Kelliher, Redmond join Hayden force

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— Two Routt County deputies who lost their jobs last week when new sheriff Gary Wall took office have landed with the Hayden Police Department.

Rachelle Redmond and Dan Kelliher will be reserve officers in the Hayden force, working for their former Sheriff's Office colleague and current Hayden police Chief Ray Birch.

"It worked out for them, and it worked out for the town of Hayden as well," said Birch, who ran for sheriff but lost in the Republican primary.

Dan Kelliher worked at the Sheriff's Office for five years, and for the Oak Creek Police Department for about five years. He was sworn in to the Hayden Police Department on Jan. 10, two days after he learned he did not have a job under the new sheriff. He said he was shocked to learn he was out of the job.

"I've gotten a lot of support from the community," Kelliher said Wednesday. "Hayden has been extremely supportive as well as Ray Birch."

Redmond was an investigator at the Sheriff's Office, where she worked for 12 years. She was sworn in as a Hayden reserve officer Monday.

"I'm excited to work for them," Redmond said Wed-nesday. "I haven't worked as a peace officer for a municipality, so there will be things that they can teach me as well."

Hayden reserve officers are not full-time employees and both Kelliher and Redmond said they want to return to being full-time law enforcement officials in the Yampa Valley.

"I love my job, and I love the Yampa Valley," Kelliher said.

Former Hayden Police Chief Jody Lenahan started the Hay-den reserve officer program in 1995 when 10 reserve officers were trained in the Hayden Police Academy.

Reserve officers take the same oath of office that full-time Hayden police officers take.

"We look at them as a resource," Birch said. "If a critical incident occurred, it allows us to pull them in and utilize them in addition to our officers."

Reserve officers are required to volunteer 16 hours each month patrolling Hayden and are paid a part-time wage if they work more than that. Reserve officers are also eligible to take security shifts at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport, where they earn $35 an hour.

"We can use them at the airport, and we can use them in town," Birch said.

Hayden has two other reserve officers, Russ Davis and Kelly Brady.

Redmond said she was aware Hayden had a reserve program because she has worked with Hayden police over the years. Redmond talked to Birch about becoming an officer, she said, and it was also an opportunity for her to keep her Peace Officer Standards and Training certifications current.

Redmond and Kelliher both live in South Routt.

Redmond said she has not started work yet, but Kelliher said he has already taken a couple shifts at the airport.

"As of now, that's what I'll be doing," Kelliher said. "I'll work for the town of Hayden as long as they'll have me."

Former Routt County Undersheriff Dan Taylor was let go from the Sheriff's Office at the same time as Redmond and Kelliher.

Taylor said Wednesday he has a "couple different things going on," and Birch visited him after he was let go and talked to him about being a Hayden reserve officer. Taylor said he has not decided whether to take Birch up on the offer.

"Ray's attitude is indicative of who he is," Taylor said. "I appreciate what he did for Rachelle and Dan and he is a great guy for making that offer."

- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210

or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

goldilocks 7 years, 11 months ago

Kudos to Ray for doing the right thing and keeping these two excellent people in Yampa Valley Law Enforcement after the injustices that occurred at the SO. They are both assets to any department with which they work. THANKS Ray!

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 11 months ago

Well said goldilocks, Birch knows that a boss is only as good as the officers he leads so he's taking advantage of the situation and surrounding himself with the best. I don't know much about Redmond but he's getting a dedicated hard working officer in Keliher. All I can say is the stupidity of the new RCSO is Haydens gain. Good Luck Ray, so far you're making some sound decisions!

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