SEVERANCE, Colo. — The town’s elevation once topped its population, but Severance, Colorado is growing fast.
“It used to be a small town,” David Stromberger said. “Used to be.”
Seated at the bar inside G5 Brew Pub, Stromberger talked about the Severance from his childhood.
“Down at the corner they had a sign that said, ‘Severance. Population like 103,’” he said. “That was counting two dogs and a cat.” The patrons seated behind him laughed.
Stromberger pointed out the things in town that haven’t changed like the post office established in 1894 and Bruce’s bar, a Severance staple since the 1950s. While it’s nice some things never change, the perk of growing pains is getting something new. Since the start of 2019, the new thing in Severance has been the police department.
“The very first police department,” Misty Siderfin smiled, standing in front of a patrol car.
Siderfin is the first police chief the town has ever seen. She started her career in Broomfield and spent 14 years in Silverthorne. She came across a flyer advertising the police chief position in Severance.
“I thought, what a neat experience to be able to start your own police department,” Siderfin said. “After all, who can say they started their own police department?”
Siderfin even designed the department’s badge and shoulder patch. Now, she leads a department of seven including five women.
“In law enforcement, you usually don’t see as many female officers, so it’s pretty neat to be able to inspire others to come forward and do what they want to do and reach their goals as well,” Siderfin said.
Valerie Hessler signed on as a Severance officer after moving from Logan County. She’s been doing police work for about four years.
“Women have as much capability as men to do this job,” Hessler said. “They’re good at multitasking. They’re good problem solvers and they’re really good at talking to people. I’ve never had to fight anybody into handcuffs.”
Hessler and her fellow officers have been keeping busy in Severance. The Weld County Sheriff’s Office used to police Severance and Chief Siderfin said the number of calls increased significantly after the department started.
“It has been nuts,” Siderfin said. “It has kept us busy, but it’s been great.”
Siderfin said the town purchased four squad cars from Glenwood Springs Police. The department is waiting on two more from Fort Collins Police Services.
The chief hopes to hire a new school resource officer in April and said there will be openings for two additional police officers in 2020. She wants her department to keep up with the growing population.
“Now, we’re just under 7,000 and it’s projected by 2020 that we’ll be up to 10,000 in population," Siderfin said.
No matter how big the town grows, there’s finally a department serving Severance.