Deputy says he can do better job as Eagle Co Sheriff
EAGLE COUNTY – Charles Wolf thinks it’s time for a change. That’s why he challenging his boss for the job of Eagle County Sheriff.
Wolf, a Republican, is challenging incumbent and fellow Republican Joe Hoy, who’s seeking a third term this fall. Since no Democrat has declared for the race, the winner of an August primary will probably be the next sheriff.
A native of southern New Mexico, Wolf and his wife, Angie – who also works in the sheriff’s department – moved to Eagle County in 2008 to be closer to her family. Wolf, at the time an 11-year veteran of law enforcement, applied for a job as a deputy and was hired.
While he’s been on the job locally for a relatively short time, Wolf believes he can do a better job as sheriff.
“I want to communicate better with the people under me and the community,” he said.
One way Wolf would like to open up communication between the department and the community is establishing a reserve deputy program in which residents would volunteer to help the department.
Wolf said every place he’s worked has had some sort of reserve program, and that volunteers can help law enforcement in jobs from paperwork to securing crime scenes.
“I believe it’s in people’s nature to help out,” he said.
Aside from starting a reserve program, Wolf believes the sheriff’s department should be more active on-line, with “continuous” updates of the department’s Web site.
“We need to give citizens the opportunity to learn about what we’re doing, and we need to do a better job of that.”
Wolf’s a big believer in using technology to get things done. He completed his college degree on line, and Angie teaches college classes in New Mexico without leaving Eagle County. He’s also taken a big part of his campaign to his Facebook page.
Technology should be a key component of officers’ continuing education, Wolf said.
“Let’s start putting training online,” he said. “That way you don’t need to worry about travel. Law enforcement is way behind the times on this. If we get out front on it, we can be the leaders.”
One area Wolf doesn’t want the county to be a leader is in medical marijuana dispensaries. In a recent letter to the Vail Daily, Wolf unambiguously said he’s opposed to the idea of medical marijuana.
If elected, Wolf said he’ll uphold the law about medical marijuana, but it still troubles him.
“I think the majority of people who voted for it envisioned something a lot different,” he said.
Wolf said while Colorado’s population is about one-seventh of California’s, it’s right behind California in the number of medical marijuana dispensaries now operating. “That’s a race we don’t want to win,” he said.
Wolf said he’s also worried about property crime in the county. With unemployment and foreclosures rising, he’s concerned that vacant homes, especially in rural areas, could become targets for burglars.
And there’s the budget, which county officials believe may be headed for a crash in property-tax collections in 2012.
“That’s always the top thing,” he said. “If you’re not aware of that, you’re just not prepared, and where you need to be prepared is to support the department’s infrastructure. That’s not just crime statistics, but interaction with the public.”
Wolf said he’s been encouraged by the people he’s talked to so far.
“My message is something people need to hear,” he said. “If you keep hiring the same people, don’t expect a different result.”
Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.