I am writing in support of Deputy Sean Smith, candidate for La Plata County sheriff. Many people are reluctant to learn what a sheriff actually does. After all, the sheriff’s department may have arrested someone you know, or they may have pulled you over for speeding. You might just prefer to keep your distance from the business of the sheriff. But as voters, we need to hire the sheriff and need to have the best possible person in that job.
Law enforcement has become increasingly complex, even in La Plata County. Across the country, today’s progressive, forward-looking sheriffs know that education, training and appropriate use of technology are key to effective job performance. We are all served best by a sheriff who has higher education in criminal justice, law, public administration and years of well-rounded experience in administration, law enforcement and alternatives to incarceration. Smith fits this profile in his past local, state and national positions.
The La Plata County Sheriff’s Department is a complex organization with a large budget. More of our tax dollars go to this county department than any other. One of Smith’s goals is to more efficiently use the 134 existing staff rather than hiring more. One example: The jail currently has as many deputies on duty (11) as when the jail population was double its current size. At the same time, there are only five deputies to patrol 1,700 square miles. This doesn’t sound efficient or protective to me. The sheriff works for us. When you think about who you want to hire as your sheriff, remember the job is so much bigger than making arrests and supervising inmates. Join me in voting for Sean Smith for La Plata County sheriff, the candidate with pre-eminent and relevant credentials for the job.