Cop talk |

Cop talk

Oak Creek's lone police officer creates concern

— As Oak Creek’s police chief and sole law enforcement officer, Linda Koile is beginning to feel the burn.

“It’s been extremely difficult,” she said Wednesday.

The Oak Creek Police De-

partment’s future is a topic the Oak Creek Town Board plans to discuss during its meeting tonight.

Steamboat Springs resident Scott Wedel, who owns a business in Oak Creek, is scheduled to address the board about his concern for Koile’s personal safety, particularly because she doesn’t have any fellow officers to provide support.

“I think he’s just very upset that I’m by myself without having any help or support,” Koile said.

Wedel could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

During budget cuts in November, the Town Board slashed about $11,000 from the police department’s budget and directed Koile not to replace former Officer Chris Tritz’s position when he left the department. A code enforcement position also will not be filled.

Town Clerk Karen Halterman said the board will not make any final decision during tonight’s meeting, but its members may schedule a work session to discuss the police department.

“We’re still struggling with our supplemental budget, so there’s going to be more discussion about the police department there,” she said.

Historically, Oak Creek’s police department has fluctuated between one to five officers in the department, she said.

“The Town Board will make the decision it needs to structure the department, whether it’s leaving it at one person, seeking another officer, contracting with the (Routt County) Sheriff’s Office) or doing away with it all together,” she said. “Those are all options that have been discussed.”

The Oak Creek Town Board meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Oak Creek Town Hall.

In other business, the Town Board is scheduled to:

n Hear from Chuck Vale, Routt County Director of Emergency Management, regarding the town’s response to future emergencies.

n Hear from Karen Tussey regarding a log cabin visitor’s center project.

n Hear from Noreen Moore of the Routt County Economic Development Cooperative.

n Discuss the town’s level of responsibility for a broken water line.

n Appoint a Town Board member, Oak Creek employee or resident to the Routt County Building Department’s Users Board.

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