While an exact time line Morrison’s law enforcement history is unavailable some events and people are known. The earliest record of the Town’s Law Enforcement dates back to 1913 when Alex Rutledge is shown as the Town Marshal.
The front page of a 1919 Denver Post article documents the sensational dynamiting of the Post Office safe during an attempted burglary. The incident set several buildings a-blaze. Firefighters from Denver were called in while citizens of Mt. Morrison, as it was known back then, fought the fire. Several prominent citizens helped to fight the blaze including Judge J. D. Babcock, Daniel Berrian who was a rancher living near Mount Morrison, and City Marshal William Beckett. Beckett Lane was named in honor of his service.
A 1921 Denver Post article details the arrest of John Swanson owner of the Cliff House Hotel and member of the Morrison town council. He was arrested by Town Marshal Charles Whiting who declared he was going to ‘clean out this class of law breaker at any cost’. Swanson was fined $100.00 by a local justice of the peace for having in his possession a large quantity of moonshine whisky.
A rare and fragile original paper copy of the 1935 Jefferson County Yearbook Directory, lists Marshal Lee Merriman and other Town Officials including O. A. Pike as “justice of peace”.
A series of original ID cards held by surviving family members identify G Nelson Coy as Marshal in 1956 and Richard Perkins Jr. as Deputy Marshal in 1956 and 1957, issued badge number 2. However, in 1962 Perkins then becomes Town Marshal holding Badge “No 1”. He was sworn in by then Mayor, Kyle Driggs.
The department was changed from a Marshal Service to the Police department in the late 80’s when long time police Chief Robert Wasko took over. Wasko was from the east coast and brought many ideas including methods, forms and our current shoulder patch. Wasko remained the Chief for approximately 30 years making him the longest standing law enforcement official on record. He retired mid-year 2010.
Retired Denver Police District Commander, Rudy Sandoval took over after 40 years of service in Denver. As Chief of Morrison, Sandoval molded the department to a standard more consistent to the modern policing model. He brought many positive changes including a community policing approach, increasing the budget and growing the Department to meet a more modern standard. The department added officers, vehicles, mobile computers, training and much needed building renovations. Sandoval retired after seven and a half years of service in the fall of 2017.
The Town of Morrison appointed former Jefferson County District Attorney Senior Investigator, George Mumma to fill the position of Chief. George was attached to the Juvenile Division of the DA’s Office for 23 years. He started his career as a Littleton Police Officer, then moving to Lakewood where he served as a Patrol Officer, Swat Officer and a K-9 Officer. George amassed 40 years of experience before taking over as the Chief in Morrison. Chief Mumma made additional changes which has increased productivity, safety and effectiveness through proper training and community interaction.
The Morrison Police Department has a proud history to serve and protect, staying true to the nature of the badge as it has done since becoming, “The Nearest Faraway Place”. While the names and faces may have faded over the years, the Morrison Police Department has always been committed to a quality standard consistent with all other cities in the metro area.