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If I may, I would like to make one more comment. As long as we have individuals (Drug dealers) who prey on people with addictions for no other reason than for financial gain, the RCSO will aggressively pursue those criminals and hold them accountable using all appropriate and legal means available to law enforcement. This includes the use of a K-9 program. I would also like to invite you (peter) to meet with me personally or attend the next Rx.taskforce meeting so you can educate all of us regarding your “Specific” ideas as to how we should be addressing the drug addiction issue.
It is extremely rare that I read the comments section regarding articles published by the media and even rarer for me to take the time to write a comment. I find it amusing that we have a handful of individuals who claim to be an expert on such a wide range of issues. I see Peter Arnold is once again spreading false information about me and the RCSO. Because of peter’s comments, I felt it appropriate to take the time to comment for educational purposes. Apparently peter has performed an internet search and discovered a relatively new program known as the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I or ANGEL) out of Gloucester Ma. This program was developed by the Gloucester Police Department as a result of the spreading opiate addiction problem. It may provide some comfort to peter to know the RCSO has been heavily engaged in attempting to find alternative programs to address addiction through the RxTaskforce. Due to our increasing opiate problem here in Routt County, over a year ago, I began contacting members of the PAARI program to see if the program could be initiated in our area. Through collectively working with members of the Rx.Taskforce we have made progress to implement the PAARI or ANGEL program locally. The (RCSO) has a policy in place which was developed several months ago to initiate the ANGEL program. We have discovered that we are the first agency in Colorado to pursue the PAARI initiative and through our aggressive approach in dealing with the opiate issue; we are now working with local, state and Federal agencies to get the program off the ground. Our research indicates that a treatment program is very expensive and requires a lot of infrastructure and staffing to effectively provide treatment. Treatment is a key component for true success but is something drastically in short supply or missing in our area. The lack of treatment options has not slowed our attempts to march forward and through the efforts of the Rx.Taskforce, we are making progress. A program like this takes the entire community and many agencies working together to implement, not just one law enforcement agency as peter suggests. Hopefully within the next year we will have a program in place. Now, if peter would have participated in the many community meetings regarding the addiction issue or had he just picked up the phone or come by my office to request information as to what the RCSO is doing to help address the issue, I would have been more than happy to fill him in on the details. I really hope this post will provide some comfort to peter and other concerned people. My door is always open and I am always willing to talk to anyone about issues concerning our community so please do not hesitate to call or come by. Peter, someone once suggested that completely conducting thorough research prior to making inaccurate public statements is a good way to avoid being referred to by unpleasant titles.
Normally, I do not get involved in these conversations but I think everyone needs to understand these bills are very problematic and difficult if not impossible to enforce from a law enforcement standpoint. In today’s article in the Steamboat Pilot, the word “Won’t” was used in the heading in lieu of “Can’t”. The definition for the word “Won’t” in the Webster’s dictionary has a much different meaning than the word “Can’t”. I, along with the other 64 sheriffs of Colorado have studied these bills for the last few months in an attempt to find how they will possibly impact law enforcement. I am sure these bills were written with good intentions and I believe we all agree that something needs to be done to prevent violence in our society. But, some of these highly debated bills were so poorly worded and articulated that they are impossible to enforce. Several of these bills have absolutely no verification mechanisms currently in place that would allow a law enforcement officer (LEO) to establish probably cause (PC) that a crime has been committed. It is incumbent and rightly so, that every person charged with a crime, that the burden of proof stands with the LEO to prove that PC exists prior to an arrest. A LEO legally cannot arrest a person for a crime if PC fails to exist. Doing so would be a crime in itself and would violate a multitude of laws and Constitutional Rights. Regardless of which side of the debate you support, no law justifies someone’s rights to be violated. I will go on the record stating that neither I nor anyone working for me will subject a person to an arrest based on anything less than probable cause. That is the law! In other words, if we can’t legally enforce a law, then I guess that means we won’t. I have taken an oath to protect, support and uphold the Constitution of the United States as well as the Colorado Constitution and I will take that oath to my grave. In my official capacity, I will go to bat for every citizen when it comes to protecting our Constitutional rights regardless of which right it is.
To end this statement, it is time for society to stop blaming inanimate objects such as firearms, cell phones, alcohol, drugs or anything else, for the poor or ignorant decisions that “Humans” make. The bottom line is individuals need to be held accountable for their actions.
Last login: Wednesday, September 28, 2016
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