Fowler residents can sleep better knowing that a new chief of police has been appointed and will take over the post on March 4.

The approval for conditional hire of Jeffrey Worth, of Santa Fe, was approved by the Fowler Board of Trustees on Monday during their regular meeting at Town Hall.  

According to Mayor Nathan Shultz, Worth retired from the police force in Santa Fe, where he was a decorated officer.

"He (Worth) is looking for a smaller town to live in, and it seems like he'll be a good fit," said Shultz.  

Andy Lotrich added to Worth's qualifications by saying that he also worked for the Los Angeles County Police Department.

"I think we are really getting a highly qualified person that also has a commitment back to the community," said Lotrich.

Before Worth is officially appointed to the position, he must meet a few standard requirements.

"He's doing his testing right now," said Shultz. "We've offered him a conditional job based on him getting his Colorado POST Certification, pass the psych testing and physical evaluatiion."

According to Lotrich, Worth must also occupy a residence within Fowler city limits before taking over the position.

The wage set for the new chief was also set and approved by the board at $41,600 per year.

"The wage set is our standard what we have budgeted for the chief position," explained Shultz.

Fowler has been without its own police officers since the first week of January. The defections happened within a matter of hours of each other.

Since then, protection has been provided by other local law enforcement agencies, including the Otero County Sheriff's Office,  Colorado State Patrol and the Rocky Ford Police Department.

Aaron D’mize, a reserve officer and Fowler's former chief of police, has also been patrolling the town's streets in the interim.

In other news:

The board approved for Public Works to trade a John Deere tractor that is not being used sufficiently for a road grader which, according to Public Works' Brent Bitter, would have more merit. The Pueblo Board of Water Works one-time lease of 350 acre feet of water at the price of $85 per acre foot was also approved. Town Clerk Kelly Lotrich reported that officials would begin writing tickets to pet owners who do not have required dog tags. The board also approved to grant American Legion access to the Fowler cemetery and to participate in American Legion-Wreaths Across America annual December celebration, with no dollar figures attached.