Kremmling welcomes Dave Lawley as new police officer

Photo by Kim Cameron | New officer, Dave Lawley was joined by his wife Cindy at his swearing in at Wednesday night's town board meeting.
Photo by Kim Cameron | New officer, Dave Lawley was joined by his wife Cindy at his swearing in at Wednesday night's town board meeting.

Dave Lawley began his new position as a Kremmling Police Officer last week.

As an experienced officer, Lawley made the decision to leave his position with the Lochbuie Police Department after meeting Kremmling Police Department Chief Jamie Lucas in the police refresher academy.

“He came out of state to take the job of chief, and as we spoke, he explained how he wanted to rebrand the police department. It was very intriguing what he wanted to accomplish, and I liked his vision. It fit what I wanted to part of,” said Lawley. “I wanted to help build the department. Chief Lucas’s vision is what a true chief is about.”

Lawley expands, “I want to keep building and maintain strong relationships with the community. We need to leave a lasting impression that we are here to serve the community.”

Lawley highlights the similarities between the small town communities that he has known with Kremmling and its foreseeable growth in the future. Lawley grew up in Erie and resides in Johnstown, Colorado.

“We need to be more proactive versus reactive,” he says, “We need to have more self-initiative and be seen.” Lawley says positive interactions with the community is something he values – whether it is playing sports with children in the community or assisting the elderly.

“I want to be a positive resource for the community and let people know they can come to me.”

Lawley brings with him not only a decade of police service but also an extensive background in EMS, fire service and the medical field. “I was the fire chief in the area and the battalion chief for the Mountain View Fire Protection District back in the day,” He was also a national board certified orthopedic technologist.

He carries a tradition of service among his family – his grandfather, father, uncles and brother all served in law enforcement or fireservice. His son now carries on the tradition and has entered the fire academy.

The move to Kremmling takes Lawley and his wife Cindy further from their two children and their grandchild who will stay on the front range, but Lawley fills the opportunity is worth it, “We have always wanted to move up into the mountains, and Chief Lucas has afforded us that opportunity. We look forward to being part of the community and making a difference.”

As an avid big game hunter, he plans to hunt in Yampa again this year. They also enjoy fishing and hiking and hope to begin a new hobby with an all-terrain vehicle.

Chief Lucas commented, “We are fortunate to have someone of Corporal Dave Lawley’s caliber join our police force. I look forward to his contributions as we build and rebrand the Kremmling Police Department.”

Since Chief Lucas took the command of the Kremmling Police Department in July, he has struggled to fill vacant positions. The Town of Kremmling board approved a fifth officer in this year’s budgetary process.
According to an August report by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, the number of full-time officers has fallen by more than 20,000 since 2013, while the average number of full-time officers per 1,000 residents decreased from 2.42 in 1997 to 2.17 by 2016.

With these statistics in mind, Chief Lucas and new Town Manager, Dan Stoltman, are looking into more creative ways to recruit new officers that may include, in part, paying for prospective employees to attend the police academy.

According to Chief Lucas, it is important to him and the Town to start thinking outside the box in our recruiting approach to attract good qualified candidates. “For the first nine months that I have been here, I have worked with the Town Board to offer updated equipment and more advanced training for our officers that will pay dividends in providing the best police services to our citizens and counter the need for those officers to seek out other employment opportunities because the best thing about working in a smaller agency is that you have to be prepared to handle anything that happens and I want our officers to be the best trained and educated for when those bigger agencies problems happen here in Kremmling, we are well trained to recognize and to handle those issues.”