Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Changes for CSP!

By Will Bublitz

The Limon office of the Colorado State Patrol is undergoing another big organizational change.
Effective July 1, the office will become the headquarters of the newly designated Troop 3D. It will be led by Capt. Tim Hilferty, a State Trooper who has served in the local area for several years, in addition to being a lifelong resident of Limon.                      
“For the past two years, the Limon office has been a post (satellite office) of Troop 3B which is headquartered in Sterling,” Hilferty said. “By making Limon a troop office once again, we’ll be going back for the most part to the way things were.”

Prior to March 2013, the Limon office had been the headquarters for Troop 1A that had served the local area for decades. That all changed when the Colorado State Patrol decided to reorganize its troopers operating on Colorado’s eastern plains.

Based primarily on staffing levels, the decision was made two years ago to consolidate Troop 1A with Sterling’s Troop 3B under the leadership of Capt. Gaylon Grippin. The consolidated Troop 3B became responsible for the entire northeastern corner of the state including all or portions of 12 counties.

“When the consolidation took place in March 2013, Troop 1A had already declined to only eight troopers,” Grippin said. “Because the troop’s numbers were so low, a captain was no longer needed here in Limon. Consolidating the two troops was an experimental program.”

But after two years, the Colorado State Patrol recognized that more law enforcement and traffic coverage is required for the heavily traveled Interstate 70 corridor from the Kansas border to the eastern edge of the Denver Metro Area.

“Our State Headquarters decided to raise our staffing levels back up out here,” Grippin said. “The Limon office will once again become a self-sufficient troop with its own captain, which makes more sense. I certain these new changes will be changes for the better.”

Under the new reorganization that becomes effective July 1, Troop 3B will be divided back into two troops. The new Troop 3D will be responsible for all of Kit Carson, Lincoln and Elbert counties, as well as portions of Adams and Arapahoe counties bordering I-70. Grippin will continue as commander of Troop 3B headquartered in Sterling, while Hilferty takes over as the Troop 3D commander.

On July 1, Troop 3D will be starting with a roster of 13 troopers, two sergeants, two corporals and a captain. The Limon troop office will also be operating “posts” or satellite offices in Burlington and Watkins.

“We’ve got 18 officers in Troop 3D right now, but we’ll be adding three new troopers in the next few months,” Hilferty said. “Major Tim Keeton is our District 3 commander who is responsible for Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley and the 3B and 3D areas. He is committed to getting us more resources and manpower back out here in Eastern Colorado.”

Not only is the reorganization expected to improve law enforcement coverage, it will also benefit the State Patrol troopers working in the local area.

“This change will be great for the morale of the troopers working out of the Limon office,” Grippin said. “They want daily contact with their commander, which will now be possible. For the past couple of years, that was really difficult because the consolidated Troop 3B areas was so large. The troopers will now have a captain on the premise here at the Limon office.”

As he prepares to take over as the Troop 3D commander, Hilferty said he feels ready for this new challenge.

“I’m excited to be picking up where Capt. Grippin left off,” he said. “Together, we’ll continue to provide professional law enforcement to the citizens of Eastern Colorado. I’m also excited to be back home in Limon.”

Hilferty has strong family ties in Limon where he  grew up and went to school. After graduating from the Colorado State Patrol Academy in 1989, his first duty station as a trooper was in Telluride in the southwestern corner of the state. In 1991, he transferred to the Limon troop office. While serving in the local area, he was promoted first to corporal in 1997 and then to sergeant in 2006.

Just prior to the consolidation with Troop 3B in 2013, Hilferty was promoted to captain of the Motor Carrier Safety Division at the Colorado State Patrol’s headquarters in Golden.

“For the past two years, I continued to live in Limon but commuted to work every day,” Hilferty said. “When this new position became available, I put in for a transfer and was selected. It’s great to be back home in the office where I worked for so many years.”

Hilferty will officially become the new Troop 3D commander during a change of command ceremony to take place Wednesday, July 1 at 11 a.m. in the Limon Community Building. The public is invited to attend.

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