Ex-Aspen police chief joins ski patrol | VailDaily.com

Ex-Aspen police chief joins ski patrol

Joel Stonington
Aspen Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Aspen Times photoLoren Ryerson

ASPEN ” Former police chief Loren Ryerson started work Monday as a member of the ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Area.

The hiring comes after Ryerson resigned last month as chief of the Aspen Police Department following allegations that he sexually harassed female employees while on the job.

The city’s insurance carrier, the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency, launched an investigation on Oct. 3 and found that Ryerson engaged in misconduct related to sexual harassment allegations. Monday, longtime Aspen Police Department employee Richard Pryor was named chief.

Meanwhile, Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said the company did not consider the reason Ryerson left the police department when hiring him.

“He’s very qualified to do the job he’s doing,” said Hanle. “We’re certain he’ll be an asset to our patrol.”

The resort isn’t the only one supporting Ryerson. After the allegations of sexual harassment surfaced, numerous local residents rallied to his support, writing letters to local newspapers and even taking out full-page advertisements.

Ryerson’s new job is familiar territory for the Aspen resident. He worked on the patrol more than a decade ago, before he took up a career in policing. Ryerson also worked as an on-mountain ambassador for the last few years, handing out cookies and answering questions.

“He had an exemplary record on patrol,” said Hanle. “He has an exemplary record as an ambassador the last few years. He applied, was well qualified and so he was hired.”

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