SOUTH FORK— Equipped with nearly two decades of law enforcement experience, Colorado native Coty Arthur was sworn in at 9 a.m. on Jan. 2 to become the new South Fork Chief of Police. Don Allee, the town’s municipal judge, conducted the proceedings to fill the position.
According to Arthur, his biggest goal for the department and the town is “to improve our communication with citizens and businesses. It makes it much easier for us if we have good communication within the community.”
Kicking off a new initiative on Saturday, Dec. 29, Arthur hosted the first Coffee with a Cop session at the Two Rivers BBQ. In addition to Arthur, Rio Grande County Sheriff-Elect Don McDonald joined police and fire department personnel for the casual gathering.
The Coffee with a Cop concept, Arthur said, “improves communication. People can raise problems or ask questions, and we can sit down and discuss them in a casual environment without having to go to the station.”
Residents mingled with Arthur and other staff while enjoying breakfast and Black Powder coffee. Recognized by patrons, the new police chief is certainly not new to South Fork. Nor is he new to the profession. Arthur began his law enforcement career in northeastern Colorado 18 years ago, working for the Washington County sheriff’s department in Akron. In addition to a Colorado prison job, Arthur led a regional SWAT team and assisted with the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force during his time in Washington County.
For the last five years, Arthur has been helping to establish law and order throughout the San Luis Valley. Working most recently as a corporal in the South Fork Police Department, Arthur took on extra duties since the November election to help former police chief McDonald transition to his new job as sheriff for Rio Grande County.
Most recently, on Dec. 4 the South Fork Police Department coordinated efforts with the Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Office and Monte Vista Police Department to execute a search warrant at 22 Cedar Drive in South Fork. Officers completed the operation without incident and transported all accused parties to the Rio Grande County Jail for processing. Total street value of narcotics taken during the search was estimated at approximately $12,253.
Arthur will play a key role in the Colorado Concealed Weapons Course offered by the South Fork Police Department on Jan. 18–19. The course starts on Friday night with four hours of classroom activities at the South Fork Community Center from 6 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, the course continues at 8 a.m. with a weapons function check and live-fire proficiency test at the Rio Grande Sportsman Club. In addition to learning about gun safety, participants will have a chance to learn more about the new South Fork chief of police.
Arthur and his wife Courtney live in South Fork. “I thoroughly enjoy it here,” the new police chief said. “We have excellent recreation opportunities here year-round.”