Teri Metallo, Central City. This year marks the one hundred and fiftieth year of Central City’s Law Enforcement history. To commemorate the sesquicentennial anniversary, special badges were made for the officers and chief of the Central City Police Department.
The first lawman was a marshal, and to begin with was a one-man department in the gold camps that grew into towns in the fast growing Colorado Territory. Keeping the peace, collecting taxes, and being the jailer were just a few of the many duties taken on by the Territory’s first lawmen.
It doesn’t matter if it is a state patrolman directing traffic on Highway 119, a wreck on the Central City Parkway, or a violent situation in a county home or a casino hotel room—these departments have each other’s back in a unique and trusting way. After gaming was voted in all of the departments within the county have grown and transformed with the times.
Today’s officers have more creature comforts than did those in the early days, yet some things in Central City’s Police Department still have a ring of the mining camp. You know you are in an Old West town: from the prisoner’s bench at the Department to the old jail exhibit at Washington Hall, you can still feel the spirit of the men who pinned the earliest stars to their chest in Central City’s golden era.
It is the sense of duty and pride that continues as a tradition in our mountain towns. Unlike big cities, where you never see the same policeman twice, in Central City you get to know them all on a first name basis.
Feeling like you have a friend and a neighbor at your local law enforcement department makes residents feel more at home. Seeing a familiar face on a regular basis gives everyone a sense of protection and recognition.
Stop by and say hi, or just wave when you see Central City’s finest out on the street. They are carrying on a proud tradition of being our hometown heroes every day.