Minturn welcomes new face to police force |

Minturn welcomes new face to police force

Dustin Racioppi
Minturn, CO Colorado
Dustin Racioppi/Vail DailyMinturn, Colorado Mayor Hawkeye Flaherty swears in the town's newest police officer, Ryan Ware, at the city council's meeting Wednesday night.

MINTURN, Colorado “-Aside from Police Chief Lorenzo Martinez, perhaps nobody was happier than his family to see Ryan Ware arrive in Minturn, Colorado.

“My family would like me to be home more,” Martinez said.

For the last year, Martinez and the department’s only other officer, Geoff Heil, have been working long days, holidays and foregoing vacations to make up for a short staff.

But the department was afforded more flexibility last week with the addition of Ware, who helps shore up that staffing gap.

“We’re excited to have Ryan and so is my family,” Martinez said.

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Ware is excited to join the force as well. Less than a week into his beat, he said he’s learned from patrolling the streets and interacting with people in town what he couldn’t at college or the police academy.

“Its been a long road with school and everything to get here,” Ware, 29, said. “I’ll still be busy learning. Even with a college education and the academy, (the learning) is endless.”

It’s his first job as a police officer and he decided on Minturn for what he thinks are obvious reasons.

“I really wanted to come up to the mountains and work with a small town where I could be close to the community,” he said.

In Minturn, the Colorado native hit the jackpot.

“There’s such a neighborhood feel here. Everybody knows everybody,” said Kathy Morrow, owner of The Yarn Studio.

She met Ware just days after he began his beat and said she’s happy to welcome a stronger police presence in the community.

“He seems super nice. And more importantly for those of us that are here, it’s nice having them around,” she said. “It’s nice to know the police department is keeping an eye out on the public.”

Elaine Miller said since Minturn is such a small town and has a fairly low crime rate, that the department was doing just fine with two officers. But then again, she said, a little help couldn’t hurt, either.

“Well now they’ve got to enforce that new right and left side of the street parking, so they might need an extra cop to help with that,” Miller said.

Ware intends to do more than just dole out tickets, though. His goals are to be part of the community, he said, and to be someone people can rely on.

The badge he earned when he was sworn-in Wednesday night represents that, he said.

“I’m definitely really excited and pretty proud to have earned that,” Ware said. “It’s not just for me. It’s a symbol of service and I’m excited to do that.”

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at (970)748-2936 or

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