Our Latest News

May 2012 report to the county commissioners


The sheriff and undersheriff…

…attended or participated in a variety of civic and other activities including Rotary, Vuelta Salida race planning, a meeting of the Teller County sheriff’s honorary deputy sheriffs association, and an orientation for the AHRA seasonal rangers.

The sheriff participated in a law enforcement executives forum at the Command Staff Institute hosted by County Sheriffs of Colorado; presented an award to a Buena Vista High School student at the school’s annual award assembly; attended a barbeque in Fourmile sponsored by Friends of Fourmile / Leave No Trace; and participated in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run benefitting Colorado Special Olympics, an event organized every year by retired CSP Trooper Sam Trujillo.


An 81-year-old Eagle County man was arrested by our agency at his home on a charge of sex assault on a child.  A press release was issued because of suspicions by detectives that there may be other victims who have not yet come forward to report the offenses.

Deputies broke up a party at a private residence at which several teenagers were found to be drinking alcohol, one of whom was in a state of intoxication severe enough to require his transport to the emergency room.  Six persons were issued citations for underage consumption of alcohol.  Three were over 18 but less than 21 years of age.  The other three were 13, 15, and 17.

The sheriff and undersheriff met with several neighbors at the home of one of them to discuss on-going disputes they are having with a local resident of their neighborhood.  This meeting is related to the letter from the neighbor, reported below, complaining about her interaction with one of our deputies.  The two officials offered suggestions for remedies.

On May 18, Salida police sponsored an Every 15 Minutes dramatization similar to the one recently staged in Buena Vista.  With the cooperation and participation of law enforcement agencies, fire services, EMS, the county coroner, Heart of the Rockies Medical Center, and Salida High School officials and students, a drunk-driving-related accident scene was recreated on a Salida street.  Special thanks to Salida police chief Terry Clark for his effort and support for the project.

Staffing shortages / other factors affecting operations

Ten marijuana plants and a quantity of drying marijuana were discovered in an abandoned house in Nathrop, apparently placed there by someone who was aware that the owner of the house lived out of state and would not be using it.  A normal law enforcement tactic would be to keep the location under surveillance until electronic monitoring and recording equipment could be placed in or around the house to identify a suspect.  Lacking personnel and specialized equipment, this was not possible.  The contraband was seized and, at the request of the owner of the house, the building was released to the fire department to be burned for a training exercise.

On the evening of May 15, our sole detective had to be called off a drug task force undercover operation to assist with a possible homicide investigation north of Buena Vista.

A resident of Alpine called to report the break-in of an historic building owned by her family on St. Elmo’s main street.  She understands that our agency is unable to routinely patrol that area because of our small staff.  A patrol deputy took the report by telephone; there was no on-scene investigation.

Central Mountain Training Foundation notified us that their funding is now restricted to only POST-certified law enforcement personnel.  However, it is available to non-certified personnel for a yearly agency fee of $300.  Because our civilian and detentions personnel receive substantial training benefits from CMTF, we will contribute to the fund in order to continue our participation.

  Training Attended

One of our patrol sergeants graduated from the Command Staff Institute, a two-week course conducted at the Highlands Ranch Law Enforcement Training Facility south of Denver.

All patrol deputies attended a three-hour class on interdiction techniques intended to increase their observation and interview skills.


A new deputy was sworn in May 14.  He comes to us from Fremont County SO where he served for just over one year.

A patrol sergeant was sworn in as deputy county coroner.  He is assigned to the north end of the county and will be working this as extra duty.  We see no conflict with his work as a sheriff’s deputy and in fact, view his new assignment as a career enhancement.

A deputy’s patrol vehicle collided with a deer.  The incident occurred during nighttime hours and was reported to and investigated by CSP.  The trooper concluded that speed was not a factor and no citation or other action was warranted.  The patrol commander and the sheriff reviewed the accident report and determined that no disciplinary or training actions are necessary.

  Complaints / commendations

The sheriff received a letter from a Salida area resident complaining that a deputy who contacted her at her house on the complaint by her neighbors of harassment had instead harassed her and had made “false accusations.”  She also alleged that the deputy and unspecified employees of the sheriff’s office were engaged with the neighbors in a vague plot to harm her physically.  The sheriff personally investigated the allegations by reviewing reports and call logs and speaking with the neighbors.  In his written response to the woman, the sheriff regretted that her conversation with the deputy had not been to her satisfaction and offered to mediate the dispute with her neighbors, which she declined.  Regarding her charge that our employees engaged in a conspiracy to harm her, the sheriff called her claim “outrageous and without basis.”

The sheriff received a letter from a woman who commended one of our dispatchers and two Salida police officers for their “excellent response” to the woman’s call from her home in Minnesota requesting a welfare check on her friend in Salida.  “It was great to have somebody on the phone who demonstrated so much care and concern,” she wrote.

The undersheriff received a call from a man who said he had been contacted on a routine traffic stop by one of our deputies.  He said he has had “many” contacts with the police and this particular deputy was “by far the most professional and friendly law enforcement officer” he has encountered.  He said that although “for the most part” he does not “get along with police officers,” our deputy was certainly the exception.

The underage drinking party reported above generated an internal personnel investigation of violation of policies and rules by an off-duty civilian CCSO employee.  The employee resigned before that investigation was concluded.

Victims Advocate

Communications Center


Our newly-hired dispatcher comes to us from Park County where she has been a dispatcher for four years.

  Training received

Two dispatchers completed training for major incidents.  Another attended training in mental health first aid and EMS.

Search and Rescue

On May 23, Search and Rescue – South assisted Saguache County SAR in the rescue of an injured off-road motorcyclist in the Silver Creek area.  Five SAR members and three ATVs responded.

Records and Administration

Detention Facility

A jail kitchen staffer was serving a meal when an inmate attempted to assault one of the kitchen trustees and struck the staffer in the shoulder instead.  The inmate was charged with assault.  The staffer was not injured.


A man arrested by CSP for DUI was accepted by jail deputies after being medically cleared by personnel at HRRMC.  The following day in court, the man suffered a seizure and was transported again to HRRMC.  We incurred overtime security costs of approximately $3,500.  The invoice was forwarded to the district attorney’s office for restitution.


Two detentions corporals completed a three-day class in supervision.  All detentions staff attended a two-hour VINE training funded by County Sheriffs of Colorado.  Several detentions staff attended a twelve-hour mental health first aid training conducted by West Central Mental Health.  The detentions commander and four deputies completed firearms training/requalification.