Photo by Matt Stensland
Jerry Stabile celebrates in 2009 with Steamboat Springs High School football players Bryce Mayo, left, and Mitchell Lekarczyk after a win. Stabile, who was promoted to police captain Thursday, has served as a role model for hundreds of local youths.
Steamboat Springs Colleagues and friends say Steamboat Springs’ new police captain, Jerry Stabile, is a motivator who has served as a role model for hundreds of local youths.
“He’s one of those guys that he walks into the room, and people are magnetized to him,” said Steamboat Springs High School head football coach Lonn Clementson. “People who are working with him are eager to please.”
Clementson has coached Sailors football with Stabile for 12 years and said Stabile has been an incredible asset to the athletic program and its participants.
“He understands the highs and the lows that a teenager goes through and is really able to invite them down a path of success using his own vision and personality,” Clementson said.
The relationships that Stabile has cultivated throughout the years at the school continue to grow beyond the football field. That is important for community policing and is one of the reasons Chief Joel Rae said Stabile was promoted to captain of the patrol division.
“I’m excited and feel like we have a solid patrol captain in place,” said Rae, who became chief in early January. “His loyalty and integrity are without question.”
Since starting in 1990 as a police officer in Steamboat, Stabile has been a patrol officer, sergeant, detective, tactical team member, school resource officer and once ran the D.A.R.E. program. Becoming captain always has been the goal, Stabile said.
“Everything I’ve done in my career to this day was intended to put me in the position for the position I was interviewing for,” said Stabile, an Iowa native.
Stabile is married to Jenny Stabile, and they have three children: Alexis is attending college in Iowa, Megan is a junior at the high school, and Sammy Jo is in seventh grade.
As a detective, Stabile, 46, has helped investigate many of Steamboat’s high-profile crimes. He was the lead detective in the 2009 Alpine Bank embezzlement case, in which Pamela Jean Williams and Terri Dawn Moody Fatka ultimately admitted to stealing $1.3 million and were sentenced to eight years each in prison.
His former job as a school resource officer presented possibly the biggest challenges. Some students and even parents did not like the idea of having a cop at the school, and Stabile said he essentially was booed when introduced to the high school students at the beginning of the year. The following year, Stabile said he was given a standing ovation. By his fourth year, the students chose him as the homecoming parade marshal. He had succeeded at changing student perceptions toward law enforcement by educating them with words and an attitude they could understand.
“Plumbers help you unclog drains,” Stabile told them. “Police officers help you solve problems.”
Stabile will be one of two captains at the department. His primary duty will be to oversee the patrol division and its four sergeants. Capt. Bob DelValle oversees the investigations division.
A board of four people interviewed the three candidates Wednesday and narrowed the field to two finalists. The board members were Steamboat Springs Human Resources Director John Thrasher, former Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord, Steamboat businessman Bob Dapper and Capt. Bob DelValle.
“All three did extremely well,” Rae said. “It’s nice to be able to have a choice of three solid candidates.”
Rae conducted interviews with two finalists and chose Stabile on Thursday.
“He keeps it fun, and that’s what I want,” Rae said. “I want people to truly enjoy coming to work.”
Stabile said he looks forward to working with Rae to continue to improve a department that Stabile said already is renowned, in part because of the leadership of former police Chief JD Hays.
“I’m just excited to be in a position where I can feel like I can make a positive difference within the department,” Stabile said.
Even with the additional responsibilities, Stabile said he will find time to continue coaching Sailors football.
“Joel and JD have always recognized the importance of that connection,” Stabile said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com