Vail Daily letter: Van Beek for sheriff
Ryan Summerlin June 20, 2014
On Thursday, Nov. 24, 1988, we were all enjoying Thanksgiving dinner while Eagle County Sheriff’s Deputy Flint Chambers and Colorado State Trooper Cindy Hurd had stopped a semi truck on I-70 in Dotsero. Little did they know they were about to make history. The vehicle contained just over $4 million dollars in cash. Determined to be related to drug distribution, the money was seized and forfeited to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO 1988 case file). The money was shared between the state, county and local municipal law enforcement agencies.
Sheriff A.J. Johnson placed some of the money in an account that paid for the DARE Program (with assistance of federal funding), which employed Deputy Joe Hoy. This single seizure was the largest in Colorado history for many years. Joe Hoy’s claim of $720,000 over the last 12 years has not met any record.
Without this seizure, the Sheriff’s Office might not have been able to fund the DARE program that Hoy worked in. Hoy was a deputy that taught the classes; he was never the supervisor of the program — only his daily syllabus.
Improving school safety had been in the forefront for years before Active Shooter Response Protocols were implemented in February of 2002 under the direction of Sheriff Johnson. All officers were required to attend the training, Deputy Hoy included.
Bill Kaufman has always been the brainchild of innovative inmate transition programs. His creative thinking has been helping inmates for many years. He deserves the credit.
The Inmate Work Program has not generated any cash flow for the county. There have been no deposits recorded into the sheriff’s accounts or the County General Fund. Under the direction of Bill Kaufman’s administration there is a savings to the county related to in-kind services (labor they would have had to purchase) done with inmate labor. To say that it generated money is deceiving.
Honesty and integrity is important to each of us in this community. As a chief law enforcement officer the expectation is very high, much higher standard than most. With this information provided to you I hope you take a moment before you vote to ask yourself if bending the information, ignoring history and forgetting what you learned in training is what you want in a leader.
The leadership modeled by our sheriff drives the behavior of the employees and officers to do the right thing when they come to our home. They should be the model of integrity, pride and professionalism. Choose a leader, and vote James Van Beek to preserve the safety of our community.