On Tuesday, April 15, the Dillon Town Council appointed Mark Heminghous as the new police chief for the town.
Originally from Springfield, Ill., Heminghous moved in 2003 to Summit County, serving as a sergeant for the Frisco Police Department for most of the last decade. In addition, Heminghous has served for about the last six years as commander of the Summit County SWAT Team.
Prior to moving to the High Country, Heminghous spent six years as an officer and member of the drug task force for the Boulder Police Department.
Heminghous replaces former interim police chief Brian Brady, who resigned in February amid a perjury investigation over a parking ticket dispute in Silverthorne/Dillon Municipal Court. Heminghous is scheduled to be officially sworn into office at 9 a.m. April 28 in town council chambers.
On Wednesday, newly elected Mayor Kevin Burns, who was sworn into office during Tuesday’s meeting with re-elected town councilmen Mark Nickel, Tim Westerberg and Erik Jacobsen, said Heminghous’ positive energy and vision for the future made him a standout among the four finalists.
“We had some great candidates all around, but Mark has a very outgoing personality we thought would be a good fit for our police force,” Burns said. “He displayed a lot of fresh, positive energy and brought some exciting ideas to the table about moving the town forward.”
Among some of those ideas Burns was impressed with was Heminghous’ vision for community-oriented policing, bringing in stakeholders on important public safety issues and leading by example.
“We have a lot of great officers that share the same vision for engaging with the community and leading by example,” Burns said. “I think Mark is going to find good ways to reach out and work with our residents and local businesses.”
Calls to Heminghous were not returned Wednesday, but the incoming chief said in a statement he is looking forward to his new role in the Summit County community.
“It’s great when you can take the next step in your career professionally, continue to live in the community you have come to love and get excited about the post you have recently been assigned to,” Heminghous said in the statement. “I am fortunate enough to have all of those things beginning my career as a police chief with the town of Dillon.”
The appointment of Heminghous ends one of two significant administrative searches for the town of Dillon. Also underway is a search for a new town manager, a position vacated in February by Joe Wray.
On Wednesday, acting town manager Carri McDonnell said Dillon has already received more than 50 applications for the job, and there’s still more than a week left before the Friday, April 25 deadline.
“It’s definitely a good sign,” McDonnell said. “Last time (there was a town manager search) we received 87 applications. I think we’re going to be close to that number this time, but that also means there’s going to be a lot to choose from.”
The Dillon Town Council is going to help review applications after the deadline and begin determining which applicants it wants to bring in for interviews. Those interviews are scheduled to take place May 20, McDonnell said.