Officer Washburn receives recognition for ìheroic actionî

MEEKER — Meeker Police Officer Mike Washburn was recognized by Meeker’s Board of Trustees and the Meeker Police Department at the Feb. 19 meeting. Washburn was honored for his “heroic action” on the evening of Feb. 7. While patrolling Main Street, Washburn observed a “glow” in the window of a home under construction. Upon inspection he discovered a fire started in the floor by a space heater connected to a propane tank. Washburn entered the house and used his fire extinguisher to control the blaze until the fire department arrived.
“Undoubtedly his actions saved this house and probably the surrounding structures that were occupied by families at the time,” said Lt. Glen Wilson, who presented the award recognizing Washburn’s “diligent observation” and “placing public safety above his own personal safety.”
“The degree of danger the circumstances presented was tremendous,” Wilson added.
In the regular monthly staff update, Lt. Wilson notified the board that the department’s K-9 unit, Aragon, has been diagnosed with a medical condition that necessitates his retirement from police service. Officer Jim Amick, the dog’s handler, has offered to provide a permanent home for the dog at his own expense. According to the lieutenant, a replacement, a 5-year-old narcotics certified Belgian Malinois, may be available for $500 from the Westminster Police Department. The board encouraged the police department to pursue that option in order to maintain the effectiveness of the K-9 program. Aragon was responsible for several successful narcotics finds in the months prior to the start of the health problem.
In other business, the board approved leases for the use of Ute Park with David Smith Ranches and the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials.
The board heard from Northwest Water Roundtable representative Jeff Devere. Devere currently serves as the municipal representative for the roundtable, which covers the Yampa and White rivers. David Smith is the county representative. The roundtable is currently involved in studies on the impacts of energy development on water rights and water interests and non-consumptive, or recreational use, of the rivers. The board requested better reporting on the activities of the roundtable.
The board also approved a resolution outlining and defining procedures taken when a board member or the mayor has a conflict of interest with a discussion or action taken at a meeting. By adopting the resolution, board members agree to leave the room whenever there is a personal conflict of interest.
“I think this addresses the issues that have come up in the last year or so,” Viscardi said. The resolution “puts it in black and white,” according to Mayor Loshbaugh, so that no one seated on the council has the opportunity to influence the decision-making process.
The meeting closed with an executive session.