Hayden to consider accepting grant for police position | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden to consider accepting grant for police position

— The Hayden Town Council is scheduled to consider accepting a grant tonight that would restore a Hayden Police Depart­ment officer position to almost full time.

The department was awarded a $60,000 Justice Assistance Grant from the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, Chief Ray Birch said.

Birch said one of his part-time officers would be able to work about 33 or 34 hours per week, up from eight to 10, with the funding.

The funding would restore an officer position he lost in May 2009.

At the time, Birch had six full-time-equivalent officers: five full time and two half time.

He said the town eliminated two full-time positions and made one half-time officer full time.

The department now has four full-time officers, including Birch, and three part-time officers who work a combined total of 10 to 15 hours per week.

The department also employs a civilian who serves as police clerk and evidence technician.

Birch said getting back to nearly five full-time officers would allow the department to provide backup on nights with more calls that are more serious.

In addition, Birch said it would allow the department to schedule officers nearly all day instead of having a gap in coverage.

“The idea of getting as close as we can to providing 24-hour coverage is our goal, which is a better service for the community,” he said.

Birch added that having another officer would spread out the 3,300 calls for service the department receives annually among five officers instead of four.

If accepted by the Hayden Town Council, the grant funding will start paying the officer to work full time Jan. 1 and run through the end of 2011.

Birch said he would apply for another grant to continue funding the fifth officer.

No local funding match is required for the grant, and Birch said he’s not worried about it not being approved.

“If it’s not approved, we would be in the exact same situation — utilizing that person for lesser hours,” Birch said.

The Town Council also will consider restrictions on land Terrance Hefty and Roy Lipson plan to deed to Hayden.

The restrictions include making the 4,666-square-foot parcel open space for public use, which can’t be used as a road, as a parking lot or for a permanent structure.

The restrictions, which are subject to review by future Town Councils, also state that Hayden would be obligated to donate $40,000 to the Hayden Heritage Center if they were breached.

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