For sheriff, Kaufman by a nose |

For sheriff, Kaufman by a nose

Don Rogers

The trouble is there’s just one seat.

Hoy, the Republican candidate, and Kaufman, the Democrat, are similarly articulate, thoughtful and committed officers. Both have been with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office for over a dozen years.

Neither has held a supervisory position in the Sheriff’s Office, though Hoy was an Army officer in Vietnam and elsewhere during his 14-year military career, in charge of several helicopters besides his own on missions and for aviation and base security at other times. For 12 of his 13 years with the department, he has been the main officer teaching the DARE program, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, to schoolchildren. That, too, gives him valuable insight in a vital segment of our community.

Kaufman has wider experience in the department itself, serving three years in the jail, seven years on road patrol, and five years as community policing administrator. He’s taught the DARE program, too, and he’s the coordinator of sex offender registration. He also has been the state director for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Colorado Special Olympics.

Each candidate demonstrates a passion for community policing principles, in which officers work close enough with their communities that they are well known and ideally well trusted. And both candidates bring a bit of the “servant-leader” approach to the county’s highest law enforcement position. That is, each says he would listen carefully to the line officers and work to match their needs.

Hoy strikes us as bringing more of the pragmatic military bearing to the position. Kafuman appears to be the more creative thinker of the two – interested in how streets might be better constructed, for instance, in relation to what both men agree is the most commonly vexing problem in Eagle County, neighborhood speeding.

This county, while certainly growing, has managed under the tutelage of longtime Sheriff A.J. Johnson to remain a place where citizens have little to fear walking in any neighborhood and perhaps too many of us don’t bother with the hassle of locking the doors to our homes or cars.

Crime is a part of life, and it grows with the population, no question. The challenges ahead for the next sheriff will be significant. Johnson has left a good legacy to continue, and to build upon.

Each candidate is up to the task, in our estimation, although assuredly the new sheriff will need time and seasoning as he grows into the job.

We think the best choice to take on this challenge, by a nose, is Bill Kaufman, with the weight of his years in a variety of Sheriff’s Office postings.

But like we said, Eagle County’s voters can’t go wrong in this race. Either man would do the county proud.

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