Police department hires new officer


The Haines Borough Police Department has a new officer on the job.

Officer Ryan Rutland recently moved to town with his wife and two children from Saginaw, Texas.

Interim police chief Robert Griffiths said Rutland will help sort out the station’s evidence room pending the return of officer Ken VanSpronsen, who is away on a moose hunt.

Though Rutland’s hire puts the department at its current budgeted capacity – a chief, sergeant and two officers – Griffiths still has to hire another officer to replace VanSpronsen, who was technically an “emergency hire.”

“VanSpronsen is not interested in a long-term appointment with the police department and was hired to help get us through the immediate staffing crisis facing the department,” Griffiths said.

Though an emergency hire can only last 90 days, VanSpronsen will be brought back as a “temporary hire” after that time expires, Griffiths said. A temporary hire can last up to six months.

Upon reviewing applications, Griffiths sent two offer letters to two successful applicants. Rutland accepted, but the other candidate, an experienced officer from out of state, declined the offer, primarily citing inadequate compensation, Griffiths said.

The department is conducting interviews with other applicants, he said.

In Texas, Rutland worked as a gunsmith and firearms instructor for a year. Prior to that, he worked as an armed security officer in Colorado. He served in the U.S. Army between 2006 and 2011, and was based in Fort Carson, Colo.

Rutland’s wife Lauren is the new Haines Dolphins swim coach.


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