County helps Dinosaur hire deputy

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— It's never good to need law enforcement assistance when the nearest deputy is far away or off-duty.

Unfortunately, Dinosaur residents experienced that situation the past few months because the town could not fill its marshal position.

The only law enforcement presence in that region was the Moffat County Sheriff's Office west-end deputy, who splits his time across western Moffat County.

Today, the Moffat County Commission plans to step in and help the situation by signing an agreement with the town of Dinosaur to split the cost of hiring a deputy assigned to Dinosaur.

"I think it's a good deal," Commissioner Tom Gray said. "It will help get support to the west-end deputy and help the people in Dinosaur."

Before now, Dinosaur was responsible for their own law enforcement because it is an incorporated town and collects its own taxes.

In the agreement, Moffat County will add money for benefits and a vehicle to the $48,000 salary Dinosaur contributes.

The position will operate as a deputy under the Moffat County Sheriff's Office and will take direction from Sheriff Tim Jantz.

The Sheriff's Office now provides other support beyond its west-end deputy. When that deputy is off-duty, the Sheriff's Office answers calls in Dinosaur, although it is not required to.

The incentives Dinosaur was able to offer for the position have been the biggest hurdle to finding a suitable candidate, Jantz said.

"Due to their limited revenue, they've had a difficult time filling their marshal position," Jantz said. "It's like any business around here these days; it's hard to find any employees."

Jantz supports the contract, saying it is a benefit to Dinosaur and the county.

"This shows the commitment the county has to the folks out there" in Dinosaur, Jantz said. "It's been a great effort between the town of Dinosaur and the county."

The position will be open to applicants if the Commission approves the contract. The new deputy would begin as early as Jan. 1.

Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

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