Dillon swears in Cale Osborn as new chief of police | SummitDaily.com

Dillon swears in Cale Osborn as new chief of police

Dillon Police Chief Cale Osborn.
Photo by Sawyer D’Argonne / sdargonne@summitdaily.com

DILLON — The Dillon Police Department has a new chief.

The Dillon Town Council officially swore in Cale Osborn as the new chief of police during a ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 18, in the town hall parking lot, allowing staff and community members to physically distance while cheering on Osborn’s ascension.

Osborn was named interim chief in July after the department’s former Chief Mark Heminghous announced his plans to retire in early August. For town officials, Osborn was a clear choice to take over from the beginning. 

“We’re leaving the department in great hands,” Heminghous said. “Cale and I started working together when I first got up here, so for everything to come full circle has been phenomenal. He’s been an integral part of our team, and it’s going to be great for him to get to lead that team, take it in a direction he’s looking forward to and continue to make it a great organization.”

Osborn grew up a sports enthusiast in Fargo, North Dakota. He carried a passion for hockey into his college years at Bemidji State University, where he helped the Beavers win a Division II National Championship in 1995. The team went on to take second place the following year before a leg injury ended Osborn’s time on the ice.

Instead, he turned his attention to the ski slopes, taking on a job as a ski patroller at a small ski area while he finished school. He moved to Summit County in 1999 after graduating with a degree in criminal justice. Osborn noted that pursuing a career in law enforcement was always part of the plan.

“When I was in fifth or sixth grade, I had a really positive interaction with an officer, who was just really intelligent and kindhearted,” Osborn said. “There was a whole group of us skating in the hockey rink one night, and we figured out how to turn the lights on. … I just always appreciated the way he handled it. It stuck with me, and the job was just interesting with all the people you get to meet and the stories you get to hear.”

Osborn started in corrections at the Summit County Jail in 1999 and later transferred to a patrol deputy position with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. In his 17 years with the county, he served in various roles including patrol sergeant, special operations technician, senior sergeant and as an agent with the Summit County Drug Taskforce.

In 2016, Osborn left the Sheriff’s Office for the Dillon Police Department, starting as a patrol officer. He was quickly promoted to sergeant before finally being named chief.

“It’s truly an honor,” Osborn said. “It’s a unique position coming in on the heels of Chief Heminghous going into retirement. And the swearing in was really an overwhelming experience, not only because of everyone at Dillon, but from the numerous people that just reach out to express their support. … It’s been very humbling.”

Osborn said the community shouldn’t expect any major changes in day-to-day operations but that he already has prioritized a couple of goals for the department, including revamping the hiring process and expanding training initiatives.

Osborn noted that one of the department’s biggest priorities would be making sure that any new hires would be vetted at an appropriate level to identify desirable traits — “common sense and empathy” to name a couple — and to support officers and staff with the tools they need to live and work in Summit County.

Osborn also emphasized that continued and expanded training is of the utmost importance so that officers aren’t put in a position they’re ill-equipped to deal with.

“We can’t train enough to be good at our jobs,” Osborn said. “A lot of the stuff we learn is perishable, so we need to be constantly revisiting things at a level and tempo that are suitable to what we’re dealing with on a daily basis. Making time to continually do that is one of our highest priorities, because the product at the end of the day is just better.”

Ultimately, Osborn said he’s just planning on keeping the department headed in the same direction.

“We just want to continue to grow and provide the best local services we can for our citizens,” Osborn said. “Not only do they expect that, but they deserve it. We’ll continue to do that, along with utilizing new technologies and increasing efficiencies to make our community a better place.”

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