Hayden police to expand staffing | SteamboatToday.com

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Hayden police to expand staffing

Department soon will have 6 full-time-equivalent officers

— The Hayden Police Depar­tment will increase its staffing to six full-time-equivalent officers for 2011.

Part-time Officer Jeff Bond will go full time beginning Tuesday, Chief Gordon Booco said. His salary will be funded by a $60,000 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant from the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice. Hayden was awarded the grant in fall.

When Bond comes on board next week, the department will have five full-time-equivalent officers, including four full-time and two part-time officers. That will bring Hayden back to the staffing level it had before former Chief Ray Birch stepped down Dec. 30 to accept the position of Routt County undersheriff. Birch's new job began Tuesday.

The Hayden Police Depart­ment's staffing was the subject of a lengthy executive session held at the conclusion of Thursday's Hayden Town Council meeting.

Hayden Town Manager David Torg­ler said the department also will fill the opening created by Birch's departure. He said the town would advertise for a patrol officer position as soon as possible.

With the hiring of the patrol officer, the department would return to six full-time-equivalent officers. The last time the department had six full-time-equivalent positions was May 2009.

Hayden named Booco acting chief for the next six months, at which point it will seek applicants for a permanent replacement. Torgler said the Town Council will evaluate Booco's performance during his time as acting chief to determine whether he should be awarded the permanent title.

Booco, 56, served as acting chief from July 2008 to March 2009 during Birch's deployment to Iraq with the Air Force Reserves.

Booco is a 20-year veteran of the department — 14 years full time after six years as a reserve officer. He has been a sergeant the past four years.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@steamboatpilot.com