Once, Capt. Gary Torgerson's co-workers switched a ceiling tile in his office for a mirror. A different time, his cohorts played another joke on him by issuing a false warrant for his arrest.
"It almost had me panicked," the captain reminisced.
But, workers at the Moffat County Public Safety Center won't get the chance to play practical jokes on Torgerson anymore, now that the Colorado State Patrol captain of more than five years in Craig has accepted a new position in Denver. He'll work with the CSP Motor Carrier Safety division. Friends and co-workers held a going-away party for Torgerson on Friday.
"He has a sense of humor," Trooper Marty Smith said about the captain. "He's been really good. He takes care of the guys if they need something."
Torgerson will be in charge of enforcement and inspection of commercial vehicles. That means investigating accidents or working to prevent them on accident-prone stretches of road.
His rank as captain will carry over.
"It's something I've always liked," Torgerson said about his new position. "It's something that I've always been fascinated with."
Torgerson and his wife, Lynne, said they are looking forward to the move back to Denver to be closer to their grown children -- their son, 19, and daughter, 24.
Before coming to Craig, Torgerson worked for 18 years with the Patrol in Denver.
He'll be replaced by Capt. Brett Williams, who starts Monday.
Torgerson said he'd miss coaching the freshman football team at Moffat County High School, a role he has enjoyed for the past five years. Past players on the team have sent the coach graduation notices -- an event he plans to attend. He's also a fanatic about fishing, and known to tell "great fishing stories," Lynne said.
"We'll definitely be back," she said. "We'll be back for homecoming and every opportunity that we can."
Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org