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New sheriff does some deputizing

A sea of brown, black and tan uniforms converged in front of the Garfield County Sheriffs’ Department building in downtown Glenwood Springs Tuesday afternoon.

More than 80 officers and deputies collected outside at 1 p.m. under a bright blue winter sky to be symbolically sworn in by their new boss, Sheriff Lou Vallario.

A crowd filled with babies, toddlers and video camera-wielding onlookers applauded the officers as they were sworn in.



“I wanted to give the staff a special ceremony to recognize their service,” said Vallario of the reasons behind the public ceremony. “I don’t know what’s been done in the past, but I wanted to acknowledge them in this way.”

Vallario himself had just been sworn in to his new position at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Courthouse Plaza.



Officers were sworn in by Vallario according to rank, and official government employment paperwork was completed by each officer in the administration building after the ceremony.

Staff, officers and the public were also invited to the sheriff’s administrative offices to snack on taquitos, chicken and appetizers.

First to be sworn in by Vallario were new undersheriff Tim Templon and new jail administrator Anthony Mazzola.

Templon replaces Jim Sears, who Vallario has appointed to a newly created position in the department called emergency manager. Mazzola replaces former jail supervisor Dan Hall.

Sears and Hall both worked under former Garfield County Sheriff Tom Dalessandri, who lost last November’s election to Vallario.

Vallario said he chose Templon as his undersheriff because of his work as a sergeant at Glenwood Springs Police Department.

“He’s a real team player,” Vallario said.

Vallario chose Mazzola based on their work together on the Trident Task Force, a multi-county drug task force. Mazzola leaves his position as undersheriff in Rio Blanco County. He lives in Meeker with his wife and 12-year-old son and said he’s likely to commute to his new job in Glenwood Springs rather than move to the area.

The ceremony gave the public and the sheriff department’s staff a first-hand look at Vallario in his new role as sheriff.

“I’d introduce you by name, but I don’t know all of your names yet,” Vallario said to the officers, promising to speak with each one individually.

“You’ve really made me feel at home,” he added. “It’s an honor to be here and to serve all of you and this community.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext 518

cclick@postindependent.com


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