Sheriff Wall defends ElderWatch decision

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Sheriff Gary Wall addresses the Routt County Commissioners on Monday afternoon. Wall requested the meeting with the commissioners, and they discussed several current issues.

— Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall defended his suspension of the ElderWatch program in a meeting Monday with the Routt County Board of Commissioners.

Wall said he requested the meeting - and hoped to schedule regular ones - to improve communication between the department and the commissioners.

"I just want to make myself available if you have any questions about what's going on over there," Wall told the commissioners.

Most of the meeting was spent discussing Wall's decision to discontinue the department's ElderWatch program. Commissioners Nancy Stahoviak and Diane Mitsch Bush were concerned the elderly would be left vulnerable, as was a group of citizens who attended the meeting and confronted Wall afterward with questions about if and when the program would resume.

"My concern is elderly citizens, especially those who are not in some way connected with social services, can be victims very easily," Stahoviak said. "These are the people we all need to be cognizant of."

Wall said the program ended because the deputy who ran it, Elise Andres, resigned.

"I did not stop the program," Wall said. "The person who was doing the program decided to move on. This is an opportunity for us to take another look at this. I think this is an opportunity for us to have a fresh start."

Wall said the department is conducting an internal review of the ElderWatch program because of "issues" he was unwilling to specify in a public setting. He said the program lacked "accountability," citing for example that he had no way of knowing how much time Andres spent on the program.

Wall also said the department was not identifying anything criminal through the program and suggested volunteers, neighbors and family members may be better suited to provide the type of services ElderWatch was providing.

"I think it's important to have contact with elders," Wall said. "But for that to come out of the Sheriff's Department, I don't know if that's appropriate. It's an AARP program. To do more social things, I don't know if it's a sheriff's department thing."

Mitsch Bush said it might be possible that the department wasn't identifying anything criminal through the ElderWatch program because its presence was serving as a criminal deterrent.

Oak Creek resident Reta McNutt attended the meeting because she was concerned about ElderWatch and wants to see it continued. She said she was not encouraged by Wall's comments.

"It appears that the sheriff no longer wants to do any criminal prevention for children and older people," McNutt said, referring to the loss of the DARE drug prevention program for children in addition to ElderWatch.

If ElderWatch is not continued through the Sheriff's Department, Stahoviak said she hoped Wall would participate in discussions with other county agencies to establish a replacement program.

"It's your call," Stahoviak told Wall. "But in a rural community like this, we all need to have our eyes open. I think there would be a way that we could all work together."

Comments

whyquestion 7 years, 2 months ago

is the truth getting to you?????? so called innovateed??????????

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Lazy_H 7 years, 2 months ago

Our population is aging and we have a responsibility to assist and support the needs of our seniors. It seems that rather than scrapping the whole program, Sheriff Wall could evaluate the time demands and perhaps restructure it to still provide the support but with less demand on his office.

It seems that Sheriff Wall is going out of his way to allienate many of the taxpayers and voters of Routt County. He certainly is not trying to work with the County Commissioners.

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CoJustice 7 years, 2 months ago

It appears that Sheriff Wall's balancing of his budget (His & Under sheriff's Salary) and perks with use of county vehicles is a top priority. I don't expect we will see any investment in the community such as technically, programs or additional training but what's in Walls best interest. I would have liked to seen a Citizens Advisory Committee established to review his proposal of budget planning and community programs.

Can the Pilot publish the County Sheriff's Budget (Public Record) so we can see where funds are being redirected with regards to his termination of community programs.

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dundalk 7 years, 2 months ago

Gary thinks that we, the community, should be watching out for the elder men & women of this community.

We need to have a specific person for this job. How many seniors fall, and are not found for days? How many forget to take their meds? How many can't cook for themselves? How many have family members out of town? How many can't even get to their doctors? How many don't have relationships with their families, have lost their spouses, children, grandchildren?

Is all we have left to offer just another sorry excuse from a man who hopefully will grow old quickly and be left on a cold hard tile bathroom floor after he's done of the loo?

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stunnedindaboat 7 years, 2 months ago

I like the idea of seeing the Sheriff's budget. The employee turn over has been huge and hiring and training a new staff is expensive. Maybe it be worth it to try and retain good, solid and experience officers. Wall just doesn't get it, we aren't Vail in the 70's. Does he or the Undersheriff carry weapons?

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 2 months ago

King Wall has spoken commissioners, you will now schedule at his convenience if you want to find out what the dept. is doing; he just might answer your questions if he hasn't changed policy on talking to you yet.

"I don't know if it's a sheriff's department thing".... King Wall, is anything a "sheriff's dept. thing" with you, other than fulfilling campaign promises you made to your nearest & dearest backers? I believe it imperative that you become certified asap.... by the men in the little white coats.

Way to go Routt County, you got what you asked for!! Too bad the rest of the county has to suffer for your bad decision.

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dundalk 7 years, 2 months ago

JQ: Somewhere, Nurse Ratched and Jack Nicholson are awaiting the certification. There are men wandering around with open, backsided gowns, all with Juicy Fruit Gum.

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Socrates 7 years, 2 months ago

What are the Routt County Council on Aging and the Visiting Nurses Association and their Aging Well Program for if not this?

Wall is correct in wanting to assess the effect of the Sheriff's office work and spending policy.

In 2001, the U.S. Surgeon General placed DARE under the category of "Ineffective Programs." The Department of Education prohibited schools from spending its Safe and Drug-Free Schools money on DARE because they did not consider it effective in reducing drug use. DARE America, the parent organization of the DARE program, has continues to receive money because they are trying to update the curriculum.

DARE has repeatedly been shown to be a ineffective program, much better models exist and should be utilized.

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thecondoguy1 7 years, 2 months ago

pottery I'm going to pottery................ Jack Nicholson, One flew Over the Cukoo's Nest 1975........ stunnedindaboat, I like that too, we are all stunned by this guys timing and PR moxie, it's gonna be a wild 4 years............

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RoxyDad 7 years, 2 months ago

We must take care of the elderly, But this must be funded properly. Lets take a look at the budget and see if there is money to fund this. If they need more money then lets discuss this also.

First we must see the budget.

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confused 7 years, 2 months ago

Can we say I told you so? How many people out there that voted for Gary will actually admit that they screwed up? Intergrity - one of the most important parts of Sheriff's position and the one thing he seems to lack the most...

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whyquestion 7 years, 2 months ago

wall of shame using the same political tactics DEFICIT CARGO did in oak creek?????????

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 2 months ago

whyquestion... didn't you figure out the connection when he was chosen to "screen" the police officers that applied for a position in OC and everyone hired turned out to be "yes men" of the mayor.

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jaredj 7 years, 2 months ago

the pilot doesnt investigate law enforcement ... i.e. gramnet anyone? what a waste of public money that was/is ...

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uporpeopleu 7 years, 2 months ago

why question & JQ - do u dislike wall, or just dislike that he aided oc when asked, or that he may or may not have been an associate of cargo's? seems u put her in u're written thoughts a bunch....maybe u REALLY like cargo and u spit at her so no 1 knows? i'm gonna tell.

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dog2 7 years, 2 months ago

Maybe all of the elderly should have Wall's private phone number in their emergency call button. That would be an excellent way to see how much need there is for them.

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innovated 7 years, 2 months ago

You have always doubted our Sheriff and never supported him from the start. Pick him apart as the buzzards you are...but, know this: Sheriff Wall has a huge job to do, he does not make stupid ass decisions regarding the welfare of our peoples. He confers with solid people when decision making. Whether right nor wrong, I believe in our Sheriff. I know he has a budget to consider and balance. There is more to the story than you read. Reta, go weave a basket...

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dundalk 7 years, 2 months ago

inn:

Wall's huge job is tossing out the elderly, getting rid of GRAMNET, sending vehicles to Vernal, Utah, firing higly qualified deputies, not returning phone calls from the Co. Commishs.

Maybe Inn, someday you will open your eyes.

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uporpeopleu 7 years, 2 months ago

dung - as usual - u know nothing - u only think u do - u por person u

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 2 months ago

Innovated: So was sending Bustos to Vernal, of all places, in a Routt county vehicle for personal use something that should stay in the budget?

And please shed some light: who are the "solid people" with whom he's in conference to make these "right or wrong, I (you) believe in our Sheriff" decisions? It seems it's not the County Commissioners, at least. Right now, the only one who knows what Wall is doing is Wall. Every decision he's made so far seems to be helping him only. Show me a decision made for the good of the county, please.

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fish 7 years, 2 months ago

JQ PUBLIC please clarify "Way to go Routt County, you got what you asked for!! Too bad the rest of the county has to suffer for your bad decision."

If you blame Routt County for electing Wall, what rest of the county has to suffer. Isn't Routt County all of Routt County or is there another Routt County that we don't know about.

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 2 months ago

Sorry fish... I should have said...way to go majority of routt county voters, you got what you asked for! Too bad the voters smart enough not to vote for king wall has to suffer your bad decision.....better?

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fish 7 years, 2 months ago

Well, I guess that we could just do away with the election process and just ask you who you want in office and then that is who we would have. Please tell us who you want as President in the next election so we can save time and money and just make you happy!

It seems to me that some people love to live and some just live to ***ch ( whine).

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fish 7 years, 2 months ago

Thank you, was wondered if we were going to have to send you a map.

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ihatestupidpeople 7 years, 2 months ago

As a friend of many law enforcement officers, I am disturbed to hear that Wall says the program was terminated because the officer resigned. He forgot to mention that she was reallocated to a different position and her salary was cut...perhaps that is why she resigned.

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noasc 7 years, 2 months ago

If you look at the voters that put Wall into office, you will see that the voters from Steamboat Springs put him into office. He lost the county vote. We need to start a recall, and have Wall removed from office. Also when Wall took office he stated that he could work with anyone as long as they do not lie to him. Wall should practice what he preaches. And stop lying to us. If you would like to recall Wall please e-mail me Send to recallwall@hotmail.com

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stunnedindaboat 7 years, 2 months ago

Look at recent history, Wall screened and advised the City of Oak Creek who to hire as Police Officers. What happened to those officers selected by Wall? They left their jobs as fast as the current Sheriff's staff has been departing. Let's leave Cargo out of it, she left the City of Oak Creek as well. That's history, history we all should look at. Now not Just Oak Creek but all of Routt County will have to deal with his decisions. One word says so much..pompus. I like the term "Wall of Shame" We need and deserve to see his budget, he's spending OUR money not his. Fish, JQ is not the only one who is not happy, MANY MANY people are not happy. We screwed up on election day. We were actually thought Wall would keep his word and promises and be good for the county. We were wrong. Now is the time to correct our error before the Sheriff's Office crumbles all together. DARE was old, but it was something we had to work with our children until a newer program came out and it kept communication between police and children happening. The open communication between youth and police is (was) a good thing. Communication...hmmm County Commissioners, media calls....not returned by the Sheriff who once wanted a downtown office so he could be closer to the citizens. We screwed up, now let's fix our mistake.

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whyquestion 7 years, 2 months ago

wallofshames Comments and ACTIONS are disliked????? deficit cargo nominated him for sheriff as she stated he helped OC establish it professional PPPPPPPPPD ??????

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innovated 7 years, 2 months ago

Ahhh move past it Teresa or Dan. You appear ridiculous and uninformed of the truth. Your comments with the continuous question marks makes you appear silly. Cargo was always one vote of seven for any motion. In our opinion, you with your continual bashings obviously indicates you have an ax to grind. Sheriff Wall makes decisions on information gleaned from several sources. Get a life.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 2 months ago

innovated- So who does Wally get his gleaned information from? This has been stated before (can't remember if it was you or not) and never went further. Anyone can glean information from several sources. That doesn't mean they are good sources as evident from his decisions since taking office. It sure isn't from the County Commissioners, since they don't seem to understand what he's doing either. Is he consulting Bee Herz, the local "psychic?"

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Scrapiron 7 years, 2 months ago

So, JQ, Y?, and the rest of you naysayers Do ya think if the 'majority' of Routt County had elected the 'Other Dude" things would have been better? He kind of reminded me of an SS Trroper that my father once told me about. It seems it's always the same group of one way thinking reactionaries who whine the most when their personal agendas aren't satisfied by the new elected officials! Y'all wouldn't be happy if John Wayne himself were running the show. Go back to your knitting!

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dundalk 7 years, 2 months ago

Scrap:

Gary Wall lives his personal agendas every day he shows up to work. He has dumped the drug enforcement realm, then moved onto the seniors. His next personal agenda was to allow employees to drive county owned and paid for vehicles to another state.

Once again, Wall did not win the majority of the votes from the county voters. His victory came from the wooden headed dummies who reside within the city limits where the SSPD patrols. Those in the county voted for Garrett. Why, because they knew that Garrett would be the best representative for the county law enforcement.

As we come towards the 1 year mark of JesterWall's reign it is refreshing to realize that he is STILL not POST certified for the position he was voted for. Wall has stated he'll get certified when he thinks he is ready for it. He feels its not a pressing matter at this moment.

As for your comment regarding Garrett and an SS man - wow, that's far reaching.

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Matthew Stoddard 7 years ago

dundalk- I think he means Robert Bumpus, but I don't think that Elderwatch would have helped on this one. Not sure what exactly happened to him, but he died on the Core Trail last week.

Did you get an HDTV yet?

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dundalk 7 years ago

Oh that gent. I knew his daughter. Very sad that he died in front of them.

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