Schirard’s mixed history

News

Schirard’s mixed history

Since taking office in 1994, sheriff has been characterized as both a ‘leader’ and a ‘good ol’ boy’
Most election days turned out to be just another day in the office for 20-year La Plata County sheriff, Duke Schirard. Election Day 2014, however, wasn’t all smiles. After easily winning three consecutive elections, he was beaten by Sean Smith this year after running what most critics considered a laid-back campaign.
Sheriff-elect Duke Schirard embraces a supporter on election night in 1994 at the La Plata County Courthouse after Schirard’s general election victory was assured over democratic incumbent Bill Gardner. Schirard went on to serve 20 years in office.
Duke Schirard, La Plata County sheriff, walks past a billboard at the Sheriff’s Office filled with pictures of his staff and their families. “He is loved by a lot of people. He is a good person. He has a big heart,” said Lt. Ed Phippen, who started working at the Sheriff’s Office in 1987 and now is in charge of the Criminal Investigative Unit.
Duke Schirard, left, La Plata County sheriff, talks with county commissioner Josh Joswick, center, and Butch Knowlton, director of Emergency Services, during the Missionary Ridge Fire in 2002. “He gave me latitude to do all the things that were necessary,” Knowlton said as Schirard’s 20-year-run as sheriff comes to an end.

Schirard’s mixed history

Most election days turned out to be just another day in the office for 20-year La Plata County sheriff, Duke Schirard. Election Day 2014, however, wasn’t all smiles. After easily winning three consecutive elections, he was beaten by Sean Smith this year after running what most critics considered a laid-back campaign.
Sheriff-elect Duke Schirard embraces a supporter on election night in 1994 at the La Plata County Courthouse after Schirard’s general election victory was assured over democratic incumbent Bill Gardner. Schirard went on to serve 20 years in office.
Duke Schirard, La Plata County sheriff, walks past a billboard at the Sheriff’s Office filled with pictures of his staff and their families. “He is loved by a lot of people. He is a good person. He has a big heart,” said Lt. Ed Phippen, who started working at the Sheriff’s Office in 1987 and now is in charge of the Criminal Investigative Unit.
Duke Schirard, left, La Plata County sheriff, talks with county commissioner Josh Joswick, center, and Butch Knowlton, director of Emergency Services, during the Missionary Ridge Fire in 2002. “He gave me latitude to do all the things that were necessary,” Knowlton said as Schirard’s 20-year-run as sheriff comes to an end.
Reader Comments
click here to add your event
Area Events