It must be March in Delta County. Columns of smoke dot the landscape, a breeze carries an odor of burning, and the sound of sirens punctuates an otherwise peaceful day.
On Thursday, Feb. 1, Cedaredge Middle School was put into a "shelter in place" status. That afternoon at around 2 p.m. the Cedaredge Police Department posted the following statement on its Facebook page; the same statement was re-posted on the CMS Facebook page:
Donovan Sinka, 21, was arrested by a SWAT team in Denver early Tuesday, Jan. 9, after an incident that occurred north of Cedaredge on Monday, Jan. 8. Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee provided a summary of the incident, which initially looked like Sinka was targeting a Colorado State Patrol trooper who lived in the area.
Donald C. Abeyta, 26, of Delta was arrested and jailed Jan. 5.
At the time of the arrest Abeyta was removed from a closet in the residence where he had been hiding.
The Delta Police Department is pleased to introduce two new officers. Kenneth Taylor and Kevan Arreola were hired in January 2018. Taylor is a resident of Delta; Arreola makes his home in Olathe.
The Town of Paonia is seeking a certified police officer after two officers left the Police Department within days of each other to work for other departments.
As of Nov. 30 the department is down to two and a half officers after officers Stewart Byrge accepted a position at Cedaredge and Taffine Patterson accepted a position at Dinosaur.
The Paonia Police Department reports that between Aug. 1 and 15, police officers responded to 66 incidents,
The Delta Police Department welcomes John Laiminger to its patrol staff.
Officer Laiminger grew up in Paonia.
With a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Delta Police Department targeted DUI enforcement Aug. 22 and Aug. 25. Over a 40-hour period, Chief Luke Fedler said DPD officers made 53 traffic contacts, but zero arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
On Aug. 15, officers of the Delta Police Department responded to a residence on 1600 Road to assist Child Protective Services with the removal of children from the home. The response resulted in the Delta Police Department seeking a search warrant on the residence.
After a 14-year break, the streets of Paonia will once again be patrolled by bicycle. Police officer Stewart Byrge recently completed training as a bicycle police officer, and took to the streets Saturday afternoon.
Safeguard your bicycles -- get them registered with the Town of Cedaredge. Protect your bicycles against theft!
According to the police log for April 1 through April 30, the Cedaredge Police Department responded to 42 incidents and issued four citations.
On May 18, officers of the Delta Police Department, with the assistance from the Delta County Sheriff's Office and Montrose County Sheriff's Office, conducted a search warrant at 960 Crawford Avenue, Delta. The warrant was related to drugs, drug use and possession, drug manufacturing and distribution, firearms, cell phones and any other items which may be illegal, stolen or otherwise implicating in criminal activity.
The Delta Police Department is proud to announce the promotion of Stephen Furstenfeld and Rdean Young to patrol sergeant, and the hiring of Nicholas Buffington as the newest member of the team.
Sergeant Furstenfeld has been a Colorado resident for 20 years.
Cedaredge police responded to 71 incidents and issues 11 citations between March 1 and 31, according to a department report.
April 23 marked the "End of Watch" for Bill Hart.
Friends, family members and comrades filled Paonia Friends Church Saturday to pay their respects to Hart, a husband, father, Army veteran, Paonia police officer and Volunteer Fire Department member. Hart lost his battle with lung cancer on April 23 at the age of 45.
In February the Cedaredge Police Department responded to 52 separate incidents and issued five citations, one of them for a charge of criminal mischief carrying a possible $1,000 fine.
A driver sought by the Colorado State Patrol led law enforcement officers on a twisting trek through Delta before barreling under a fence at Delta Middle School and crashing into an irrigation pump house.
Pedro Lopez, 29, of Grand Junction emerged from his green Ford Taurus with his hands in the air and was taken into custody without incident.
The Cedaredge police log for January reports that department officers responded to 35 incidents and issued six citations during the month.
When Montrose County Sheriff's Deputy Bruce Schmalz was in the west end of Montrose County, he found himself alone and in a remote, narrow canyon. No one knew where he was and he had no means of contacting anyone for assistance or backup.
Dan Hotsenpiller, district attorney, 7th Judicial District, last week completed his review of a fatal shooting by Montrose County Sheriff's Deputy Bruce Schmalz on Nov. 11, 2016.
Deputy Schmalz was patrolling the west end of Montrose County when he was ambushed by a person he did not know and had not interacted with in any manner.
Sergeant Neil Ferguson with the Paonia Police Department recently released crime and enforcement statistics for 2016 and offered comparisons from 2015 statistics.
In 2016 the department answered a total of 1,056 calls, up from 974 calls in 2015. In 2016, officers issued just over 170 citations totaling almost $18,000 in fees and fines; in 2015, 89 citations resulted in $8,701.50 in fees and fines.
It takes a real leader to step up when called, said city manager David Torgler. Charles Kettle is such an individual.
The Cedaredge Police Department's officers logged a total of 56 incidents and issued five citations between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, according to the monthly police log.
According to the CDP log, for Nov. 9, in addition to generally routine calls for agency assists, information inquiries and other non-emergency contacts, officers of the Cedaredge Police Department responded to the following incidents during October:
Nolan Davis's oath of office as a Cedaredge police officer recited on Nov. 17 was a family occasion.
Members of the Delta native's immediate family and in-laws were present at the Cedaredge Town Board meeting to witness the event.
Cedaredge Police Chief Dan Sanders reporting to the town board last month, said that a six-member police force is needed in Cedaredge.
The Cedaredge Town Board is looking to a 2017 budget that shows declining revenues in the general fund which pays for the police department. The losses stem from the decline of the local coal mining industry.
Dealing with calls that involve mental health problems, a short-handed Cedaredge Police Department finds its resources being stretched, Police Chief Dan Sanders told the Cedaredge Town Board on Sept. 15.
"We [law enforcement] are mental health for Delta County," Sanders said as he detailed extensive time and manpower that is required to deal with calls involving mental health problems.
NOTE: During the Cedaredge trustees' July 21 meeting, Mayor Gene Welch encouraged the other board members to read a Cedaredge Police Department report on an important, difficult and successful law enforcement operation that the local department played a key role in. The DCI reported on major events referenced in the account beginning in 2014.
The Surface Creek Valley Lions Club held a reception for the Cedaredge Police Department last Thursday in conjunction with National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
The department is comprised of Chief Dan Sanders, Sgt. Roy Spiker, and duty officers Jake Hernandez, Monty McDermith, Carlos Lovera and Chris Curtis.
The Hotchkiss Marshal's department will offer a Citizens' Police Academy beginning in early June. Taught by Marshal Dan Miller and Deputy Gates Shaklee, the free eight- to 10-week course is open to all county residents over 18.
Cedaredge Police Sergeant Roy Spiker is being credited with sharp observation skills, quick action, and determined follow-up that may have helped to save a local man's life.
Police Chief Dan Sanders recounted the incident for the town trustees during their regular monthly meeting on Jan. 21.
The Hotchkiss Marshal's Office is joining the growing number of the country's law enforcement departments currently employing the use of body cameras. The cameras arrived the week before Christmas and are expected to be in full use by February.
The Delta County Courthouse was closed late Friday, Oct. 22, for training designed to test the emergency notification system at the courthouse. Training was conducted by the Delta County Sheriff's Office with the assistance of Delta Police Department, and was designed to test the emergency notification system's "ready opps" and the countywide all page system.
A release signed by Robert Thomas, former chief of police for the City of Delta, has been disclosed by order of Judge Steven Schultz. The document was the subject of a court hearing last week after a Colorado Open Records Act request was filed by the DCI and other media.
After written Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests, the City of Delta has disclosed Robert Thomas received a $50,000 severance payment upon his retirement as police chief.
The city initially refused to disclose that information, citing "personnel" issues, but city attorney David McConaughy agreed the payment is public information.
After being on paid administrative leave since late August, Robert Thomas, chief of police, and the City of Delta have jointly announced his retirement.
"It has been an honor and privilege to have served the City of Delta," Thomas said in a press release.
A small group of people took to the streets of Hotchkiss Saturday morning to put blue ribbons up as part of the national Blue Ribbon Campaign. Michelle Sparks, who has friends and family members working in law enforcement, said she learned about the ribbon campaign through a Facebook group dedicated to support of law enforcement and begun by a group of police wives who want to show their support for law enforcement in light of national negative attention.
Cedaredge Police Chief Dan Sanders is asking the town trustees for funds to continue support of a local victim advocate program as they work on next year's budget.
Sanders, at a recent work session, asked the council to include $1,000 supporting the program which has been orphaned by budget constraints in the district attorney's office.
Officer Taffine Patterson reported to work at Paonia on Aug. 6 and is currently undergoing a 12-week training program. She is the first female member of the department in roughly 10 years, said investigator Neil Ferguson.
Cedaredge Police Chief Dan Sanders reports that his department has six officers on full-time duty.
The full-time staff is supplemented by a reserve officer force of three well-qualified and experienced volunteer officers, Sanders explained to the town board on Aug. 20.
Delta Police Chief Robert Thomas is apparently the subject of an internal investigation and has been placed on paid administrative leave until that investigation is complete. Sgt. Charles Kettle is serving as acting police chief.
Investigator Neil Ferguson with the Paonia Police Department reported to trustees that an unnamed person received a summons on a non-custodial arrest following an attempt to steal electronics items at about 10 p.m. following the Aug. 19 Pickin' in the Park concert at Paonia Town Park. The items were recovered.
The Delta Police Department has arrested Pablo Saldivar Jr. for a stabbing that occurred during the early morning hours of May 26 at a Delta business.
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