Colorado law enforcement makes 543 DUI arrests on Halloween |

Colorado law enforcement makes 543 DUI arrests on Halloween

Halloween turned into a real-life nightmare for those people arrested for DUI over the holiday week. A total of 543 people were arrested across Colorado and charged with driving under the influence. They were arrested during the annual Halloween “Heat Is On” Campaign by law enforcement agencies to take drinking driver’s off the state’s highways and roads. In Grand County, Sheriff’s deputies made one DUI arrest during the holiday period. The Colorado State Patrol and 72 law enforcement agencies participated in the “Heat Is On” Campaign. They made the arrests of the impaired drivers between 6 p.m. Oct. 26 and 3 a.m. Nov. 1. “It’s extremely disappointing that many drivers still think it is acceptable to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, despite the consistent message that drunk driving is never acceptable,” said Colonel Mark Trostel, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “As we head into the holiday season, we want to remind everyone to stop and think before making a decision that is not only illegal, but could cost innocent lives. Drinking and driving do not mix.” A DUI conviction can cost a driver more than $10,000 dollars, including fines, attorney fees, and increased insurance costs. A first-time DUI offender may also have their driver’s license suspended for one year, and they may be required to attend alcohol treatment classes and perform community service work. “Getting a DUI isn’t as simple as paying a fine and moving on,” said Pamela Hutton, CDOT Governor’s Representative for Highway Safety. “A DUI conviction can cause serious financial and emotional impacts. Drinking and driving is simply not worth it.” The Colorado State Patrol lead the state with 113 DUI arrests, followed by the Denver P.D. (68), Colorado Springs P.D. (50), Larimer County S.O (37), Arapahoe County S.O. (22), Lakewood P.D. (16) and Broomfield P.D. (14). The highest number of DUI arrests occurred on Saturday, October 27 with 150 DUI’s. During last year’s Halloween crackdown, Colorado law enforcement agencies made 562 DUI arrests.

Meet the candidate: Brett Schroetlin for Grand County sheriff

Name: Brett Schroetlin Occupation: Detective at Fraser-Winter Park Police Department Education: Police Academy and 1,600-plus hours of continued education and training. Number years in Grand County: 12 Original hometown: Loveland, Colo. Family: Sara, Tyler, Ryan Pets: Dogs Astra, Argo, Echo 1. Why do you seek the position of Grand County Sheriff? Law enforcement as a whole and the office of sheriff continue to change on a daily basis. The sheriff and his staff must stay informed about new trends and adapt and overcome to what is presented. Now more than ever, law enforcement and the community must work together to make our cities, county, state, and country a safe place to live and raise our children. I believe that my law enforcement experience, training, and education, especially in the area of community policing, make me a viable sheriff candidate to lead the Grand County Sheriff's Office into law enforcement of the future. A sheriff needs to be a visible, uniformed position that is involved in the community, which you will see under my watch. I also want to focus on increased employee morale, retention, training, and partnerships with other law enforcement and emergency services agencies. Many people over the course of the campaign have asked what my reason is for running? Besides a personal goal for this position, I also believe it is necessary to do the right thing at the right time, and now is the right time for, "A new direction" in Grand County law enforcement. 2. Strengths and experience you bring to the job: My passion for law enforcement started when I was about 10 years old. I then became involved in law enforcement as a Police Explorer Scout in 1992, and attended to Police Academy in 1999. I have been a state certified Peace Officer since 2000. During that time I have served as a Police Officer, Deputy Sheriff, Deputy Coroner, Investigator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Commander, and Acting Chief of Police. During my career, I have also served as a DARE instructor, K9 handler, on the Grand County Drug and Underage Alcohol Task Forces, the Northwest Colorado Environmental Crimes Task Force and Patrol Strike Team. I have over 1600+ hour of specialized training. My entire career has been focused on the "Community Policing" philosophy, which focuses on citizens and law enforcement working together to make a difference in our communities. This partnership is imperative for any community and is something I will continue to devote myself to on a regular basis. As a result of my proven community policing involvement, I have been awarded the Grand County Hometown Hero, Grand Futures Community, and Hospice Hero awards. 3. What is the biggest challenge to law enforcement in Grand County and why? Law enforcement isn't the same as it was 25 years, five years, or even one year ago. It is an ever-changing profession, which constantly requires us to study, train, adapt, and overcome to the various issues that arise. This is increasingly difficult due to the current economy and new crime trends we are noticing, such as the increase in computer and technology crimes, and the ongoing evaluation and enforcement of how drugs and alcohol are affecting our community and other communities across Colorado and the U.S. The only way to combat these new trends is for a sheriff and his deputies to actively be involved with other law enforcement, government agencies, and the community, and take a stance that this type of criminal behavior is not acceptable in Grand County. Crime is inevitable, but as a team we can do our best to make Grand County the premier place to live, raise a family, start a business, or vacation. As your sheriff, I will commit myself to leading this fight. 4. Describe your approach to marijuana enforcement. And what are the inherent challenges? The voters of Colorado chose to allow medical and recreational marijuana in our state. It is the sheriff's and other police officer's responsibility to enforce the laws that are set by our state. It is our duty to treat this matter as we would with any other potential criminal incident and act based on probable cause and not on bias towards any specific law. At this point in time, law enforcement is taking a "cautious" approach towards marijuana while we wait for further clarification from the state government; however as a community, we must remember that increased drug usage and distribution also results in increased crime such as theft, fraud, burglaries, robberies, and embezzlement, as people seek to support their drug addictions. The sheriff and local law enforcement must take a unified approach with the community to ensure that the new drug trends do not affect our community negatively. 5. Please name a certain event in which you were proud of how the sheriff's department handled the situation and tell us why. In 2013, Grand County and the Fraser Valley hosted the Snowball Music Festival. This was a new and challenging event to the county and tasked law enforcement and emergency services. Due to the possible increase in criminal activity, traffic issues, and drug and medical related incidents, this event required extensive preparation, planning, and deployment. Law enforcement officers from the Fraser-Winter Park Police Department, Granby Police Department, Kremmling Police Department, Grand County Sheriff's Office, and Colorado State Patrol, in addition to Grand County EMS and East Grand Fire worked this event. In the eyes of emergency services, despite the negativity associated with this type of concert, the event was a success as we worked collaboratively as one and with the community. Working this event myself, I constantly heard from several individuals that the law enforcement and emergency services presence and actions at this event was one that our county and residents should be proud of and as your sheriff, I will strive to make sure that all of these events and the daily actions of my staff are a positive reflection of our county. 6. Please name a certain event in which you feel the sheriff's department should have acted differently in a situation and tell us why. The sheriff's office has several unfilled positions at the current time and has struggled to maintain appropriate staffing levels in the past. Many qualified applicants are being selected to work at other agencies rather than Grand County due to the lengthy and stagnant hiring process, and many people have reported they never even heard back on their applications. This lack of hiring is also resulting in dangerous staffing levels in the patrol division, which in turn delays the time and quality of the response provided. This is an absolute must that needs corrected immediately before a deputy's or civilian's life is jeopardized. All agencies and businesses struggle from time-to-time with staffing and personnel issues; however, having an effective working relationship with other local agencies, not being afraid to ask for help, and deputization of local law enforcement would help solve this problem. 7. Are there ways the various law enforcement agencies in the county can work together more effectively? Please explain. The Grand County Sheriff's Office has jurisdictional law enforcement responsibility across the entire county. Each municipality has their local law-enforcement and we also have state and federal agencies in the area. If elected, I will deputize all local law enforcement officers. This will increase the cohesiveness of county-wide law enforcement in several ways and be a win-win for both municipal and county residents. This will increase staffing and resources and ensure that all officers and deputies are trained in the same fashion, so they can work better during events that arise. You as a citizen will also see better response times by law enforcement. 8. What do you think the law-enforcement priorities are according to most Grand County citizens? How do you know? The community wants a partnership with law enforcement and law enforcement needs this partnership with the community for it to be successful. For the last several months, I have repeatedly heard from citizens from all over the county that they would like to get to know their deputies better at a personal level. These personal relationships are critical as it will make for a more successful resolution on future critical incidents. This has proven very effective in law enforcement in Colorado and across the country. In order for this to occur, we need to work on increasing employee morale and retention. We need to also work towards equal patrol coverage and visibility throughout the county, and get away from the thoughts that a large portion of rural, western Grand County isn't adequately represented. 9. What do you think makes a good leader? Anyone can be a manager, however, it takes a quality individual to be a leader. A leader is someone who first and foremost is able to obtain the respect of their staff and others despite any differences that occur. As a leader, especially in law enforcement, there are times when you must make a decision that is not popular amongst your staff. However, an effective leader will be one who will take the time to explain the reasoning for these decisions and allow for the betterment of all in the end. A leader must also have the confidence, honesty, integrity, ability to inspire, communication abilities and overall personal and professional skill set to lead others by example. I have always believed in the "Service above Self," and "Servant Leadership" philosophies, and have personally demonstrated that to my co-workers and the citizens on a daily basis. 10. Give examples of how the Grand County Sheriff's Office will be transparent under your leadership. If elected as your sheriff, I will open the lines of communication between the agency and the community. If we have this positive, two-way communication channel in place prior to the occurrence or suspected occurrence of any negative events, it will assist in a successful resolution for all. Unfortunately, as humans we all make mistakes; however, these mistakes turn into larger issues when communication fails or we attempt to omit or falsify what had occurred. We must admit and learn from our mistakes and move forward for ourselves individually, the agency, and the community. In addition to having the deputies and I involved in more community events, such as coaching, mentoring and other community action groups, I also intend to have the community involved in the sheriff's office. This will be done through the institution of a volunteer program consisting of Reserve Deputies, Explorer Scouts and the availability of a citizen's academy. This will allow for the community to understand the challenges that law enforcement is facing and how we can work together with a unified understanding of what is best for Grand County.

Letter: Grand County sheriff candidate promises to serve entire community

To the Editor: My decision to run for sheriff was based on the tremendous amount of encouragement from the community, law enforcement and other emergency services personnel, and current and past Sheriff's Office employees. From that point on, this decision was not about "me," but was about how "we" could better our community together. Your confidence during the primary election proved that residents of Grand County are tired of the system that has been prevalent here for decades and are seeking a new positive direction in law enforcement. The Sheriff's Office works for the citizens of Grand County and must work proactively and diligently to serve and protect the community. My pledge to the citizens of Grand County is a Sheriff's Office that works actively within the community for EVERYONE. The focus will be to foster and build community partnerships, working together with other Grand County professionals in law enforcement, EMS, fire, and human services for the benefit of our entire community. We need a Sheriff's Office that is strengthened through staff development, empowerment, retention, and community interaction. This campaign has been operated on three core principles: honesty, integrity and transparency. And you, the people, decided in the primary, that indeed, it is time for a new direction. Now, we're facing a write-in opponent who "vows to maintain (the) course" — something you clearly said "no" to in the primary. Regardless of your political affiliation, we all live in this community together. Our unified purpose is to make Grand County a safe and enjoyable place for our residents and tourists. This is, and has been, the vision throughout my campaign. I am honored to be YOUR candidate for Grand County Sheriff. The support of this community is humbling. Thank you for believing in me to lead you into the next generation of Grand County law enforcement. We look forward to your continued support in the November general election when we all can effect positive changes, a new direction for everyone. TOGETHER we can make a difference in the safety of Grand County. YOU can be a part of this new direction. Please vote Nov. 4: BRETT SCHROETLIN for sheriff. Brett Schroetlin

Fifth annual US Constitution Week in Grand Lake

Constitution Week takes place this week in Grand Lake until Sept. 17. It is the only week-long celebration of the US Constitution in the country. Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke the keynote speaker this year. Sheriff Clarke is currently serving his fourth consecutive four-year term and has received numerous awards including the CPAC Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award, the Annie Taylor Award from the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Law Enforcement Leader of the Year Award from the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. He is a frequent guest commentator for national news services regarding law enforcement, Second amendment and homeland security issues where his expertise and experience are invaluable. On Friday night the Grand county Sheriff's Deptartment will host a ticketed event, "Law Enforcement Night Out", with Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, Sheriff Richard Mack, and Sheriff David A. Clarke as special guests. All members of Law Enforcement are invited. Tickets are $50/person, $25 for law enforcement. Saturday, Sheriff David A. Clarke will give the keynote address following the parade and the free non-profit Expo at the Grand Lake community house lawn. And this year's "Premier Constitution Week Celebration in America" will end with fireworks over Grand Lake.

Grand County residents experience firearms training simulator at Granby Town Hall

Grand County law enforcement agencies held a Community Night event Jan. 13 and 14 at the Granby Town Hall where county residents were offered an opportunity to experience a firearms training simulator. Dozens of people from throughout the County attended the event and tried their hand at the simulator. Representatives from each of the four local law enforcement agencies in Grand County were on hand liaising with the public as people waited for their turn on the simulator. The Firearms Training Simulator is a large projector and screen that functions somewhat similar to a videogame. The simulator utilizes a modified Glock handgun that fires an invisible laser beam from its barrel each time the trigger is pulled. To provide a more realistic experience the guns clip has been replaced by a carbon dioxide cartridge that causes the handgun to recoil without noise. Before a simulation starts the simulator operator gives the trainee a brief description of the scene they will soon hypothetically arrive at. The information given to the trainees is intentionally vague and is meant to evoke the confusion that can develop with early reports of criminal activity. When a simulation starts a prerecorded video is displayed on the screen. The simulator operator can choose from different scenarios within a particular simulation and the trainees, or citizens in last week's case, are expected to respond to the scenarios appropriately. "The simulator gives officers the opportunity to experience situations they may well confront in real life on the street and have the opportunity to react to that situation under circumstances where they are not placed in jeopardy," said Granby's Chief of Police Bill Housley. Fraser/Winter Park Chief of Police Glen Trainor echoed Housley's sentiments. "The valuable part for law enforcement is they are put in situations much more realistic than out at the range. It gives them decisional shooting training as opposed to just firing training." Both Housley and Trainor highlighted their hopes that the recent community night event will help foster positive interaction between law enforcement and the communities they serve while also providing civilians with a better understanding of the split-second decision making that is required by law-enforcement. "I think we were all hoping that the citizens would have a clearer understanding of the pressures law enforcement face," said Chief Trainor. "It's not as easy as it looks on TV." The Community Night event was held at the Granby Town Hall and was hosted by the Grand County Sheriff's Office, the Granby Police Department, the Kremmling Police Department and the Fraser/Winter Park Police Department.

Letter: Stein would make a good sheriff

To the Editor: I would like to take this opportunity to personally endorse John Stein for Sheriff of Grand County Colorado. I have lived in the Grand Lake area since 2005 and had worked with John for many years in Law Enforcement. I currently work for the federal government and prior to that was a sergeant for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office where I was the Bomb Squad commander and a member of the S.W.A.T team. I represent over 5,000 bomb technicians and investigators in 72 countries and have over 22 years of law enforcement experience. I can say without a doubt that John Stein has shown great leadership over the years I have known him. We operated together on the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team where I was able to observe somebody who worked well under pressure, was always professional and truly felt honored to serve the citizens of Arapahoe County. John has continued to impress me with his dedication to law enforcement and his desire to serve those with in his community. He has the leadership, knowledge and experience I feel is needed to be a proactive sheriff and one who will be committed to the duties that are required of an elected official. Sean Dennis Grand Lake

Hot Sulphur Springs hires John Stein as town marshal

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS — There's a new marshal in the town where the new sheriff works. John Stein, former Grand County undersheriff and candidate for sheriff in last year's election, was approved for the new position of town marshal by the Hot Sulphur Springs Board of Trustees on Thursday night, March 19. Hot Sulphur Springs Mayor Robert McVay said Friday the town has been considering adding the position for the past several months. He said the town originally wanted to create a code enforcement officer's position but decided instead to create the marshal's position because marshals have law enforcement authority and can issue summonses and conduct similar activities, which code enforcement officers cannot do. Previously law enforcement responsibilities for Hot Sulphur Springs have fallen on the Grand County Sheriff's Office (GCSO). According to McVay, there is no formal agreement between the GCSO, and the Town and Hot Sulphur Springs paid no fee to the GCSO for overseeing law enforcement within the community. When asked why the Town felt it was necessary to hire a Town Marshall with the GCSO located within their community McVay responded, "The Sheriff's Department does a fine job in town but they don't really have the manpower or the time to follow up on some of the things we want taken care of." McVay said he hopes to have Marshal Stein begin his official duties for the town in early April, though no specific date has been finalized. The Town has not yet set a salary for the position. McVay said the Hot Sulphur Springs town marshal will have his own patrol vehicle for conducting his official duties. Stein was unavailable for comment Friday morning. Stein left his previous position with the sheriff's department in January after new Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin took office. Stein ran a write-in campaign for the sheriff's position in a highly contested election last fall against Schroetlin.

Sign the sympathy and support card at City Market

A group of employees at City Market are asking the community to sign two sympathy cards for local law enforcement and the Dallas Police Department. Kim Trygg, an employee at City Market wanted to do something for local police to show support for them after the shooting deaths in Dallas. On Friday at 8 a.m. the card will be available for anyone to sign at the entrance of City Market in Granby. The cards will be displayed until Sunday. The group will send one signed card to the Grand County Sheriff's office and the second card will be sent to the Dallas Police Department. The card states that we support and respect the men and women of law enforcement.

Schroetlin announces candidacy for Grand County sheriff

Brett Schroetlin is running for Grand County Sheriff as a Republican candidate. A Colorado native and resident of Grand County since 2002, Schroetlin says his passion in law enforcement and serving the community. "I truly believe in 'servant leadership' and strive to follow the 'service above self' philosophy, he said. At the age of 14, Schroetlin began serving as an Explorer Scout for the Loveland Police Department and remained active for nine years, accumulating over 4,500 hours of volunteer experience. This opportunity led him to enroll in the Police Academy in 2000, graduating at the top of his class. He has been a certified law enforcement officer since that time. Locally, Schroetlin was hired by the Grand County Sheriff's Office in August 2002. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant and lieutenant. He was a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) instructor, served on the Grand County Drug Task Force, Grand County Underage Alcohol Task Force, and as a team leader of the Special Response Team. In 2006, Schroetlin accepted a position with the Fraser-Winter Park Police Department as a sergeant, with a promotion to commander, and was the acting chief of police for three months in 2007 while the chief was on extended training. He has over 1,600 hours of specialized law enforcement education and training, and is working as a detective / K9 handler. Schroetlin is a Grand County Deputy Coroner. "I believe now is the time for the Grand County Sheriff's Office to become a more proactive organization," he said in his March 19 announcement letter. "I have a clear vision of moving forward to make the Sheriff's Office and Grand County a better place. If elected as sheriff, I would work to establish a strong partnership between the sheriff's office and the citizens and tourists of this county. This responsibility needs to start with the sheriff and is a challenge I am willing to embrace. I am committed to make hard decisions that any public official must make, and then stand firmly behind those decisions. Additionally, I pledge to operate a fair and practical organization that reflects highly on this community. I will devote myself to increased accountability by the community. I will actively work to increase employee retention, morale, continuing staff education, and the increased use of technology. Law enforcement grants are going unused due of a lack of applicants; I will seek out funding from these grants to maximize our tax dollars. "Together, we can make a difference in the safety of Grand County."

Summit County police: local lawmen not participating in immigration enforcement

FRISCO — Rumors have been swirling around Summit County's immigrant community, particularly since last week when the Trump administration announced a broad expansion of immigration enforcement priorities and signaled a wider role for local law enforcement agencies. Police and county officials said they have been getting reports of people grocery shopping at night for fear of being arrested by immigration agents, and there has even been talk of people being rounded up and questioned. But local law enforcement's message is clear: There have not been any raids in Summit County, nor are local police likely to be involved in federal immigration enforcement any time soon. "Essentially the stance we've taken is we will continue business as usual," Breckenridge police chief Dennis McLaughlin said. "We have no plans to get involved in immigration enforcement." Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official debunked reports of an immigration raid in Durango and said there have not been any major raids recently on Colorado's Western Slope. "I reached out to ICE and was told that nothing has changed so far," FitzSimons said. "They go after criminals, people with deportation records, people that are dangerous to the community." An ICE spokesman said in an email that he couldn't comment on rumors of enforcement operations in Colorado but wrote, "Every day, as part of routine operations, ICE officers target and arrest criminal aliens and other individuals who are in violation of our nation's immigration laws." Part of the policy overhaul — outlined in memos from the Department of Homeland Security but not yet finalized — would significantly broaden the number of people who are prioritized for deportation. FitzSimons said that his department does not honor ICE detainers, which are requests for local law enforcement to hold people in jail longer when they're suspected of being in the country illegally. A judge typically doesn't sign those detainers, and they haven't held up in court. ICE sent only one detainer to the Summit County Jail last year, down from a peak of 39 in 2010, according to ICE data. FitzSimons said that information on an inmate's legal status is automatically sent to multiple criminal justice databases during the fingerprinting and booking process. Trump's new orders would bring back the Secure Communities program, which scans those databases to find targets for deportation. That Obama-era policy was shelved after meeting resistance from some cities that took issue with immigrants being deported after arrests for minor violations. "If we have a suspect with criminal charges who is set to be released and they have an ICE detainer, we will notify ICE of the release date and time as a courtesy," FitzSimons said. "But they never get up here." FitzSimons said that his office has a healthy working relationship with immigration officials, but that picking detainees up after they're released from the jail doesn't seem to be a priority for them. Since local police don't have the authority or jurisdiction to detain undocumented immigrants unless they commit a crime, only an ICE agent could arrest them after they're released from jail for whatever crime they committed. (Being in the country without documentation is a civil, rather than criminal, offense). Another aspect of the policy change would seek to change that by reinvigorating a program called 287(g), which trains and deputizes local cops for participation in immigration enforcement. Summit County's police forces aren't too eager to participate, chiefs said, citing small forces that can't afford to have officers spending weeks getting training from ICE or participating in raids. "At the Silverthorne police department we have about 15 cops," said police chief John Minor. "We're not the immigration police because one, we're not federally deputized and two, we just don't have the time." That doesn't mean that Silverthorne is a "sanctuary city," Minor said: If a person has a federal warrant signed by a judge, his department would enforce it — just not the ICE detainers that have been ruled unenforceable under the state constitution. Minor, McLaughlin and FitzSimons said that immigration enforcement was not currently a priority in their departments, but cautioned that more federal action could change that. "We just need to focus on what's happening, and anything can happen with an executive order," FitzSimons said. "Right now, local Summit County law enforcement is not working with ICE." Minor said that while his deputies occasionally participated in sweeps with ICE when he served as sheriff, those specifically targeted known gang members and violent offenders. Those sweeps haven't happened in years, Minor said. Both he and McLaughlin indicated that pursuing immigration enforcement at the local level could be detrimental to their community policing efforts, making undocumented residents leery of reporting crimes or cooperating with police. "A lot of these folks are being victimized," Minor said. "So a lot of what we do is focused on building trust so that when they are victims of crimes, they aren't afraid to come to us."