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November 2011 Report to the County Commissioners

The sheriff and undersheriff…

…attended various civic association meetings such as SAR North and South, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, and others.  Both participated in the Salida Parade of Lights. 

The undersheriff attended a meeting concerning emergency response and planning for the Salida School District. This will be an on-going process to create and regularly update this document.  We hope to assist the Buena Vista School District in the same way.

 The report of the results of the two community forums on drugs and alcohol use in Chaffee County was sent to all participants and interested parties in newsletter format.  The report is also posted on our newly revised website that is now “live” at www.chaffeesheriff.org

The sheriff participated in a career fair for emergency services job seekers at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood.

The sheriff was a judge for the We the People competition between Buena Vista and Roaring Fork high schools.  The event was held at Colorado Mountain College, Buena Vista campus.


   Complaints / commendations

We received a call from a local citizen commending a patrol deputy for his assistance during a traffic-related contact the day before.  The caller said the deputy was “courteous, professional, and helpful” during the contact. 

 Responding to several residents’ complaints of gunfire at or near the home of an off duty employee in the early morning hours, a sheriff’s sergeant contacted the employee inside the employee’s home where a party was underway.  Local police from the jurisdiction in which the employee resides later initiated an investigation that resulted in the filing of disorderly conduct and unlawful discharge of fireworks against the employee.  The sheriff ordered a separate internal investigation of the incident, and allegations of misconduct that reflects unfavorably upon the Sheriff’s Office and the employee were sustained.  Appropriate corrective measures have been taken.  In addition, the sheriff and undersheriff personally contacted the neighbors to apologize for the incident.


A patrol deputy attended an M4/AR15 patrol rifle armorer training class.  All patrol deputies participated in eight hours active shooter training.  The tactical team completed ten hours of specialized training.

 Communications Center

  Training received

Two dispatchers completed fTAC team training.

   Equipment issues

The radios from the 2010 grant project have been reprogrammed, correcting the previous issues with the on/off button and the emergency button.

 Search and Rescue

The estate of Dr. Robert Michael von Gortler, a Boulder doctor who, along with his 20-year-old daughter Makanna, died during a climbing excursion on Mount Missouri in July, donated a check in the amount of $10,000 to the Search and Rescue North Team.

 Detention Facility

  Significant incidents

Several months ago the Shamrock delivery truck struck the exhaust pipe from the boiler system and caused several thousand dollars of damage.  We finally received a check from the insurance company and parts have been ordered and repairs can be made. 

At the request of a firm producing a webcast documentary on jail conditions in the US, Commander Rick Holland assisted the production crew in filming some generic visuals and audio of a jail environment.  Inmates were relocated to a separate pod during the three-hour production, and no inmates were actually shown in the video.  The producer later wrote the sheriff about the project,

“I can’t tell you how helpful everyone was at the jail a few days ago.  Thank you to you, and your staff, for helping us with a very, very important segment of our short film. The cell you provided to us was exactly the visual and sound environment we needed. You all couldn’t have been more supportive.  We were particularly thrilled with the sound of a certain very heavy door slamming, which Rick Holland very patiently and good-humoredly helped us record several times.”

 A detention deputy was highly praised in a note from an official from the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office for her beyond-the-call-of-duty assistance in working with them on prisoner transportation and an inmate’s check issue.

The same detentions deputy received another note of appreciation from the Michigan father of a female inmate for the deputy’s assistance in retrieving a Western Union money order for his daughter and arranging transportation home to Michigan of the newly-released woman.  “I don’t know you, but you are a special person!!,” he wrote.

A group of eight inmates who voluntarily participated in a twelve-week non-violent communication course each received a certificate of completion at a graduation ceremony in the jail on November 4.  This program is one of several offered to inmates throughout the year, with the support and assistance Cmdr Rick Holland.  The Mountain Mail carried a three-column article on the event. 


One detentions deputy resigned to take a full time job in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  Training attended

Four detention officers completed a week long Detentions Academy that was grant funded by County Sheriffs of Colorado. 

Five detention deputies and Cmdr Rick Holland received CPR/ First Aid recertification training. 

All jail staff received training on a new DUI law.


Our detention facility was one of seven counties selected by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to receive replacement and upgrades of its obsolete Live Scan equipment.    This technology eliminates the traditional method of obtaining fingerprints by rolling one’s fingers on an inkpad and then pressing them onto a fingerprint card.  Instead, digital images of the subject’s prints are obtained.  These prints can then be reproduced effortlessly and transmitted to various agencies and databases electronically.  Estimated cost of this equipment, if purchased outright, is $36,000.  There is no cost to the County.

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