JD Hays: Nothing new


The article “Small mountain towns are losing officers to big cities” in Monday’s Steamboat Today” is nothing new. Having worked for the Steamboat Springs Police Department for almost 32 years, I saw this firsthand dozens upon dozens of times. Throughout the years, we literally wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on recruiting and training officers only to lose them to the Front Range for the reasons stated in the article. The Steamboat Springs Police Department is a good organization and is recognized as such by other agencies across the state as well as our own local community surveys completed during my tenure. Finding the right people to do the job for the right reasons is an expensive, long and drawn-out process, and then to lose them after a couple of years is very frustrating.

JD Hays

Chief of police, 1997 to 2012


Stuart Orzach 3 years, 11 months ago


I'm interested in your thoughts on how the high turnover rate affects the citizens of Steamboat Springs over and above the high cost of training new people. Also, can the money spent on training new recruits be better spent to improve the retention rate? Finally, are there any non-monetary ways to improve the situation?


mark hartless 3 years, 11 months ago

If, as a contractor, I get every job I am bidding then I know I am working too cheap. If I get none of the jobs I'm bidding then I'm too high.

Turnover is a part of any work force and must be factored into the cost of doing business.

Not everyone that leaves is leaving because they are not compensated fairly. Some leave for a change of scenery, family issues, etc and a huge salary increase would not have kept them anyway.

Others who need to leave because they are not so great an employee might stay on if the compensation was higher. Losing those people to the "competition" is a blessing in disguise.

I'm sure much of what JD is saying is true, but there are other ways of looking at it as well.


Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

I think a young police officer seeking career advancement is likely to look towards a larger police department.

I note that JD Hays came here from a large police department so it can be a two way street.


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