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Sweet home Aspen

John Colson

You can’t get hold of any Aspen Police Department baseball cards with his picture on them yet, but Adam Crider is the newest beat cop on the streets these days.

Crider, 26, actually started working for the APD in January, after going through a couple of months worth of interviews, board reviews and other screening processes.

And he only appeared in uniform on the streets of Aspen a couple of weeks ago, because until he reached a certain point in the training process, it was against the departmental rules to wear the colors.

He still has weeks to go in his field training officer (FTO) program, in which he learns the ropes of local law enforcement under the tutelage of a cop who’s been here for a while.

For the final two weeks, said Rob Fabrocini, his FTO officer, Crider will be essentially on his own with Fabrocini as “his constant shadow,” watching to see that he does everything right and only stepping in “if he does something wrong that he can’t fix on his own.”

Crider came here from his hometown of Anniston, Ala., near Birmingham, where he was a cop for exactly “two years and 10 months,” he said this week.

Anniston, he said, is a blue-collar kind of city of 35,000 souls. He said the crime is a little more serious than here and the river running through town is a lot grimier.

About the types of crime he dealt with back home, he said, “It’s pretty much the same,” just a little hairier.

“We dealt with the same stuff the big cities deal with, but on a smaller scale,” he elaborated, noting that where Aspen was alarmed to experience five armed robberies in 1999, “we might get five armed robberies in a week. It was a pretty hopping little town for law enforcement.”

Among other things, he said, “We dealt with the Aryan Nations and the KKK,” but only in terms of relatively harmless bar hooliganism, not the kind of racial offenses that spark riots.

Asked why he chose to relocate to Aspen, he said simply, “To get out of Anniston,” adding, “I came for the laid-back attitude. I’ll live longer here.”

He speaks in a decided Alabama drawl, one that he says has sparked some conversations on the street when he stops to talk to people.

He’s married with a 5-year-old stepson. His wife came to Aspen with him, while their child finishes out the school year in Anniston, living with his grandparents.

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