High Country Character Joe Hoy
Eagle County CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado “- After flying helicopters for the U.S. Army, Joe Hoy joined the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office as a patrolling deputy in 1988. Last week marked his eighth year as Eagle County Sheriff. The Catskill, N.Y., native said he’s still got a long way to go in law enforcement, too.
“I won’t retire. I’m not the retiring type,” Hoy said.
There’s too much about his job that he likes ” from paperwork to people ” to just walk away after so long, he said.
“It’s the challenge of the office, the things I have to deal with. And working with a great bunch of professionals and their enthusiasm,” Hoy said. “I love the job.”
Vail Daily: Is there any particular moment or incident that sticks out in your mind from the last 20 years?
Joy Hoy: “I don’t know if it would be a moment. I would just say the one is going through change in the county and in law enforcement. We’ve gone from basically a rural law enforcement agency into one that is sort of high tech. We have to deal with modern crimes. There was a time when we used to have two different radios in our patrol car “-one for east and one for west. And there were times when there was only one or two deputies on duty in one night for the whole county.”
VD: What are the biggest challenges facing the sheriff’s office right now?
JH: “I would say there’s a couple big challenges. Obviously, dealing with the budget as the county cuts back and we make sure we are as effective and efficient as we can be. Dealing with the constant challenge of recruiting and hiring individuals “-not only do they have to look good on paper, but personality-wise they have to have a higher standard, and we have a high standard here. And new legislation or federal mandates, sometimes it trickles down to the sheriff and we kind of have to deal with those mandates.”
VD: Is there any crime or types of cases you are seeing more or less of?
JH: “What we’re seeing is probably an increase in domestic violence, cases related to substance abuse “-whether it’s alcohol or others. I think we’re seeing a spike in white collar crimes, computer type crimes. Then we had this rash of break ins, that was a little spike. I wouldn’t be surprised with the economy that we see more crimes that you can say are affected by the economy “-ID theft and things like that.”
VD: What do you think is in the future for the county and the sheriff’s office?
JH: “I don’t think I can say what’s in the future of the county. In the sheriff’s office, we will continue to serve the public the best way we can. We are looking into ways to do things better, more effectively and more efficient. We have to take what we’ve got and focus what our priorities are, what’s important to the community and focus on those things. I see the sheriff’s office in the future being more technical. Some of the equipment and some of the programs we have will be obsolete in three or four years. We have to constantly maintain that (technology) to make sure we don’t fall behind the curve too much, or not at all.”
Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.