Joel Rae promoted to Steamboat police chief |

Joel Rae promoted to Steamboat police chief

Joel Rae watches retiring Steamboat Springs Police Department Chief JD Hays cut a ribbon during the JD Hays Way street dedication ceremony Thursday. Rae has been named the new police chief.

— Joel Rae has been named the new chief of the Steamboat Springs Police Department.

He replaces longtime chief JD Hays, who retired Thursday.

Steamboat City Manager Jon Roberts said he signed off on the promotion Tuesday.

"There was such unanimous support for Joel being chief, and going through a recruiter would have just been a procedure," Roberts said.

Rae most recently has reported to the police chief as the captain of the patrol division. He started his law enforcement career in 1992 and joined the Steamboat department in 1996.

Rae said he's looking forward to continuing to work with a "great city and great staff."

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According to the city's Financial Services department, Rae's salary will be $93,329.

Hays said he identified Rae as his preferred replacement several years ago, and Hays began shifting his responsibilities at that time.

"I've kept a pretty low profile for the last two or three years," Hays said. "I wanted him to have the job, he deserves to have the job, and he got the job, and that's exactly what I wanted."

Rae said he plans to hire a new captain to oversee the patrol department.

"That will be evaluated over the course of the next few weeks," Rae said. "I think we have some very capable candidates from within the department."

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