Eagle County Sheriff: New year, continued expectations of excellence from Sheriff’s Office (column) | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Sheriff: New year, continued expectations of excellence from Sheriff’s Office (column)

James van Beek
Valley Voices

James van Beek

A new year is upon us, and it's a time of reflection and dedication to improving ourselves. It gives us an opportunity to appreciate our current status and to begin reaching for those goals we always talk about completing but that, in the course of just plain living, get pushed back and soon we discover that another year has gone by.

Personally, I have passed the torch of military service to my son, who continues to push his own limits and is making huge strides on his way to manhood. My other son is working to discover new ways to develop and contribute to life here in the valley. My incredible wife has transitioned from government service to the private sector.

And the Sheriff's Office has been granted the opportunity to serve the community in ways previously thought to be unattainable. We have formally opened our newest facility, which will provide additional opportunities for our deputies to work on the needs of those who, perhaps, have nowhere else to turn. By improving the lives of those in our custody, we assure the security of those within the greater community.

While the entire country has been transitioning from one administration to another, and for better or worse, everyone has had to grapple with issues such as health care, taxes, energy and other critical national concerns, the Sheriff's Office focuses on protecting your quality of life right here in Eagle County.

Our officers are dedicated to providing exceptional service and, to that end, are continually training at the local, state and national levels. We acquire the most relevant, state-of-the-art equipment to handle any emergency that may arise. We make connections between law enforcement and community agencies to offer solutions to family and community needs. We work to provide a safe space for our children to learn and grow.

We are often the first ones on the scene of a medical emergency and train to provide initial life-saving interventions. We help our neighbors adapt to the complications of living in a forestry setting with our wildlife, while also addressing the occasional urban challenges that come our way. We pride ourselves on being a community safe-haven for those in crisis.

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Every year, despite how well we are told that we perform, we strive to do better. It's the nature of our calling to protect and serve. There are literally few areas where we don't connect to those we meet in our neighborhoods, grocery stores, schools, parks, religious centers and charitable events, which reminds us that what we do for others is precisely what we would want for our own family and friends.

As we begin this new year, we aim to live up to your expectations and welcome your participation. Our email addresses and phone numbers are published on our website, and my personal contact information is listed below. The Sheriff's Office is an extension of your expectations for life in Eagle County. This life is a journey that we take together. Consider us the partner that helps to clear the path for a safe and vibrant community.

James van Beek is the Eagle County sheriff. You can reach him at james.vanbeek@eaglecounty.us.