Parachute police department finds next chief in Rifle’s Sam Stewart |

Parachute police department finds next chief in Rifle’s Sam Stewart

After hosting an open house and reception for the Parachute community to meet the five candidates for police chief on Monday, the town elected not to go too far to find its next chief. Turns out he’s just one town over.

Parachute Town Clerk Lucy Cordova confirmed Wednesday afternoon Sgt. Sam Stewart of the Rifle Police Department will serve as Parachute’s next police chief, effective Jan. 1.

“Sam will be an excellent addition to the Town of Parachute and we are excited to have him join our team,” Parachute Mayor Roy McClung said in an email to the Post Independent. “Given his experience working with Garfield County and other local agencies, Sam will be a wonderful asset to the town. Sam lives in our community, and is fully invested in the board’s vision of making Parachute a better community for residents and visitors alike.”

With more than 23 years of law enforcement experience, including 10 as a member of SWAT, Stewart’s diverse background stands out.

Named the interim chief for Rifle in August 2016 while the town replaced its chief, Stewart has served for the Delta County Sheriff’s Office, Delta Police Department and the Rifle Police Department. He graduated from the FBI Command College in 2013.

“I would also like to thank the other four candidates who applied for this position,” McClung said. “We had a very highly qualified candidate pool, and making a decision was truly difficult, as each candidate would have filled the role well.”

Stewart was named among five candidates, many of whom had local law enforcement experience.

After more than 25 years at various roles in the department, including nearly 12 as chief, Parachute will say goodbye to Police Chief Cary Parmenter at the end of the year.

Selected as the town’s police chief in 2006, Parmenter was first hired as a full-time officer for the department in April 1993.

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