Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis said he’s planning to send reinforcements to help deal with the crush of media, fans and curiosity seekers.
What goes around comes around, and Braudis said Eagle County helped him when then-President Clinton showed up in Aspen.
“We will offer them all the mutual aid we can spare,” said Braudis. “All Colorado agencies have a statewide mutual aid agreement where we can call upon one another when we need some help.
“There’s no way to staff up for something like this, which might might go on for a year and a half.”
Braudis said Eagle County helped when Clinton came calling, as well as the with the Panorama Fire in his county and the Coal Seam Fire in Garfield County last summer.
“In this case, they’ll have massive crowd control and media control issues,” said Braudis. “We’ll probably help set up an incident command system and help with a pre-planning exercise to project all the impacts on facilities and personnel.”
Only in Aspen
Braudis, being the Pitkin County sheriff, isn’t exactly a neophyte when it comes to dealing with celebrities.
Take the time Dewey Sucar was at a party, got into a cat fight, and stabbed another New York socialite with a champagne flute. She wound up in the Pitkin County crossbar hotel for 90 days. The victim ended up in plastic surgery.
Pitkin County got off cheap with that one.
During the first of Clinton’s two visits, the Secret Service made their requests. Braudis had to scramble together 400 additional personnel, and Clinton didn’t even make a public appearance – it was strictly a fund-raising deal.
Since it was summer, Braudis housed them in the high school. He learned a little about coordination with the true powers that be in education, the janitors. It seems they had turned off the boilers, so there was no hot water for showers.
The second visit Braudis refers to as “Clinton Lite.” He only had to put together about 200 additional people, he said.
“It cost a bunch of money,” said Braudis. “We couldn’t get a penny out of the Democratic National Committee, the Secret Service or the White House.”
Finally, an anonymous donor stepped up and donated $15,000 to a list of charities he and Braudis composed, which Braudis said helped defray some of the burden to the taxpayers.