Sgt. Brian Olson promoted to police chief in Snowmass

Staff report

The town of Snowmass Village on Monday announced the promotion of Sgt. Brian Olson to chief of police.

The promotion comes after Chief Art Smythe announced his retirement earlier this month after 25 years in the position. He will vacate the position today.

“Art leaves big shoes to fill, but I hope to build on the positive relationships our department has with our community and look forward to seeking out new partnerships,” Olson said. “We’ve got tremendous stability in the department, and I’m pleased to continue working with such dedicated staff.”

Olson became an officer at the Snowmass Village Police Department in 1987, becoming sergeant in 1993. In almost three decades of service, he has built positive partnerships with local businesses and community members with a customer-service approach to public safety that is unique to Snowmass Village, according to a statement.

“The department has never been healthier, and I believe Brian has earned the opportunity to lead the group on to the next level,” Smythe said.

Olson has been instrumental in developing and managing public-safety response to special events, which continue to grow in size and scope in the village and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. He also has provided training programs for local bartenders, promoting a team approach to the responsible service of alcohol at area establishments.

Olson recently completed the Certified Public Managers program at the University of Colorado-Denver. He is active in regional public safety efforts, participating regularly in regional networks, and has served on the Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District board since 2004.

“The police department has done a great job with succession planning, and Brian has spent years honing the skills necessary to lead this great team,” interim Town Manager Gary Suiter said. “He brings history and continuity, and his management philosophy will serve his team and community well.”

The Town Council presented Smythe with a resolution of appreciation on June 25. Residents and members of the police department filled the council chambers and gave him a standing ovation after Mayor Bill Boineau’s presentation of the award.