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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, March 20, 2013
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