Sergeant Jake Hernandez, CPD

Sergeant Jake Hernandez.

Sergeant Jake Hernandez has resigned from his position at the head of Cedaredge Police Department and will join the Delta County Sheriff’s Office only eight weeks after Dan Sanders, the department’s last chief, did the same thing.

Hernandez’s last day will be Friday, Feb. 28 and the reasons for his departure that he stated were similar to Sanders’ reasons.

“Eventually it becomes about, I’ve got to make enough money to [secure] a better financial future for myself and family,” Hernandez said. “My family doesn’t stop growing, it seems.”

Hernandez said that money was never a top factor when it came to being a part of the CPD, which he joined in April of 2010. However, in recent years as his family has grown, finances have become more of a priority.

“It’s nice to get paid what the job’s worth, but you’ve got to expect in a smaller town that you’re not going to get paid what the bigger agencies make,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he’s sad to leave the Cedaredge Police Department in a way, but that he’s also looking forward to not being on call all the time. With the size of the CPD, which is fully staffed at six officers, including the chief and the sergeant, everyone is on call at all times since there isn’t enough staff for 24-hour coverage seven days a week.

Meanwhile, with Hernandez’s upcoming departure, there are plans in place for Investigator Norm Dishaw of the Delta County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) to step in and temporarily run the department, as a new chief has not yet been found since Sanders left.

Delta County Sheriff Mark Taylor addressed the deal for Dishaw’s role in the transition. Taylor said he’s aware of the current strain placed on the Cedaredge Police Department from two administrators transferring to the sheriff’s ranks. He also made an assurance that his department isn’t targeting CPD’s officers or actively enticing them.

“They were looking to go somewhere else,” Taylor said. “It’s not that we were actively recruiting them out of Cedaredge. Being the fact that they were planning on leaving and going to another agency anyway, we thought that it was important to keep them in Delta County and actually be able to do police work up in the Cedaredge area.”

The DCSO therefore worked with Cedaredge Town Administrator Greg Brinck to make a deal in which Dishaw would temporarily perform the administrative duties CPD needs in order to function while continuing to simultaneously work his own cases.

According to Taylor, they’ve planned for Dishaw to fill in with CPD until the end of March, at which point they will reevaluate depending on whether a permanent chief is hired for CPD.

“One thing that I want to make clear is that we certainly understand the predicament of Cedaredge Police Department and the City of Cedaredge,” Taylor said, “and the sheriff’s office is actively sending deputies up there to patrol that area and to assist as much as possible.”

Dishaw will begin assisting CPD with administrative duties as soon as Hernandez leaves.

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