Colorado

Jan 25, 2013 2:43 PM by Siera Santos, ssantos@koaa.com

Meeting draws large crowd of supporters for fire chief

The southern Colorado community of Beulah remains divided following Thursday night's Beulah Fire Protection and Ambulance District Board meeting.

Held at the community parish, the room was packed wall-to-wall. The turmoil surrounding Chief Ware attracted both supporters and opponents. However, applause and cheers followed nearly every supportive comment for the newly appointed fire chief.

A retired sheriff's commander who has experience teaching cyber crimes classes expressed his concern after reading the court documents from Ware's charges in Huron, Ohio.

"This case scenario and the facts that I saw in his police report, I could present that in my classroom as a classic pedophile grooming of a young child," he said.

Ware disputed his comments by saying he has "never been accused of confronted or anything about inappropriate behavior with a juvenile."

Ware was previously charged with providing alcohol to underage persons. Before the crowd, he explained that it happened at a cook-out with coworkers who were under 21 years of age but over 18. He served a three day suspension from the fire department after he was convicted.

Some attendees walked out of the meeting angry or offended. However, those supporting the fire chief far outnumbered those who question his hiring and background.

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