Vail Valley Voices: Proud of these guys |

Vail Valley Voices: Proud of these guys

Bill Kaufman
Vail, CO, Colorado

This past year the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office graduated two detention sergeants from the prestigious National Jail Leadership Command Academy at the Sam Houston State University Criminal Justice Center.

The academy was designed by the American Jail Association in collaboration with the National Institute of Corrections to develop future leaders in our country’s county jail system and the potential ramifications if these problems are not met head on with solutions that accurately meet the need.

These needs include:

• An aging inmate population, which requires a different approach to management.

• Younger staff with different expectations from their supervisors.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

• Budgetary constraints, which limit resources;

• A widespread concern for a majority of jails that lack a succession plan as retiring leaders step down after years of service.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Van Wyk (seventh session) and Sgt. Chad Puglise (eighth session) graduated from their respective academy sessions. Sgt. Van Wyk has been with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office since 2004, currently holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice, and is working on his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management.

Sgt. Puglise has been with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office since 2002 and currently holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a minor in history.

The knowledge gained from this academy will provide the skills necessary to meet the impending challenges that are sure to befall our local jail in the short and long term.

When asked about the experience at attending the academy, Van Wyk stated: “I was honored to be selected to attend this academy as it has given me a new set of skills and allowed me to learn more about myself. This has demonstrated to me that there are committed professionals in this business who are striving to make it a career and not simply a job. The jail profession rarely gets any positive press and through this academy, graduates can begin to change this as the profession gets the recognition it truly deserves. There are great people working in the jails and these people should be seen as professionals.”

Eagle County Sheriff’s Capt. Bill Kaufman is the county’s jail administrator.

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