Police provides free pepper spray to scared residents

Several assaults on women in Crested Butte have alarmed some people
By Beverly Corbell,

MOUNT CRESTED BUTTE — Several assaults on women in Crested Butte this summer have alarmed some people, so the ski town of Mount Crested Butte is giving away free pepper spray.

The giveaway is making some women feel more secure, said Julia Shirk, administrative assistant at Mount Crested Butte Police Department, and the recent series of assaults is the worst she has seen in her two years on the job.

“People are talking in town about kind of losing their small-town feeling,” she said. “Nobody asked us to give away pepper spray, but Chief Hank Smith heard about these smaller key-chain ones and thought it might be a good idea to do.”

The chief ordered 200 pepper spray key chains, she said, and about 30 women have come by the station to pick one up.

“People like having it,” Shirk said. “They said it gives them peace of mind and a sense of security. We are a small town, and everybody knows each other, but ski season is coming, and there is a big influx of people at the ski area.”

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