Entire police force resigns in a small Colorado town
SPRINGFIELD, Colo. (KKTV) - A small Colorado town lost their entire police force in one week.
The Baca County Sheriff’s Office announced July 15 it would be taking over law enforcement responsibilities for the community of Springfield. The town is on the southeast side of Colorado. The sheriff’s office is reporting all the officers and the chief turned in their immediate resignation this week. 11 News obtained resignation letters from the chief and an officer. The chief, Katrina Martin, is married to one of the former officers, Dustin Martin. You can read the two letters at the bottom of this article.
“We also want to make this message very clear to anyone thinking this is an opportune time to commit crimes or victimize anyone in Baca County,” part of a message posted to the sheriff’s office Facebook page reads. “You are free to test that assumption at your convenience, however we will warn you, the community is fed up with it, law enforcement will be here in force, they will exhaust every resource at their disposal in finding you, the lights are always on at the Baca County Jail and we still have a few bunks available.”
The mayor of Springfield provided 11 News with the following statement that reads in part:
The entire message from the sheriff’s office posted on Friday can be read below:
“In interest of transparency and public trust, the Town of Springfield and the Baca County Sheriff’s Office would like to inform the public about recent events that are occurring within the Springfield Police Department and how the Board of Trustees for the Town of Springfield, the Baca County Commissioners and Baca County Sheriff Aaron Shiplett responded to the event. On 07/12/2022 both the town and the county were made aware of the imminent resignation of every Springfield Police Department Officer including the Chief. One resignation was effective on 07/13/2022 and the other two become effective on the morning of 07/16/2022.As a result of the abrupt resignations, Sheriff Shiplett, the Baca County Commissioners, and Town Trustees, began assessing the situation immediately and preparing the best solutions for moving forward. Colorado Revised Statutes task all municipalities in Colorado with making law enforcement services available to their citizens through hiring a municipal police department or seeking the services of the county sheriff. All government officials involved unanimously agreed that the people of the Town of Springfield should expect and rightfully deserve continuous access to quality law enforcement services in this time of turbulence within the Springfield Police Department. In order for the town to have the opportunity and time necessary to seek qualified candidates to staff the now vacant police department while continuing to supply the citizens of Springfield with quality law enforcement services, the Town of Springfield reached a unanimous agreement with the Baca County Commissioners and Sheriff Shiplett on 07/14/2022. The agreement provides for the Baca County Sheriff’s Office to temporarily provide law enforcement services to the Town of Springfield.We also want to make this message very clear to anyone thinking this is an opportune time to commit crimes or victimize anyone in Baca County. You are free to test that assumption at your convenience, however we will warn you, the community is fed up with it, law enforcement will be here in force, they will exhaust every resource at their disposal in finding you, the lights are always on at the Baca County Jail and we still have a few bunks available.”
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