This is the first letter to the editor I have written in the 41 years I have lived in Carbondale. I feel it is time to give my opinion to readers in Eagle County. You are facing one of the biggest elections for sheriff in over 20 years. You have three candidates at this point to choose from. I know two of the three candidates as I worked with or for them for 18 years. I worked with Joe Hoy when he was a DARE officer then an airport security officer.
I worked with James van Beek when he was a patrol deputy, field training officer, detective, mentor and many other titles. James van Beek “worked the streets” and knows the people in his county. James has integrity and honesty and knows what it is like to work nights and holidays. James knows what it is like to supervise and be held to the highest standards. James was my field training officer when I was a 21-year-old rookie deputy in the El Jebel area of Eagle County. He taught me what it was like to integrate into the community and to be proactive and not reactive. He taught and followed what former Sheriff A.J. Johnson implemented as real community policing and how important it was to have “resident” deputies in every area of the county (James spent a lot of time getting to know the residents of El Jebel and other rural area of the county). James knows what community is and pushed to keep “resident” deputies in the far reaches of the county.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office could thrive under the leadership, new ideas and back-to-the-basics approach that James van Beek can provide. You can’t have someone leading the county who waits for bad things to happen and then develops a solution; we need a sheriff who can anticipate criminal trends and patterns and understand the public’s needs and can lead his staff to action. As a community member and small business owner, I would have no hesitation to stand behind James van Beek for Eagle County sheriff.
If you want community and integrity back in the leadership of Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, then do not hesitate — van Beek for sheriff!