Basalt police chief retires |

Basalt police chief retires

Aspen Times Staff Report

Basalt Police Chief Jim Stryker is turning in his badge after eight years as chief, more than 14 years with the department and 39 years as a cop.

Stryker, 61, announced Wednesday that he will retire May 31. He said he plans to stay in the Roaring Fork Valley and possibly even serve on the Basalt Town Council.

When Stryker was asked if he was parting ways with the town government on amicable terms, he said “very amicable.”

The Town Council voted Wednesday night to contribute a $40,000 lump sum to his retirement fund. The town also plans to throw Stryker a big retirement party on May 31.

A press release from Town Hall said Stryker “logged the longest tenure of any police chief in Basalt.” He’s popular with many people in town – although not with the crooks – and serves in other public service roles, such as on the board of directors of the Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District and as deputy coroner in Eagle County.

Stryker came to Basalt after entering police work in Illinois 39 years ago. He served two years in Basalt, left for a time, then came back to stay in 1988.

Stryker lives outside Basalt’s boundaries even though he’s only a hop and few skips from Town Hall. He lives in the Roaring Fork Mobile Home Park, which is an island of unincorporated land in Pitkin and Eagle counties that is surrounded by the town.

To get involved in Town Council, he said, he would have to move. Stryker said he would be interested in serving only if there is a vacant seat in next year’s election. He isn’t interested in ousting any current members.

Town officials are preparing a search for Stryker’s replacement. It wasn’t clear Wednesday night if advertising will be done locally, regionally or nationally.

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Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2001

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