life and times of a wilderness cop

472 pages / 229 photos & images / large print / true tales of rural law enforcement


Officer Steve Greene served with three law enforcement agencies during the course of his career, one in southern California and two in southwestern Colorado. This book documents his service with the Hinsdale County Sheriff’s Department, headquartered in Lake City, Colorado, an extremely remote region of 14,000 foot peaks in the San Juan Mountains of the Rocky Mountain Range. His life as a rural police officer, along with actual incident reports of daily occurrences, ranging from murder to search and rescue to common traffic violations, are shared to provide insight about what it’s like to be a cop in the backcountry, and how it differs radically from big city police work. Steve began his career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in California in 1973.

This unique book is a rare behind-the-scenes look at rural law enforcement work during the 1980s, the real deal. All incidents are actual events handled in the line of duty. Identities of criminal suspects have been concealed to maintain confidentiality. These chronicles are not simply based on true events, they are true events, including the personal life and actions of Officer Greene, and how he came to call this geographically isolated region home.

“Steve is the real-life role model for the television series, Longmire.”

– Bob Grossman, schoolmate, class of 1969

To hear and watch Steve discuss his rural law enforcement tales, visit the Meet Steve page.

Colorado Lawman Full Cover

Colorado Lawman may be ordered from Amazon here. Read a book review here.

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Peace Officer’s Code of Ethics
Dedication to a High Country Babe
Never Trust Anyone Under 8000 Feet
Hinsdale County Sheriff’s Department
From Lost Angels to Lake City
Lake City – the Far Off Land
Home at Last, For the First Time
Hinsdale County’s Hungriest Criminal
She Wasn’t Fond of the Isolation
The Ways of a Backcountry Lawman
Funding the Hinsdale County Sheriff
Hinsdale County Population Census
Hinsdale County Sheriff’s Roster
Reflections of Sheriff Roger Coursey
History of the State of Colorado
Geology of the Lake City Region
School Marm Meets the Undersheriff
Photo Gallery One
Colorado POST Certification

Part Two
Reports of a Colorado Lawman
Cryptic Cop Codes
Photo Gallery Two
Modern Day Online Knowledge
Lake City Silver World Newspaper
The Distorted Lens
Dreamers, Drifters, & Free Spirits
Meet the Author


About the Author

Steve Greene at 36 (Colorado Lawmen were magnets for rugged and wild pioneer women)


Steve and Heidi

1984 – officer steve with his newborn daughter Heidi



You will read true crime stories about how Steve rounded up all the bad guys (and gals) in a remote Colorado county with only three officers total for the entire territory! You’ll read how he had to capture a golden eagle his first week on the job. You’ll read how he put his patrol vehicle into a skid at 70 miles per hour and tore the rear tires clear off the rims. You’ll read how he faced down a shotgun-toting drunk at two in the morning, and lived to tell about it. You’ll read why he needed a telephone at his home toilet. You’ll read of the time he burned 23 huge marijuana plants in the tiny town of 200, bringing out the locals to see what was going on. You’ll read about a guy who was operating a motor vehicle while dead. You’ll read about a teenager who murdered his two teenage friends, and how Steve did his part in bringing the deranged boy to justice. You’ll read about a touring bicyclist who passed multiple bad checks to town businesses for a few days, and how Steve apprehended the pedal pusher. You’ll read about the high guy who kept asking him if he could smoke just one more joint while Steve was booking him for possession. You’ll read about a saloon customer who shot an arrow into the Baptist church steeple because the preacher had complained about the loud music at the saloon the week prior. You’ll read about a shameless town crook who siphoned all the gasoline out of the town’s fire truck one night. All these stories, and considerably more, are yours in this true accounting of this wilderness lawman.



memoirs of officer steve greene

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