Steamboat Springs Routt County Sheriff-elect Garrett Wiggins has offered his undersheriff position to Hayden Police Chief Ray Birch, who said today that he'll accept the offer.
"I'm going to take that job as undersheriff," Birch said in a brief phone interview this morning.
Wiggins cited Birch's experience.
“Mr. Birch has a very impressive résumé in the law enforcement profession serving in numerous positions and has served his country throughout his entire adult life as a solder in the U.S. military,” Wiggins wrote in an e-mail to the Steamboat Pilot & Today on Monday night. “Mr. Birch will bring forth many years of experience and leadership capabilities to the Routt County Sheriff’s Office.”
Wiggins is in Littleton training for his upcoming job and could not immediately be reached by telephone.
Birch has served in the Marine Corps and enlisted in the Air Force Reserves after Sept. 11, 2001. He since has served two tours of duty in Iraq, including a 191-day tour in 2008 and early 2009.
He was named Hayden’s chief of police in December 2006 after being selected by a committee of residents.
He has about three decades of law enforcement experience. He worked at the Pomona Police Department in Los Angeles County for 17 years before moving to Colorado. He worked at the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office and served as the 14th Judicial District’s chief investigator. After returning from Iraq in March 2005, Birch was hired as a sergeant with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office.
Birch ran for the Republican nomination for Routt County sheriff in 2006 but lost to Wiggins in the primary. Wiggins went on to lose to Sheriff Gary Wall, a Democrat.
Wiggins first offered the undersheriff job to former 14th Judicial District investigator Joe DeAngelo, who declined last week in favor of remaining in his current position as an investigator for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.