Deputies getting bad rap |

Deputies getting bad rap

Dear Editor:

I have heard all I can without coming forward and stating what needs to be said. I am currently a patrol sergeant with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department and am going on my 11th year of service in this county. I feel that the patrol division of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department has been given a “bad rap.”

Since the campaign for sheriff started I have seen letters to the editor, ads in the papers, etc., talking about improvement of response time to calls and assistance to municipalities. Garfield County is a very large county geographically, and the Sheriff’s Department services over 20,000 people in the unincorporated areas. We are not currently full-staffed on patrol, and the calls year after year increase in number and increase in violence. The only way I can see to improve is to shrink the size of the county!

The deputies are very hard working and dedicated to their profession and to the citizens of this county. They love what they do. Most of our patrol division can go to just about to any other department and make more money, have better benefits and not have to put in the hours they put in, but they continue to stay here and work hard for the citizens of this community.

Our deputies are inundated with calls every day. This last summer they worked through the fires and the floods as well as handling numerous calls per day. They worked hours and hours of overtime, and all of us worked through this summer with limited or no vacation time.

Unfortunately, not all of the citizens of Garfield County know what calls we respond to. Citizens get upset with response time when they don’t realize we may already be on a violent domestic call. We realize that each call is important to that individual citizen, and it is important to us.

Sheriff Dalessandri has worked very hard for this department over the past eight years. He fought for and got us new equipment, vehicles, and possibly most important of all, initiated a field training program for our new deputies, which was completely nonexistent when I started in June of 1992.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, the Patrol Deputies will continue to work just as hard for the citizens of this community.

Bill Middleton

Battlement Mesa

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