Van Beek: Thank you, Eagle County, from your local law enforcement leaders (column) |

Van Beek: Thank you, Eagle County, from your local law enforcement leaders (column)

James van Beek
Valley Voices
James van Beek

On this very special day, we set aside concerns and give thanks for the incredible life we lead. While it’s easy to stress about things that have yet to occur, we take this day to focus on the many blessings we’ve been given and the opportunity to achieve an amazing life with our family, friends, neighbors and associates. The law enforcement team of Eagle County would like to take this moment to express its gratitude and to wish you happiness, adventure, warm friendships, exciting challenges and a continued enriching connection to this wonderful community we call home.

• James van Beek, Eagle County sheriff: There is so much, for which I am thankful. I must first express my deepest love and gratitude to my family for all of their understanding and support. In addition, I am indebted to the men and women of our armed forces who continue to sacrifice for our freedom.

I’m also thankful for being part of this great country we call home; the diversity of our communities and the opportunities it provides; the many friends I’ve made who are so supportive of our efforts; the dedicated public servants who truly place others’ well-being over their own; the amazing law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, search and rescue and others who continually put themselves on the line for our community, 24/7; the ability to serve with an outstanding staff at the Sheriff’s Office, who deliver above expectations with a unique sensitivity to the personal nature of their work.

Overall, I am most grateful for you, our community. We are close. … We share in one another’s successes and are there for the challenges. If someone is in need, then we step up; it’s a way of life, and I am so thankful to be part of it. Wishing everyone a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.

• Greg Daly, Avon chief of police: I am so thankful for this diverse community who come together and support one another as individuals and through our many charitable events. Everyone gathers to help neighbors through tough times, as was seen in the huge participation in the Salvation Army Thanksgiving Food Basket distribution and the Catholic Charities Coat Drive.

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I am grateful to the amazing graduates of our Latino Police and the Citizens Police Academies, with whom we have begun lasting friendships; for our community spirit and our generous business donations to the National Night Out events; for the hard-working, brave and committed team at the Avon Police Department who truly believe in our mission that “We serve to better our community” and that you can “count on us.”

• Dwight Henninger, Vail chief of police: I am thankful for the wonderful Vail community and the outstanding peace officers, code-enforcement officers, 911 dispatchers and administrative services personnel who make up the Vail Police Department. We are so fortunate to live in a place where others only dream to visit. The majestic surroundings pale in comparison to the warmth of our international community. It is an honor to serve our residents and guests, and I will be forever grateful to have been given this incredible opportunity.

• Richard Duran, Colorado State Patrol commander: During this holiday season and especially Thanksgiving weekend, I am grateful for our community and the many troopers, deputies and officers who serve every day, making sure our travels are safe. Most of our community members and visitors contribute daily to saving lives by driving sober, defensively and with full attention and focus.

I am thankful for everyone who consistently uses their seat belt, which can make the difference between life and death. Attention to these details assures you will be with us for many holidays to come. To all law enforcement officers who work tirelessly day and night, in all weather, and who often miss holidays with their families, I am thankful for your dedication and commitment to saving lives. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

• Joseph Staufer, Eagle chief of police: Chief Staufer is out of the country and unable to submit his thoughts in time for publication but he wanted everyone to know how very grateful he is to all who are part of the town of Eagle and what an honor it is to serve in a community that is so vibrant and caring. He wishes everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

James van Beek is the Eagle County sheriff. You can reach him at

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