Sheriff candidates walk the talk

Wall, Wiggins debate training requirements if elected


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Early voters happy with system (Aug. 2, 2006)
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Learn about voting changes (May 14, 2006)

Officials with the city of Aspen said on Tuesday that personnel files for Gary Wall, Democratic candidate for Routt County Sheriff, most likely were purged decades ago and are not available.

Rebecca Doane, human resource director for the city of Aspen, said the city's policy is to keep personnel files for 10 years before throwing them out.

"I am fairly certain they would have been purged many years ago," she said. "Even if we had come across them recently, we would have tossed them."

Wall authorized the Steamboat Pilot & Today access to his personnel files with the Aspen and Vail police departments last week. Wall worked as a police officer in Aspen from February 1967 to January 1973, and as the Vail police chief from February 1973 to February 1979.

Vail officials said Tuesday that Wall's personnel files are available.

Krista Miller, human resource director for the town of Vail, said Wall would need to sign the town's release and waiver before his files could be released. Wall said he would comply with the town's request and provide his personnel file to the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

During an agricultural forum Saturday night, Wall challenged his Republican opponent, Gar-rett Wiggins, to sign similar documents releasing his personnel files.

Wiggins, a police officer and narcotics investigator with the Steamboat Springs Police Department, said he would not authorize access to his personnel files based on recommendations from his supervisors.

Releasing his personnel files could compromise his job and endanger his family, Wiggins said on Saturday. Wiggins said he would accompany any member of the public to view his files with him.

Wiggins could not be reached Tuesday afternoon to discuss his offer.

During a candidates forum Monday night, Wiggins and Wall debated what training requirements each would need if elected.

Gary Cure, assistant executive director of County Sheriffs of Colorado, said if Wall is elected, that Wall would need to get his Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST certification, within one year of being elected, unless granted a special extension by the Colorado Attorney General's Office.

"Anybody that has been out of law enforcement for three or more years automatically has their certification put on hold," he said.

Wall, who left his position as police chief in Vail in 1979, would have to get that certification, which typically is a three-month long course, Cure said.

Officers seeking POST certification typically can take the course through a local community college or state program, he said.

The individual seeking the certification pays for POST certification, he said.

Regardless if Wiggins or Wall is elected, both men would have to take an 80-hour long new sheriff training course before being sworn into the office in January, Cure said.

The new sheriff training course, which is offered through the County Sheriffs of Colorado organization, is from Dec. 4 to 15, and includes training on "everything a sheriff is responsible for doing," Cure said.

The county usually pays for the training, he said.


Hmmm 10 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if Wall will seek to have the 80-hour Sheriff training course "waived"?....he thinks that becoming POST certified is a joke, so why would he think he needs the Sheriff training course? The article says that Wall would have to pay for the POST certification himself. First, I wonder if he could even do that (i.e. bankuptcy, 3 IRS tax liens against him).....maybe he'll hold a fundraiser to pay that expense? Second, I wonder if the POST board or the school offering the certification conducts any sort of background check?....again, bankruptcy, IRS tax liens, was arrested in 2001, etc.


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