As a community, we need to come together and support keeping the Mt. Crested Butte Police Dept. policing the north end of the valley. For almost 40 years, the Mt. Crested Butte Police Dept. (MTCBPD) has worked under an agreement with the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office, allowing them to police the areas of Gunnison County north of Round Mountain. However, the Sheriff’s Office is terminating that contract at the end of the month. This should be of great concern, to not only the citizens in the north end of the valley but to everyone living in Gunnison County.
By not renewing the contract with the MTCBPD, the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for policing un-incorporated areas north of Round Mountain. To do so, they will be required to hire several more officers, provide training to these officers, as well as purchase new cars and equipment, all at the taxpayer’s expense. This will be a huge cost increase compared to what it would cost to maintain the contract with the MTCBPD. The Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office has said that they have hired four new officers, however they have lost four officers just this year alone, so really, they have just replaced those who have left and are not yet in a position to provide the same level of service and coverage that the MTCBPD is able to provide with their seven full time officers.
Not only does this decision cost the taxpayers money, it poses several serious risks to those living in Gunnison County. Currently the MTCBPD provides mutual aid to the Crested Butte Marshal as well as assisting other First Responders on fire and medical calls, often being the first on scene and ensuring the scene is safe. They provide much needed protection to our EMS personnel on potentially dangerous calls. With 2/3 of the calls in the north end of the valley being in these un-incorporated areas, it is extremely important that the level of response and safety that the MTCBPD has provided for the past several decades is continued. Delayed response from Gunnison could be a life safety issue for not only our first responders but our citizens as well. We cannot afford potentially lengthy response times to calls in the north end of the valley when we have officers already in the area who can respond in a more timely manor.
The decision to terminate the contract with the MTCBPD just doesn’t make sense. It is financially irresponsible and poses life safety concerns. I strongly encourage you to please sign this petition and support keeping the Mt. Crested Butte Police Dept. policing the north end of the valley. Please be sure to share this petition with your friends, family and neighbors.
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