Police department fully staffed after new hire
Rifle Police Department is back at its previous staffing level following the recent addition of Rifle’s newest police officer, Jared Bartunek.
Bartunek, a U.S. Air Force veteran and father of two, started work July 5 and was officially sworn in by Rifle Police Chief John Dyer on July 15 in front of Rifle City Council. He is the second officer to start working in the past several months for the department, which had to fill several vacated positions. Bartunek’s hiring now brings the department to 20 full-time officers, including Dyer.
Before administering the oath, Dyer noted that he not only looks for qualified candidates when hiring, but that he also looks for candidates who are compatible with both the department and the community.
Rifle’s newest officer, Dyer said, is both of those.
Bartunek, who grew up in Estes Park, said he realized he wanted to be a law enforcement officer in 2009 when he went on a ride-along with a friend who worked in law enforcement.
When asked what aspect of the job appealed to him, Bartunek answered, “the challenges.”
“Everyday it’s something that’s constantly changing, constantly evolving,” he said, “and I like being challenged and being tested.”
With aspirations for a career in law enforcement, Bartunek joined the Air Force in 2010 to boost his resume. He was stationed in New Mexico for three-and-a-half years, a fact he says makes him appreciative of Rifle’s more temperate climate.
While he originally joined the Air Force with the intention of making himself a better candidate for a future career, Bartunek said his time in the service developed some invaluable skills that apply to his work as a police officer.
Specifically, interacting with different people and cultures from across the country strengthened his communication skills.
“That’s really when I started taking an interest in people,” he said.
When the department considers candidates for officer positions, the individuals are required to spend several hours with different officers on patrol, in addition to an hour-long interview, Dyer said. The officers Bartunek rode with all noted that he asked good questions and seemed comfortable talking with both the officers and community members.
“All the (full time officers) had good things to say about Jared,” Dyer said. “When they’re all saying the same things, that tells me a lot more than an hour interview.”
Since arriving in Rifle to be closer to family about a year ago, Bartunek said he and his wife, Kelly, have grown to love the area.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
The first-degree murder case against Stephanie Alvarado involving the death of her young daughter, Sophia Larson, continues to make its way through a courts system bogged down by the pandemic.