Vail Daily letter: Hoy for sheriff |

Vail Daily letter: Hoy for sheriff

Joe Stearns
Eagle, CO Colorado

I knew Joe Hoy before he was sheriff and the entire time since he was elected. I know the enthusiasm he feels for his job and how seriously he takes his responsibility to keep the rest of us safe. Several things stand out in our conversations about his job.

First is the safety of children in Eagle County. He managed the DARE drug awareness before becoming sheriff. He fully understood the problems kids can get into with drugs and was passionate about helping them stay out of trouble. This responsibility wasn’t a job – it was a calling. And he put every-thing into doing as well as he could. I have been around when kids and their parents have seen Joe and could see the respect from both.

Immediately after becoming sheriff, Joe set the department to work understanding how sexual predators use the Inter-net to lure children into meet-ings and developed the tech-niques to prevent it. This pro-gram has resulted in several arrests. That led to other Inter-net safety programs such as identify- theft protection and other cyber crime.

The new jail includes a juve-nile detention center. Histori-cally, kids in trouble went to Denver. Joe recognized that kids have a much higher chance of turning themselves around if family is close rather than face it much more alone in Denver.

Second, he knows the root of much crime is illegal drugs. Whether from his DARE expe-rience or 20-plus years in law enforcement in Eagle County, stopping illegal drugs in our county has always been a top priority. There is so much undercover work in drug enforcement that he can’t always talk about what he is doing, but he has always demonstrated a deep-seated commitment to doing every-thing he can to eliminate illegal drugs in Eagle County, includ-ing work with local, state and national law enforcement.

Third, the Sheriff’s Office has not been exempt from budget-cutting pressure. Two perspec-tives that come through – there isn’t as much money, and his department has to do its part, but he still has to keep the county safe. He has poured all his experience and manage-ment expertise into finding the right balance. The second per-spective of his management style has been the people side. I’ve seen managers in my career who either can’t face the difficult decisions of cutting people or who don’t seem to have a concern for the person-al tragedy of losing a job. I have been impressed by Joe’s ability to face his hard choices while understanding the trauma for those who have to leave.

Every job has a ” technical” component to it, and it is clear to me that Joe Hoy knows law enforcement. The things men-tioned earlier also show the human element he brings to the job. We have a very capable law enforcement professional with a genuine concern for the peo-ple of Eagle County as our sher-iff. I encourage you to keep him on the job for four more years.

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