Hayden officials plan to discuss residency requirement for cops | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden officials plan to discuss residency requirement for cops

Officials in Hayden plan to discuss whether its police officers need to live in town. Currently, four of Hayden’s six police officers live outside of the town.

Whether town employees need to live in or close to the town is a topic that has come up in the past, Mayor Jim Haskins said.

“I tend to be more flexible on that,” Haskins said. “Other people say, ‘By God, if you are going to work here, you should live here.'”

In 2013, the West Routt Fire Protection District board expressed its concerns with police response times. Because of safety concerns, the fire department said firefighters would not enter a property unless police were present.

The town in 1995 decided that its police officers need to live within five miles of the town’s border. The personnel policy manual was updated in 1997 and did not include a residency requirement.

Haskins said he did not realize the residency requirement had been eliminated.

Council member Tim Redmond said he wanted to bring up the issue because of several concerns. He said the town has a responsibility to Routt County to have certain response times at Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

Redmond said citizens have complained to him about seeing Hayden police vehicles in Steamboat Springs. Officers are allowed to take their vehicles home.

“I kind of see that as a pay raise,” Redmond said.

Furthermore, Redmond said police need to be a part of the community and know the people they are policing.

“I think local police should know the high school kids and also the seniors they are policing,” Redmond said.

The Hayden Town Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. Thursday with reports from staff members. The regular meeting will start at 7:30 p.m.

The town is also being asked to consider a $7,500 request from the city of Steamboat to help subsidize the regional bus service that runs between Steamboat and Craig.

The Lake Villages homeowners association is also seeking the waiver of a $4,800 water tap fee associated with installing irrigation at open space in the subdivision.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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