New Paw Paw Police Chief starts duty
The Town of Paw Paw now has new Police Chief Tim Harthun on the job. Harthun was sworn in on October 10 by Mayor Alton Wolfe and began his service the next day.
Harthun hails from Grand County, Colorado and has around 14 years in public safety. He was in law enforcement for four and a half years as a deputy with the Grand County Sheriff’s Department and was also a medic and firefighter for Grand County Emergency Medical Services and the Lake Dylan Fire Department.
Harthun was a member of the Grand County SWAT team and has extensive back county rescue and large incidents management training and expertise. He is also a Drug Abuse Resistance Program (D.A.R.E.) instructor and works in the schools.
Harthun learned of the job opportunity through a former town police chief and applied. Harthun said he had always liked being on the East Coast when he visited and that he wasn’t a fan of the big city.
When he came here after he was hired, Harthun found that “Paw Paw is a pretty quiet small town that has a unique charm to it.”
Harthun said he hasn’t been here long enough to really assess the town’s law enforcement issues. For him, the two standard ones to enforce and eradicate are illegal drugs in the community and drinking and driving.
Harthun is trying to get his eight-week D.A.R.E. class for fifth graders scheduled with Paw Paw Schools and hopes to hold it this year. He also has an eight-week D.A.R.E. class for seventh graders that he wants to do next year.
In fifth grade, Harthun mostly works with students on saying no to drugs. At the seventh grade level, he builds on that concept, demonstrates ways for kids to get out of uncomfortable situations and shows them tools to fight peer pressure.
In his D.A.R.E. program, Harthun tries to get kids to avoid the group mentality of “everyone’s doing it” and encourages individual mentality.
Harthun plans to be active in the Paw Paw Neighborhood Watch program and will work with town adults and youth on other programs and issues.
He wanted people to know that he wasn’t about a “heavy-handed cop response.” His focus was a “fair, responsible law enforcement ethic that’s going to provide a good service to the community.”
Harthun said he has to get his pulse on the community to figure out what’s needed to do the best job to keep everyone safe.