The city of Torrington is once again looking for a police chief.
Torrington Mayor Randy Adams confirmed that the city had opted not to re-appoint Tim Hurd, who took over as Torrington’s police chief in July 2018, during a city council meeting last week.
Adams told the Star-Herald that he had been ready to re-appoint Hurd as police chief when allegations against the chief were brought to his attention.
“I received some information that was not complimentary,” he said. “I continued to look into it and I enlisted the city attorney. I talked to several individuals who were involved and by late afternoon (Tuesday), it became apparent that I could not re-appoint him to serve as police chief.”
Adams said he could not discuss the accusations, but that it was a personnel and confidential issue.
Current assistant chief Mike Matthews has agreed to serve as interim chief. Adams said he is unsure how long Matthews will serve as interim chief.
“It could be a month, it could be longer.” Matthews previously served as interim chief, named to serve in the position for about six months prior to Hurd’s hiring after the department experienced other woes filling the position.
In January 2015, a longtime officer, Eric Sharp, had been named the city’s new police chief after longtime Police Chief Billy Janes retired. Janes had headed the department for 30 years.
The City of Torrington terminated Sharp in October 2016 after an investigation had been done as the man had been cited after being involved in a collision and leaving the scene. The department appointed Lt. Doug Weeks, who had served with the department for decades, as interim police chief, however, the man declined to fill the position permanently. After hiring a firm to conduct a national search, the city had offered the position — and even named — to David Hulshizer, an investigator with the Natrona County Sheriff’s Department, in May 2018 as police chief. The man decided suddenly that he would not take the position. The position was then offered to Hurd, who had been serving as the chief of police in Glenrock, Wyoming.
“It’s been a demanding, exhaustive period of time,” Adams said.
He said that the city would likely start with an internal process to fill the position and then advertise externally.
The lack of continuity in the position has had it’s effects, he admits.
“It is not pleasant,” he said. “It is difficult.”
Police officer morale has certainly been impacted, but he said, “In my discussion with all the officers, they are all very positive in the belief that going forward, we are going to be in good shape.”