At the Town of Norwood’s monthly meeting in April, trustees discussed law enforcement and plans going forward for keeping the peace in town.
Mike Wilkerson, Norwood’s town marshal for more than a decade, resigned and left at the end of March, leaving Norwood without its long-time cop. Though Norwood has sometimes had a deputy marshal on staff in the past, the town had already been looking to hire a deputy marshal when Wilkerson left his post.
For the last few weeks, the town has had neither a marshal nor a deputy, but that doesn’t mean that Norwood hasn’t had a law enforcement presence. The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office has been responding to calls in the Norwood area. Still, sheriff’s deputies are not responding to things like ordinance violations for parking issues or stray dogs on the loose during its temporary coverage that began on April 1.
In April, at the town board meeting, town administrator Patti Grafmyer asked trustees if they wanted to continue having a town marshal’s department and then hire a new full-time marshal and potential deputy. She also asked if trustees wanted to sit down with Sheriff Bill Masters and have a conversation about what it would look like to have the county cover Norwood for law enforcement needs going forward.
Trustee Candy Meehan said she wasn’t comfortable with establishing a contract with San Miguel County. She said she wanted to “maintain continuity” with having a town marshal in place. She also said she wondered about the county being potentially overburdened by covering the Town of Norwood in addition to its regular territory.
“We need someone here for us,” she said. “I like to have a single, familiar face.”
Trustee Shawn Fallon told fellow board members that he was interested in the idea of the town having the conversation with Masters and that there was no rush in hiring a marshal.
Mayor Kieffer Parrino said he knew the town had received two applications for the town marshal position by the time of the meeting. He said he’d like to review and discuss those before deciding whether to meet with Masters. Gramfyer told the mayor the applications couldn’t be discussed during the public meeting, because the applications were under review.
The April meeting ended with a consensus to at least “look at” both avenues for the town’s law enforcement, hiring a new marshal and also speaking with the county.
Grafmyer told The Norwood Post on Monday that Masters is currently conferring with San Miguel County Manager Mike Bordogna regarding what that law enforcement contract might look like and cost.
“Sheriff Masters stated that he would be in contact soon,” Grafmyer said, adding the town has not hired a new marshal yet.
As of press time Tuesday, the Town of Norwood had received two more applications for the town marshal position, bringing the total to four applications. Grafmyer said two of the applications are very strong and have years of law enforcement experience.
San Miguel County continues to cover Norwood as officials mull the decision.