Vail Daily letter: For Van Beek for sheriff |

Vail Daily letter: For Van Beek for sheriff

Wesley Sosna
Vail, CO, Colorado

Please let me introduce myself before making comments regarding James Van Beek. I have a long public service record and believe I am an excellent judge of personal character. I served the wonderful people of New York City for 21 years as a supervisor with the NYPD, and as a soldier for over 20 years with the U.S. Army in leadership positions. Currently, I am working in Afghanistan as an international police adviser assisting the Afghanistan National Police. This is where I had the pleasure of meeting James van Beek.

I have worked with all types of people and personalities under stressful situations over the years in my careers as a police officer and as a soldier.

During that time, there are only a few people that stand out among them all. One of those people would be James Van Beek.

Without question, I knew I could count on James Van Beek when situations went array, and solid decisions needed to be made with little or no information in an evolving crisis. I always trusted the experience and common sense decisions of James Van Beek, whereas my life hung in the balance as those of other mentors on my team. A war zone is not a very forgiving place.

Although there are good people who attempt to do missions overseas in a wartorn country to promote democratic values at the risk of personal injury or even death, there are even fewer supervisors like Van Beek, who was fair, consistent and impartial especially under stressful circumstances. Working for James as a police mentor, I quickly realized the quality of his leadership abilities, and the professional tone he set and enforced on camp even under direct fire.

James assisted all mentors in their endeavors even if the mentor-adviser was not under his direct supervision. James was always mission focused and would step back once a subordinate was moving forward with a task. James is the type of person to help you, rather than refer you, to truly lead by example. As a retired senior NCO with the Army and a retired police supervisor myself, I appreciated his “can do” attitude even when resources were limited.

In law enforcement, a supervisor-manager needs to encompass several different qualities to be successful in America. They would need to be diverse, experienced, impartial, patient, understanding, professional, have impeccable integrity, and willing to contribute at personal expense without recognition.

I have found all these in James Van Beek, and I will miss him here in the sandbox. James was also a friend, not just a supervisor. I believe James will make Eagle County proud to have him as a sheriff.

Wesley Sosna

Spring Hill, Fla.

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