I’ve just retired after 25 years in law enforcement in Colorado. My wife and I moved to Park County and now work and live here. The residents and Mr. Wissel who voted against 1A are in for a big surprise. Mr. Wissel was interviewed by The Flume before the election and said he did not support it. He offered no other way for more funding other than saying he would look for it in the budget. Typical politician answer. The calls for service are only going to increase, and the Sheriff’s Department needs to be staffed to address that. If Mr. Wissel and the residents of Park County think the tourists and people from the metro area aren’t coming, they are living in a fantasy. The burglaries in Bailey aren’t just an anomaly, there will be more. Park County better be prepared. The department I retired from worked short staffed, and it took its toll on morale and the health of every officer. It is important that the community of Park County retain deputies and pay them a better salary. It is important because it costs a lot of money to hire and train law enforcement officers, and that is an investment made by the residents. When I was recruiting, it cost $30,000 just to hire an officer, outfit him/her, train him/her for 16 weeks before they were on their own. I’m sure it’s double that now. If you want temporary deputies who do not spend the time getting to know the residents, interacting with the residents, and just moving on after 3 to 5 years, keep the status quo. All the “Don’t Breckenridge my Fairplay” stickers won’t keep people out, be realistic. Invest and incentivize good deputies to come and stay. It’s worth it.
Sam & Marya Ayres