South Fork Police Department hits the ground running

Photo by Lyndsie Ferrell South Fork Police Department Chief Hank Weber has been working to establish trust within the community since coming on board last fall and is strengthening the department's partnership with surrounding law enforcement agencies Valley wide.

New Chief Weber already making an impact

SOUTH FORK — South Fork Police Department Chief Hank Weber has been in his position for six months and is hitting the ground running, making changes within the department, working on grants and continuing to strengthen the department’s relationship with the public.

“We absolutely love it here. My wife and I planned on moving some place that had some seasons and we were pointed in this direction. Everything went really smoothly with the transition and fell into place. In all the chief positions I have had in the past, this one happened really fast and the move went really well. The whole transition was like that,” said Weber.

Weber has been in law enforcement going on 32 years, 22 of which as a police chief. Weber and his wife came from Oklahoma and after moving to the South Fork area realized that they knew some of the people who come in the summers to visit. Weber also stated that it affords him a unique opportunity to connect with the summer community in South Fork having come from their neck of the woods.

“I am not the type of guy that keeps things close to the hip or one that won’t go out of their way to help someone in need,” Weber said. “We focus on things, small things like helping someone with their dead car battery at 2 in the morning or following through with a case that hasn’t seen activity in a while. I am the one that takes those things on and it's all about presenting a professional business-like service to the public.”

Weber has a master’s degree in Business Administration and the first thing he did when coming on board was to revamp the police department’s logo and uniforms.

“We have had a very great response from the people so far,” he said. “The first thing to gain some trust with the public is you have to look professional and if you don’t look professional, we kind of get dismissed.”

Weber is working on grants to help with funding in the department and is currently seeking to add a full-time police officer.

“I am trying to teach my guys that it is the little things that matter, the little things matter and that is what we are setting out to do as well as we handle the larger cases,” Weber said. “Its customer service and that is part of what we do.”

Weber is working closely with neighboring agencies in the San Luis Valley and continues to keep lines of communication open with the community. In coming weeks, the South Fork Tines will be working with South Fork Police Department to run a monthly blotter and traffic report.

For more information or to just say hello to the new police chief, call 719-873-0152 or stop by the South Fork Town Hall located by the South Fork Visitor Center at the intersection of Highways 149 and 160.