Colorado State Patrol troopers previously stationed in Frisco are being relocated to Glenwood Springs following an internal reorganization of the statewide law enforcement agency.
Authorities say there will still be a post in Summit County, although not as many troopers will be based here.
"We still do have troopers in Summit County, it's just how many are working (there) at a time," CSP spokesman Nate Reid said. "We haven't totally deserted Summit County."
Still, local law-enforcement officers say there was already a shortage of troopers here and some are concerned about how long it will now take troopers trained in traffic accident investigation to respond to a crash. Colorado State Patrol is in charge of the response to all accidents on Interstate 70, highways 9 and 6 and other public roads in Summit County, although other agencies often provide support.
Worried that response times might keep accidents from being cleared from the roads for longer periods of time, Dillon police chief Steve Neumeyer is looking to train one of his own officers in traffic accident investigation to have additional coverage available in the county.
"My concern was these accidents could sit around," he said. "It's not a good thing seeing State Patrol leave."
Traffic investigators are able to reconstruct collisions and gather evidence that can be used in prosecutions in serious cases. Neumeyer is applying for a $5,000 grant to put a Dillon officer through the 120-hour training to investigate traffic accidents. He is making his presentation today and expects to hear back on the award in May.
He said if he is able to train the officer, he will be available to help with accidents all over the county.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office has jurisdiction over accidents on private property and in the town of Blue River, under a contract with the town, but Sheriff John Minor said his department doesn't have time to respond to all of the accidents in Summit County.
"We will always go and render aid, but we won't do the paperwork," Minor said. "The bottom line is we don't have enough staffing to do that."
He said he did not think CSP had enough troopers based in Summit County before the recent transfer shifted some of them to Glenwood Springs.
CSP officials could not immediately confirm how many troopers would remain posted in Summit County or what prompted the reorganization.