Craig Bettis, longtime police officer in Vail is hanging up his badge |

Craig Bettis, longtime police officer in Vail is hanging up his badge

Justin Liffick is being promoted as Bettis moves on

Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger has announced that Commander Craig Bettis is retiring after a 22-year career with the department. His last day is Wednesday as he follows his passion to begin a new career specializing in law enforcement wellness. Sergeant Justin Liffick, a 14-year veteran of the department, has been promoted to assume the commander position.

Vail Police Commander Craig Bettis is retiring after 22 years with the department.
Town of Vail/Courtesy photo

Bettis has been a patrol officer, detective, sergeant, detective sergeant and both the administrative and operations commander for Vail Police during his tenure.

His contributions to the department and the community include serving as a member of the countywide Special Operations Unit SWAT team for 13 years. He was also instrumental in establishing a partnership with the FBI Hostage Rescue Team. In addition, he established the Vail Safe Bar Campaign during 2007, which has been credited with creating a lasting partnership with local liquor license holders to reduce violence in Vail’s bars. He was also responsible for a partnership with Vail Mountain School, which brought a school resource officer into the school.

In 2016, Bettis found a new passion promoting officer wellness. He worked to bring mental health awareness for first responders to the forefront by serving as a founding member of the statewide Responder Strong Organization and implementing Vail police partnerships with Code-4 Counseling for annual mental health checks and other resources. In addition, Bettis currently teaches nationally for the University of Colorado as an adjunct instructor on a curriculum and course he helped develop, “Mental Health for First Responders.”

Bettis’ biggest and most lasting impact on the department was his launch of the Sigma Law Enforcement Health Initiative in 2016. Bettis partnered with Dr. Ben Stone on a pilot program for metabolic wellness. This successful program has since expanded and developed into the first comprehensive cardiac and metabolic screening program for law enforcement in the U.S. and to date has served over 8,000 emergency responders.

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“We are pleased that Craig will continue this pursuit as an executive leader serving alongside the men and women of law enforcement in his new career as director of development and sales for SIGMA Tactical Wellness,” Henninger said.

Bettis says he has learned so much and developed some amazing relationships during his time at the town that he will forever cherish. “The Vail PD and the town of Vail will always remain the most satisfying chapter in my professional life and I am grateful for all the experiences along the way.”

Justin Liffick, a 14-year veteran of the Vail Police Department, has been promoted to commander.
Town of Vail/Courtesy photo

Liffick joined Vail police in 2007 after serving as a police officer and U.S. Marine in Norfolk, Virginia. He has been a patrol officer, detective, patrol sergeant and detective sergeant during his time with the department. He is the current team commander for the countywide Special Operations Unit SWAT team which is made up of officers and deputies from the Vail, Avon and Eagle police departments and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

“I am proud of (Bettis’) excellent service to the Vail community, and I am confident that (Liffick) will pick up right where it was left off.”

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