Dillon officials have declined to discuss police chief Steve Neumeyer’s sudden departure from the department in June, ahead of one of the busiest times of year for the town.
The 32-year veteran of the Aurora Police Department reportedly resigned voluntarily almost exactly one year after he was hired on.
“I can’t discuss what happened because it’s a personnel issue,” Dillon Mayor Ron Holland said. “We’re deciding what direction to take next.”
It will likely be several months before Neumeyer’s replacement is selected, but former Dillon officer Brian Brady has been appointed to take over as interim chief, town officials said.
“I would not anticipate a permanent replacement until the late fall,” Dillon town manager Joe Wray said, noting that the town is heading into a packed summer season. “We are so busy right now, we just don’t have the time to put into it ... and we don’t want to rush into something.”
Brady also has other matters on his hands. He is in the process of suing the Silverthorne police chief, Mark Hanschmidt, for emotional distress and humiliation stemming from accusations that Brady used excessive force during the arrest of a minor in 2011.
The Silverthorne and Dillon police departments frequently work together, assisting one another on calls. Wray said he does not expect the fact that the two chiefs are currently on opposing sides of a lawsuit to impact that working relationship.
“They operate in a very professional manner,” Wray said. “The cooperation and working environment that they have is one that everybody would expect.”
Brady, who was promoted to sergeant in January after five years with the department, is the third chief the Dillon Police Department has had in less than two years.
Neumeyer was hired in June of 2012 after former chief Wray stepped down to take the job as town manager last spring.
At that time, John Mackey, who had recently left the Dillon Town Council, was floated for the position. But Mackey, who was then chief of a police department on the Front Range, was passed over due to a town policy stating a council member cannot be hired to the staff until one year after their council tenure is up.
The law was intended to ensure the town’s hiring process remained fair and open, but, at the time, former Dillon Mayor Flo Raitano said an option for the council would be to appoint an interim chief for one year and then reopen the position.
Mackey had been off the council for a full year in April.
Holland would not comment on whether he had again expressed interest in becoming the police chief.
In the meantime, Brady’s transition to the helm of the department has been a smooth one and that the force is well positioned to serve the community through the busy summer season, the mayor said.
“He’s doing a phenomenal job,” Holland said. “We had two huge weekends here, with back to back (events). Our police force was there on top of everything and didn’t miss a thing.”
Kathryn Turner and Summit Daily reporter Jessica Smith contributed to the reporting of this story.