Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Police Department has hired three new police officers.
Police Capt. Joel Rae said the police department was eager to hire the men, especially because the department has been short-staffed for several months.
"We'd been full staffed prior to last year, and then we just lost a few officers. Hiring new officers always comes and goes in waves," Rae said.
The new officers are Ricky Romero, 26, of Denver; Sam Silva, 30, of Hayden; and Kevin Craig, 27, of Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Romero previously worked with the Sheridan Police Department and has worked with the Steamboat Springs Police Department for about a week. Silva is with the Routt County Sheriff's Office and will begin work with the police department Tuesday. Craig recently relocated from the Oak Ridge Police Department and began work with the police department Monday.
"We've got a great group of guys. They're very welcome additions to the department," Rae said.
The police department was operating without the positions since last year when former officers Damian Baynes, Nate Morton and Rick Crotz left.
"We could have been fully staffed sooner than now, but it is hard to find good applicants, and we didn't want to lower our standards. We decided to wait for the right people to fill the positions," Rae said. "These guys are the right people."
Rae said Romero, Craig and Silva have completed the police academy and will go through 16 weeks of intensive field training to introduce them to the city and the department's procedures. Rae said each of the new officers will be with a training officer for those 16 weeks and must pass tests before they are allowed to patrol on their own.
Rae said he is glad to have the officers because it will lessen the number of 12-hour shifts for the officers, and it will give the other officers training opportunities.