Hayden officer promoted | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden officer promoted

Yampa Valley native becomes town's first sergeant

Brandon Gee

— The Hayden Police Department has a sergeant’s position for the first time.

Gordon Booco, a Hayden native and 16-year veteran of the force, was promoted to the new position July 1.

Booco’s promotion is the first step in a series of changes coming to the Hayden Police Department, which hopes to break ground on a new police station by the spring of next year.

After written and oral evaluations, Booco was rated first among three applicants for the sergeant’s position. The oral assessment included evaluators from the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, the Craig Police Department and the district attorney’s office.

“He worked really hard for the promotion, and it showed,” Hayden Police Chief Ray Birch said. “He’s a highly qualified and highly motivated peace officer.”

Booco, who was a reservist on the Hayden force for six years and has been a full-time officer for 10 years, said he looks forward to his new role.

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“I feel very good about it,” Booco said. “It’s an exciting step for me, and I’m excited.”

Booco previously worked for a coal mine and an oil company. Since joining the Hayden Police Department, he said he has never seriously considered taking a job with another agency, even though working as a police officer in his hometown – sometimes having to deal with lifelong family and friends – has its “advantages and disadvantages.”

“I’m pretty much happy with Hayden,” said Booco, a married father of two children. “I’ve been around the country some, and I haven’t found anywhere I like any better. I’ve found my home.”

Birch said the sergeant’s position was created at the direction of the town, which wanted to see some middle management in the police department. Booco’s new responsibilities will include supervising other officers, making decisions in the chief’s absence, writing evaluations, approving reports, coordinating training and heading up community-based programs.

The promotion will largely relieve Birch of his supervisory role, allowing him to focus more on administrative concerns.