Vail Daily letter: Ready to lead
Ryan Summerlin July 18, 2014
To the citizens of Eagle County,
I first want to thank the Eagle County residents for your overwhelming support during the primary election! I could not have accomplished this without your insight and support.
A mentor once shared, “a good leader is not the person who can do everything there is to do nor will they be the one who will do everything themselves; a good leader knows their people, understands what motivates them, recognizes each person’s strengths and weaknesses, and surrounds themselves with people that have multiple skill sets that complement each other. “
While employed at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy for more than 12 years, I was trained and worked as a patrol deputy, field-training officer, hostage/crisis negotiator and investigator. I assisted on interviewing, hiring, training and working alongside many of the current staff. This gives me insights into understanding their strengths and weaknesses and what motivates them.
My 25 years as an Eagle County resident and my years as a member of the Sheriff’s Office have allowed me to work with and get to know the citizens from the remote northern regions of our county around Bond, Burns and McCoy to the top of Tennessee Pass; from the top of Vail Pass to the communities of El Jebel/Basalt
With eight years of international law enforcement experience I have extensive experience in international relations. As a police commander with the U.N. Police Mission in Kosovo, I commanded a staff of 150 law enforcement professionals from all over the world, making sure we had the manpower, equipment and leadership to perform our jobs, train new officers, and be prepared for any situation; ensuring the safety of the local population and the officers under my command.
As a police mentor supervisor for the U.S. Department of State in Afghanistan, I managed a large staff charged with training local Afghan police forces, coordinating with military and police command staff, synchronized goals and accomplishing public safety within local governments/communities.
I have experience in coordinating/working with different emergency service agencies during numerous special events throughout Eagle County including the World Forums, ski events, visiting presidents/dignitaries, investigating major eco-terrorist activities and the 1999 Ski Championships. This gives me a solid understanding of what will be necessary to ensure efficient public safety in 2015.
I am in and will remain in communication with the professionals involved in the planning process for 2015. My familiarity with Eagle County is not limited to one area — 2015 will not be limited to one town or one mountain either — this gives me the insight to help make this event a success.
I will be completely informed and prepared to lead the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department through the 2015 Ski Championships. Before, during and after this event I will be focused on the issues that impact all of the county and its residents to ensure safety, problem solving and leadership — representing and serving everyone equally as your sheriff!
James Van Beek