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The original item was published from 12/9/2021 1:45:00 PM to 12/10/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: December 3, 2021

[ARCHIVED] City Narrows Chief of Police Search to Five Finalists

Chief Search NewsFlash

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-December 3, 2021-The city has narrowed the search for its new Police Chief for the Steamboat Springs Police Department (SSPD) to five finalists. The candidates will be available during a community meet & greet reception to be held in Citizens Hall (124 10th Street) from 2pm to 3:30pm on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.The public is invited to attend. 

“We are excited to have such a talented and experienced group interested in filling the executive position for the department,” commented City Manager Gary Suiter. “We’re looking for the right leader to continue the positive momentum the department has worked toward over the past five years.” 

The five candidates for the city’s top law enforcement position were selected from a group of more than 25 applications. The selection panel looked for individuals who not only brought a wide variety of experience, but also understood the importance of community policing, inclusion, and diversity, as well as the issues faced by a mountain community like Steamboat Springs. 

Biographies for each of the finalists can be found here and the participants in alphabetical order are:

  • Sherry Burlingame – Assistant Chief of Police, Tempe Police Department
  • Sean Dugan – Chief of Police, Red Rocks Community College
  • Ron Leonard – Commander, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Frank Rodriquez – Deputy Commissioner, Criminal Investigation Division, North Carolina Department of Insurance
  • Jerry Stabile – Interim Chief, Steamboat Springs Police Department

During the Meet & Greet session, candidates will provide a brief introduction and summary of their background and experience. Wednesday’s session provides an opportunity for city council, city staff and the community to get to know the five finalists.

The chief selection process includes a community outreach survey, the meet & greet reception, a meeting with members of the police department, and interviews with a citizen’s panel, an executive leadership panel, and a police employee panel. 

The city hired Public Sector Search and Consulting Inc., a California-based search firm specializing in hiring law enforcement officials, to lead the search. The firm, which has hired chiefs for cities of all sizes and geographic locations, recruited candidates from around the country, with an increased focus on organizations such as the National Black Police Association and the International Association of Women Police to ensure the city is considering applicants with diverse backgrounds. 


Gary Suiter, City Manager, 970.879.2060 or email
Wendy Ecklund, Human Resources Manager, 970.871.8221 or email
Michael Lane, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220 or email

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