Parachute’s top cop leaving after nearly 12 years |

Parachute’s top cop leaving after nearly 12 years

After serving as police chief since 2006, Parachute's Cary Parmenter recently announced his retirement from the department. His last day will be Dec. 31.
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Parachute police chief finalists

Stewart Curry

Curry has spent 18 years of law enforcement experience in a variety of positions, including director of the CMC Police Academy and administrative sergeant with the Basalt Police Department. Currently, he is working for the New Castle Police Department. He has been involved with programs such as English in Action, Citizen and Junior Police Academies, and was active with the lunch-based Big Buddy Program. In his leisure time, he likes to snowboard, hike, swim, and spend time with his family and daughters.

Earl Gay

Gay served in both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. He has nearly 28 years of law enforcement experience in a variety of positions, including nearly eight years as a Military Police Officer in the Army. For the past 19 years he has served the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department. In his leisure time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, granddaughter, and children. He also enjoys auto mechanics, football, and renovating.

Tony Erickson

For over 27 years Erickson has worked in a variety of law enforcement positions and served for six years in the U.S. Air Force. Most recently he was the police chief for Palisade. He has been involved in programs such as the Diversity Inclusion Committee, and as a coach for SOCO Basketball, Mesa County JBA, Eastern Plains Basketball League, and for the Academy Little League. In his leisure time, he likes to spend time with his family and chocolate labs outdoors, fishing and riding in his side by side.

Daniel Frazen

Frazen started his law enforcement career in 1998 with the Thornton (Colorado) Police Department. He has served for the United States Customs Service, the Larimer County Sheriffs Office, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, and currently for the Greeley Police Department. He volunteers his time with programs such as the Colorado Special Olympics. In his leisure time, he likes to spend time with his family, hiking, camping, kayaking and coaching.

Sam Stewart

Stewart has over 23 years of law enforcement experience, including 10 years of SWAT experience. He was named interim chief for Rifle in August of 2016. He served for the Delta County Sheriffs Office, Delta Police Department, and currently for the Rifle Police Department. He graduated from the FBI Command College in 2013. He likes to spend his leisure time with his family camping, hiking, and fishing in western Colorado.

Parachute Police Chief Cary Parmenter will retire at the end of the month after more than 25 years in various roles in the department, including nearly 12 years as chief.

“Chief Parmenter has been a wonderful asset to our community,” Mayor Roy McClung said. “He was sworn in as chief at the same time I was sworn in as mayor for my first term in April 2006.

“Chief Parmenter has served our community well as an officer and as chief for more than two decades, and we wish him all the best in his retirement. He has earned it,” McClung said.

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

During his time with the department, he has helped implement a variety of programs, some of which thrive to this day. He helped start a bike patrol program in 1999, sponsored a local neighborhood watch program in coordination with the National Sheriff’s Association, and was the driving force behind upgrades to police radios and pac-sets. The latter improved officer safety and communication with the county-wide dispatch center.

Parmenter was an active member during the town’s first homicide in February 2005 and made the department’s largest drug bust a few months later. The seizure of more than 150 pounds of marijuana led to two arrests, according to information gathered by Parachute Town Clerk Lucy Cordova.

Parmenter said that he’s most proud of being able to work with the people of Parachute on behalf of the community.

“I’ve raised six kids here and have always had great support from the community,” he said.

As police chief for nearly 12 years, Parmenter watched as Colorado moved toward legalizing marijuana, something that he says he was opposed to when it was first proposed.

He said over the past several years he has watched as marijuana helped stabilize the town’s economy.

While Parmenter’s last day is scheduled to be Dec. 31, he has volunteered to stay on as interim chief if need be until a new chief is selected and ready to begin. The town had a celebration for Parmenter during a special town board meeting on Dec. 14.

On Monday at 6:30 p.m., town trustees will hold a candidate Q&A with the five potential candidates for the police chief position. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at Parachute Town Hall.

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