Tuesday, October 31, 2006
If you believe that the Routt County Sheriff's Department needs to change its priorities and management style to reflect the changes that have and will occur in the Yampa Valley, then I am your clear choice for sheriff.
I have the wisdom, vision, sophistication, and desire to instigate positive, pro-active changes in the way that the sheriff's department operates in our community.
I was a member of the Colorado State Council on Criminal Justice for six years. I served as chairman and vice-chairman of this 25-member board that allocated $8 million per year of LEAA federal grant dollars to the criminal justice system, and I personally assisted many small police agencies in solving common problems.
I have been a police officer, a detective sergeant and a police chief. As the police chief of Vail, I was able to recruit qualified people who wanted to serve as well as protect. We had firm, professional, smart law enforcement, with fairness and accountability. As chief, I had an open door policy that worked well with my employees and with the citizens of our town. We worked together to make a difference.
I enjoyed diversifying my life by creating and managing my own successful restaurant for a decade. For the past eighteen years, I've been a private investigator, which has given me a broad range of experiences and a solid understanding of our legal system. The skills that I have gained working for the police, prosecution and defense will be a solid asset to bring to Routt County. My experience with defense will assist greatly in prosecution investigations. I am a master at listening, reasoning and investigating, and a solid believer in our rights as citizens of this country.
I want to create a positive morale in the RCSD and will prioritize the training and hiring of officers who want to serve our community as well as protect. I want to unite the Sheriff's Department under the philosophy of helping people and doing the right thing, instead of fostering the "us and them syndrome." I will break down the barrier that seems to exist between law enforcement and the community. I will have officers who have an interest in community issues and a desire to know citizens on a personal level. I will be instructing my officers to look for ways to help people, and to use good judgment and consider all aspects of any situation.
I will create new ways of solving old problems that have worsened because old methods have failed. I want to deal with kids who are first offenders with minor infractions by working with school counselors, parents, and Routt County Human Services to create new consequences for their actions that don't get them into the formal criminal justice system. I want to tackle the growing problem of serious drug (methamphetamine) use through education, intervention, as well as enforcement. A priority will be to have a well-trained tactical squad to work in cooperation with other enforcement agencies in the event of a very serious threat at a public or private facility.
I have the ability to manage people effectively, and to consider multiple points of view. I have the confidence that will be needed to try new methods of tackling existing problems. I have been P.O.S.T.-certified and will enjoy the two-week refresher course (or will simply take the test). I am excited about the challenges facing me as sheriff.
The citizens of Routt County have a real choice this Nov. 7. I'd be proud to serve Routt County as its next sheriff and ask for your vote so you can be part of the change.
Gary Wall, a private investigator, is the Democratic candidate for Routt County sheriff.