Vail Daily letter: Moving on and giving thanks |

Vail Daily letter: Moving on and giving thanks

“Mama, take this badge off of me. I can’t use it anymore” — Bob Dylan

Simply stated, the time has come for me to take my uniform and gun belt off for the last time. I have been blessed with a great opportunity of being allowed to serve my community for the last 28-plus years as an Eagle County sheriff’s deputy.

I am now look forward to the next chapter in my life. While moving forward I cannot help but look back to the people of Eagle County and say “thank you.” Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, for giving me the opportunity to make mistakes and grow within your boundaries, for believing enough in me to take care of you, for showing me your quality of life and allowing me to deliver law enforcement services within that culture.

I want to thank the following individuals for teaching me how to combine accountability with compassion to equal hope: Sheriff A.J. Johnson, Undersheriff Ken Wilson, Sergeant Clint Jones and Eagle County Court Judge Katharine Sullivan.

In addition, I extend a thank you to Captain Mike Bosley for being my cops cop. Thank you for understanding that I didn’t always lead with the best tactical safety, yet you were able to drill enough into my head to keep me out of harm’s way for almost three decades.

Thank you to the following local organizations that have welcomed me into their family circles: The Eagle County Victim Impact Panel, Eagle County 4-H Club and Eagle County Junior Livestock Sales Commission.

To my team members of the Eagle County DUI/Drug Problem Solving court, thank you; for showing me a new way of making our community safer, for demonstrating that the whole justice system can come together in a manner it was designed and benefit every member of our community.

My last piece of wisdom, to the law enforcement officers coming up within the ranks: Take time to get to know your community. Understand that the county’s culture reaches well beyond the Interstate 70 corridor. Walk the streets of Red Cliff, get up to the Kevin M. McCoy Memorial Arena during a gymkhana, and have lunch with the people in their community. Live and work within your community’s culture; do not expect them to live in yours.

Bill Kaufman

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