, Kenny Kelbey, quit without warning on Aug. 29.

Warner has promised the town that his deputies will conduct an extensive background search of the finalist, including interviews of neighbors and co-workers.

If the finalist fails the background check, the panel will return to the three remaining candidates.

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