Joel Rae has been named captain of the Steamboat Springs Police Department's patrol division. He will replace Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing.
Rae is set to become captain of the police department June 1, a day before Fiebing retires from his post.
Rae has been with the Steamboat police department for eight years, 6 1/2 of which he served as sergeant. Before moving to Steamboat, Rae was with the Louisville police department for five years as a patrol, investigation and field training officer.
"He was the best man for the job," Public Safety Director J.D. Hays said.
The department did not look beyond its own officers for Fiebing's replacement and are looking to fill Rae's vacant sergeant position, Hays said.
The police department will be slightly restructured when Fiebing leaves, having Rae overseeing all uniformed patrol officers and community service officers, and Captain Rick Crotz in charge of investigations, code enforcement and animal control.
With Crotz expected to leave by the end of the year, Hays said, the police department also will be looking for his replacement soon.
The two-captain command structure was how the department was intended to be structured seven or eight years ago, Hays said.
"It is something we have anticipated for years; we knew it was coming," Hays said of the changing of the department's higher-ranking officers.
Rae said the police department should not see too much of a change when he takes the helm of the patrol division.
"We will still have the same philosophy that is in place. Some little things may change," Rae said.
During his time in Steamboat, Rae has worked with the department's field training evaluation program, the firearm training program and the management response team.
Rae was born and raised in Greeley. He moved to Steamboat because of its community and lifestyle and because he saw it as a great place to raise his two children.
One of his goals as captain, Rae said, is to keep the lines of communication open between the police department and residents.
"If there are any concerns about anything the police officers do, any questions on why we do what we do, please call and voice those concerns," Rae said.
Fiebing, who plans to move to Orange County, Calif., with his family, had been the assistant police chief for eight years. Before moving to the police department in 1994, Fiebing had worked at the sheriff's office for 10 years.