Published by the County Sheriffs of Colorado

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1 Published by the County Sheriffs of Colorado In This Issue: Sheriffs Present Scholarship Awards 6 Don t Throw Grandpa Out with the Bathwater 14 In and Around the Capitol 17 Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony 20 A Legacy of Firsts in San Juan County 24 Summer, 2010 Volume XXXI, No. 1

2 Colorado S H E R I F F C O N T E N T S Officers PRESIDENT Sheriff Rod Johnson Grand County 1st VICE PRESIDENT Sheriff Joe Hoy Eagle County 2nd VICE PRESIDENT Sheriff Stan Hilkey Mesa County SECRETARY/TREASURER Sheriff Fred McKee Delta County PAST PRESIDENT Sheriff Doug Darr Adams County DIRECTORS: Sheriff Jim Casias Las Animas County Sheriff Don Krueger Clear Creek County Sheriff Lou Vallario Garfield County Sheriff Gerald Wallace Montezuma County Sheriff Dave Weaver Douglas County Executive Director Donald E. Christensen Magazine Editor Valorie Hipsher Layout & Design Amaranth Graphic Design The Colorado Sheriff Volume 31, Number 1 Summer, 2010 Published three times a year by the County Sheriffs of Colorado, Inc. Paid for by the CSOC H.M. Fund. No Taxpayer dollars are used N. US Highway 85, Unit C Littleton, CO Phone: (720) Fax: (720) Web: Executive Director s Perspective President s Message Sheriffs Present Scholarship Awards ElderWatch by Amy Nofziger Training Update by Dean Curd Don t Throw Grandpa Out with the Bathwater by Undersheriff Richard D. Besecker, Gunnison County In & Around the Capitol with Peg Ackerman Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony, by Keith Dameron, Memorial Historian A Legacy of Firsts in San Juan County Summer Sheriff and Undersheriff Training Conference by Gary Cure, Assistant Executive Director Willis A. Davis, Auctioneer Sheriff of Delta County by Duane Freeman, former Delta County Emergency Manager CSOC Store Store Items Store Order Form O N T H E C O V E R Larimer County Sheriff James Alderden presents the $1,000 Eugene and Becky Battles Scholarship to Kinsey Kappeler, a May graduate of Poudre High School in Ft. Collins. Kinsey was chosen from all the CSOC scholarship winners for this special recognition for her outstanding school and community achievements and contributions.

3 Executive Director s Perspective We have just returned from our mid-year conference in Trinidad, Colorado, with the sheriffs and undersheriffs. We thank Sheriff Casias, Undersheriff Navarette and both Chambers of Commerce, as well as the people of Trinidad and the County of Las Animas. The hospitality was wonderful and the education about their community was exceptional. As you drive through the community you get a sense of its history and what it was like to have lived there many years ago. There are second and third generations of miners in Las Animas County, and it was the site of one of the tragic moments in Colorado history, known as the Ludlow Massacre. Now memorialized by a National Monument, the Ludlow Massacre refers to the violent deaths of 24 people during an attack by the Colorado National Guard on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado, on April 20, During the training for the sheriffs, they were informed about the new medical marijuana laws, and the potential impact of Proposition 101, and Amendments 60 and 61, which seem to be on track to appear on ballots in the fall. Also a presentation was provided by the Arapahoe County Sheriff s Office about Colorado Life Track. This is a method of finding people who are in danger of wandering off and getting lost because of mental conditions. Several counties in the state have installed this system. If you are interested in the program, contact your local Sheriff s Office or Arapahoe County Sheriff s Office. Hundreds of lives have been positively impacted by this service. A class on the Future Trends in Law Enforcement was also conducted at the conference. It was of great interest to the sheriffs. The real dilemma of the issue is how the demands will be met financially. Technology will be developed, but can we afford it? Many people have an image of our current law enforcement capabilities as that which they see on television every night. That is not the case. Many departments in Colorado do not have computers in their vehicles, and that is a technology that is more than 20 years old. Currently we are trying to find a source of funding to replace fingerprinting machines that were purchased seven years ago in 44 counties. They are now worn out and we cannot afford to repair or replace them. If money can t be found, it will mean going back to using cards and waiting for the mails back and forth to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for processing. On a lighter note, you will notice some new clothing items in this magazine with a trend toward red, white and blue. I believe in wearing red on Fridays as a tribute of support for our troops. The featured Roper western shirts, which are available in red, are of excellent quality, and reflect the wonderful Colorado western-heritage lifestyle that still prevails in many parts of the state. The polo shirts are the moisture wicking material for use during the many activities which also reflect the pursuits of many Coloradans, such as golfing, hiking and biking. Donald E. Christensen Executive Director 3 Colorado Sheriff

4 President s Message Expectations Sheriff Rod Johnson Grand County We find ourselves in a very unique era with all the changing beliefs and values of what the public thinks about government. It has always been said that you can make some of the people happy all of the time and all of the people happy some of the time but never all of the people all of the time. I am sure that a lot of Colorado s sheriffs spend time thinking about how we can make our offices serve our communities better. There are duties defined and mandated for us with the outcomes measured by the justice system; but for the most part, we use the feedback from the public to let us know how well we are doing our jobs. The Office of Sheriff is one of those local governmental offices that are constantly working to find ways to serve the public that meets with the citizens approval. Most say it is because the Office of Sheriff is such a political office and must cater to the public in order for the sheriff to be reelected. While that is somewhat true, it is not the most important reason why we want to do the best job we can. No matter what kind of law enforcement agency you might be involved in, the support from the people is very important for you to be able to carry out your job and those day-to-day duties. The support I am talking about is how the general public feels about your office or agency in regard to the everyday things you and your employees do. That support is politics whether you like it or not, and it is a vote of confidence and not a vote marked on a ballot. The people have an expectation of what they think law enforcement does and what they think law enforcement should do. And, of course, we can t ignore the fact that most people are opinionated on what they think law enforcement should not do. Most citizens do not have regular contact with law enforcement, so they form their attitudes about law enforcement through perceptions. A lot of the expectations are universal between law enforcement and the general public. The expectations that are mutual become fairly easy to adhere to, and law enforcement has become successful in knowing how to carry them out. However, there are a number Colorado Sheriff 4

5 of expectations that are driven by different groups or have worked hard to figure out the public s wishes aspects of society that become very difficult to understand and carry out. ment any of your ideas. I do not think there has ever only to find out you do not have the money to imple- Recently it has become more and more difficult to been a time when funding has been commensurate interpret what the public thinks about its government with the mission bestowed upon law enforcement. and what they want the government to do. I see the There are days you feel like you are just giving differences in how the public views the government excuses when you have to explain why you cannot becoming farther apart. I for one believe that the higher up in the government elected officials rise, the more issue based on the lack of money. take care of something that seems like a legitimate isolated they become from the public We find ourselves in a very unique and the less they understand what people think and expect. I spend a fair amount of time going to meetings. I have attended some meetings where people say government has gone too far and must be limited. In other meetings, they demand something be done about an issue and it must be government s job to do it. Some In many ways those who carry out the duties of the Office of Sheriff have way more affect on what people think than the sheriff. era with all the changing beliefs and values of what the public thinks about government. I am starting to see the people putting a lot of their hope for the future in their local government. I see the duties of the sheriff and all of law enforcement becoming more demanding in the future. I believe the sheriff, and all the department heads and lead- are just concerned about the cost of government without much thought of how it will affect the services. as well as more committed than ever before, to be true ers of law enforcement jobs, must be astute and wiser, Another effect of the changing expectations, representatives of the people. And by the way you which has become more intricate, is how a deputy or need to do all this with less money. police officer working for a sheriff or chief defines his responsibilities and how he carries them out. It is way too simple to just say, I enforce the law. As I progress through the years it seems more onerous to convey to those on the front line just how I want them to carry out their day-to-day duties. In many ways those who carry out the duties of the Office of Sheriff have way more affect on what people think than the sheriff. We have converged on a time when the funds needed to meet some of those changing expectations are sparse. It becomes very disheartening to think you 5 Colorado Sheriff

6 Sheriffs Present Scholarship Awards As part of its continuing commitment to public service and the support of young people in Colorado, County Sheriffs of Colorado has announced its scholarship winners. This year, 29 deserving students will receive $500 each toward an education at any accredited college, university or trade school in the state of Colorado. In addition, one young woman received the Eugene and Becky Battles Scholarship. This is an additional award of $1,000, making her total award $1,500. CSOC established its scholarship program in Since then, this effort has continued as a meaningful expression of the sheriffs confidence in and respect for education and training. Since the awards are rotated every year, each year half of Colorado s participating counties are eligible to select a scholarship recipient. The Battles Scholarship has been awarded since 1994 when Denver resident, Eugene D. Battles, made a decision to support the Office of Sheriff and County Sheriffs of Colorado by donating his estate for the benefit of future endeavors decided upon by the CSOC Board of Directors. Eugene Battles was a charter member of CSOC and a 27-year member of the National Sheriffs Association. Special thanks are in order to all our loyal honorary members whose contributions help make this and other CSOC programs possible. CSOC would also like to thank the hard work of each participating sheriff s local scholarship committee. These community members donate their time each year to help with the selection of scholarship recipients. Scholarship winners are selected by a committee of citizens in each of the participating counties. Committees make their selections based upon criteria established by CSOC, including leadership, merit, character, involvement, purpose, and need. Congratulations to all recipients! We wish you well in your future endeavors! If you are a student interested in learning more about the CSOC Scholarship Program for the academic year, contact your high school guidance counselor or your local sheriff s office. Applications and instructions will also be available on our website, csoc.org, by mid-december

7 Scholarship Award Winners Adams Zachary Albers Arapahoe Kelli Bradley Baca Omer Garcia Chaffee Lauren Kersting Delta Shelby Campbell Denver Brenda Gutierrez Eagle Alisandra Gulick El Paso Kaitlyn Woofter Fremont Gayle Sanford Garfield Michael Dunham Gunnison Christopher Schmalz Huerfano Katherine Monahan Kiowa Jennifer Negley Kit Carson Sadie Smelker Lake Haley Yudnich Larimer Kinsey Kappeler (Battles Scholarship Winner) Mesa Nicole Rathier Montrose Kelsi Middleton Morgan Leslie Hirschfeld Park Kaitlyn Murray Prowers Shelby Baker (Battles Scholarship Finalist) Pueblo Cassandra Berndt (Battles Scholarship Finalist) Rio Blanco Logan Sanderson Rio Grande Katlyn Keith Routt Alex Estes Summit Nicholas Adolph Teller Lauren Grizzell Weld Nathan Neibauer Yuma Cody Dodsworth Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr presents scholarship award to Zachary Albers of Brighton. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson congratulates scholarship recipient Kelli Bradley of Centennial. 7

8 Baca County Sheriff Steve Salzbrenner presents scholarship award to Omer Garcia of Walsh. Chaffee County Sheriff Tim Walker presents scholarship award to Lauren Kersting of Buena Vista. Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee presents scholarship award to Shelby Campbell of Hotchkiss. Denver Director of Corrections, Bill Lovingier, congratulates scholarship winner, Brenda Gutierrez, of Denver. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa gives scholarship certificate to Kaitlyn Woofter of Manitou Springs. Fremont County Sheriff Jim Beicker presenting the scholarship award to Gayle Sanford of Pueblo. 8

9 Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario congratulates scholarship recipient Michael Dunham of Parachute. Gunnison County Sheriff Richard Murdie, right, along with Undersheriff Rick Besecker, left, present scholarship award to Christopher Schmalz of Gunnison. Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman gives scholarship certificate to Katie Monahan of Walsenburg. Kiowa County Sheriff Forrest Frazee presents scholarship award to Jennifer Negley of Eads. Kit Carson County Sheriff Ed Raps, top left, along with County Commissioners Jim Whitmore, Dave Gwyn, and Dave Hornung pose with winner Sadie Smelker, bottom left; third place winner Geoffrey Mills; and second place winner Shelby McCracken. 9 Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte presents scholarship certificate to Haley Yudnich of Leadville.

10 Larimer County Sheriff James Alderden presents scholarship award to Kinsey Kappeler of Ft. Collins. Kinsey is also the winner of the Battles Scholarship featured on our cover. Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey gives scholarship certificate to Nicole Rathier of Palisade. Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap presents scholarship award to Kelsi Middleton of Montrose. Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener gives scholarship certificate to Kaitlyn Murray of Bailey. Prowers County Sheriff James Faull presents scholarship award to Shelby Baker of Lamar while her mother, Jill Baker, observes. Shelby was also a Battles Scholarship finalist. 10 Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor presents scholarship certificate to Cassandra Berndt of Pueblo. Cassandra was also a Battles Scholarship finalist.

11 Rio Blanco County Sheriff Si Woodruff gives scholarship award to Logan Sanderson of Meeker while his mother, Pam Sanderson, observes. Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall presents scholarship award to Alex Estes of Yampa. Teller County Sheriff Kevin Dougherty gives scholarship certificate to Lauren Grizzell of Florissant. Weld County Sheriff John Cooke congratulates scholarship recipient Nathan Neibauer of Evans. Yuma County Sheriff Sam McCoy congratulates scholarship recipient Cody Dodsworth of Vernon. 11

12 Recognize, Refuse and Report Person in Need Emergency Scams on the Rise By Amy Nofziger, Manager, AARP ElderWatch John W. Suthers Colorado Attorney General Amy Nofziger Manager AARP ElderWatch Over the past few months we have seen a drastic increase in the number of seniors who have been contacted via telephone with the Emergency Scam. It has also been referred to as the Grandparent Scam because of its tendency to be targeted toward the elderly population. Often those who are targeted have large numbers of grandchildren which makes it harder for them to identify the caller. A typical call can go as follows: The phone is answered, and the caller will say, It s me! waiting for the person who answered the phone to identify someone he or she knows, which can often be a grandchild. We have also heard from seniors that the scammers are reading obituaries online so they now have more information about possible grandchildren s names and locations. The caller pretends to be that person and proceeds to claim that he or she needs money for an emergency situation. The reasons he or she might need money can be almost anything from bail money in order to get out of jail to money for medical help for a car accident that they were just in. Whatever the reason, they always assert that they need the money immediately. To protect themselves, the con-artist will specifically ask the victim not to contact other relatives because the caller doesn t want to get in trouble with other family members. The final step is to persuade the victim to send money. The perpetrator will always ask that the money be sent through an electronic money transfer, oftentimes to somewhere such as Canada. Once money is transferred through a wire service, the chances of getting it back are very slim. There are ways to protect yourself from scams such as this. To begin with, resist the urge to act now. Don t panic! Anyone calling and asking for money in an "emergency" situation should be asked a lot of questions, including personal questions that only that person should know, such as the name of his or her grade school, a pet s name, or the name of another relative. Also try to make every effort to contact the person they claim to be, or another loved one so you can verify their story. Be aware that this scam is happening in our community and around the country and let others know about it as well. As scammers become increasingly creative we need to make every effort to educate ourselves on the latest scams. This serves to thwart any future efforts that these people may make in an attempt to take money from us or those we love. 12

13 Training Update Dean Curd Training Specialist The recent accidental death of a friend and highly respected former supervisor from my Colorado State Patrol days, retired Lt. Col. Robert Hablisten, has again highlighted the unique dangers encountered by those Most of us do of us who love to ride motorcycles. understand that there is an inherent risk in riding a motorcycle, but we also know that the vast majority of accidents are avoidable and are caused either by careless driving or by a general lack of understanding of the differences between motorcycles and cars. Any experienced rider can provide hundreds of examples that demonstrate these differences, most based on personal experience or observation. One that immediately comes to mind, given the approaching summer highway-construction season, is the firsttime thrill an inexperienced rider gets to undergo when entering a stretch of road construction with grooved pavement. What only feels slightly odd to a motorist can produce major anxiety for a biker when the bike suddenly starts wobbling around like a drunk and feels like it s about to drop on you. There is a genuine sense of loss of control, and a fervent wish that the cars behind you and those approaching from the other direction are noticing your panic-stricken demeanor. Other summer surprises can include the sudden recollection that the black tar repair patches on a highway are quite slippery when hot, and can rapidly deposit the biker on his/her behind in the median without warning. The summer heat also causes truck tires to separate more frequently, and those large chunks can and do suddenly come sailing out from under a truck directly at you when you are riding beside or behind a semi. Or perhaps a piece of wood or something similar on the road, of little concern to a Motorcycles and Cars Can Co-Exist motorist who can straddle or perhaps run over the object without injury or much damage, but a serious danger to the biker behind whose visibility is blocked until too late. Being able to see down the road and leaving room around you in traffic are big deals for a biker, as they should be for motorists. Weather is also a significant issue in Colorado. Our occasional high winds contribute to the special summer-riding adventure by sending you unintentionally into the other lane without a moment s notice. Also, being passed in a rainstorm by a semi that is creating a bow wave like an aircraft carrier, and having this wall of water suddenly deposited on you as you putt along adds another yet dimension to riding. All of these, and other roadway events too numerous to imagine, create temporary emergency situations for the rider; and it s helpful if motorists see and recognize these situations and leave the biker room to get sorted out and under control again. It s not a good thing to fall down on a motorcycle at speed. Please remember that mechanically bikes are very different. A common example might be a situation that requires a biker to stop quickly, perhaps because of a car turning suddenly in front of him. It is hugely disconcerting to check your mirror as you hard brake the bike and realize that you are in serious danger because the car behind you is following too closely and the driver is apparently not aware of how much more quickly a bike can stop than a car. Be aware of motorcycles around you. Most bikers don t want or expect any special favors or rights on the highway; most just want to motor along and be outside in the sun enjoying the scenery. They just ask that motorists look around carefully so they actually see what is present and going on around them before turning, changing lanes or entering roadways. We don t use much gas; we do apologize for the rude and overloud ones among us; and we just want to safely travel the roadways of Colorado like everyone else. Watch for us please... 13

14 Don t Throw Grandpa Out with the Bathwater By Undersheriff Richard D. Besecker, Gunnison County As I studied the spelled-out letters of the new 1973 released R-o-c-k-y on the Gunnison theater marquee, I could hear the distant sound of undeniable heavy horses under the hood of a 65 Corvette Stingray. The bank clock displayed the time of 10:35 p.m. as I redirected my focus on the intersection of Tomichi Avenue and Main Street with anticipation of seeing the Vette flash past. Instead, however, the light turned green for the cross traffic and the sound of RPMs receded as the red 65 came into view and pulled up to the crosswalk. I felt my heart rate rise with anticipation as a white 1968 Challenger pulled up beside the Corvette. Each driver began a taunting ritual as they revved their engines, and then the split pipes would give a rumble and backfire through the cycle of deceleration. 14

15 Although I was two blocks away, I carefully shifted the latemodel Plymouth Fury into drive so not to draw attention to my presence. My patrol car was fast, but stood no chance with either one of those magnificent machines. Nevertheless, I had a couple of equalizers at my disposal. One was a police frequency at my finger tips, and the second was that I knew who was driving the Corvette. The traffic light ran its sequence and both machines instantly responded by displaying their unrestricted strengths. After an exquisite exhibition of power and speed for several city blocks, both violators pulled their rides to the curb and waited for me to catch up, stop, and then exit my transportation - a cop car that sported a single rotating light housed in what was referred back then as a gumball machine. Those were the days when warnings for 12-point violations could be subject to an officer s discretion. Driving under the influence was often met with a courtesy lift, and the term domestic violence had not yet been coined. Now, of course, such charges and arrests are mandatory by policy and/or state statute. Those were also the days when field-training programs often consisted of the recruit riding shotgun with a sergeant who had his heart set on impressing the poor lad with war stories while listening to recordings of the Sons of the Pioneers from eight-track tapes. After passing the meager program (without having to take an exam), we were tossed to the wolves for up to a year before we were required by law to attend the only general academy in the State of Colorado, Camp George West in Golden. This could be good because what you learned there would be more relevant after some experience on the street, if you didn t unnecessarily shoot someone before going to school. At this point in my career, most of the older officers had been grandfathered in and were considered old school. That was more than 35 years ago, and now I resist the realization that I, too, have become physiologically and mentally mature. Does this mean that the generation just before me is now ancient school? And, am I now on deck for carbon dating as well? Yes, I recall the era where there were no new cars in the high school, or for that matter, college parking lots. Only a few kids were able to bring transportation, and most of those vehicles would rate as beater pickups by today s standards. The bulk of kids who did drive were from area ranches and were expected to run business errands before coming home after school. Every pickup had a visible gun rack and every gun rack had at least one rifle. Furthermore, every rifle had ammunition in the magazine. This was common practice for two basic reasons. The first: what good is an unloaded gun? You might as well carry a bat! The second: you didn t have to treat every gun as if it was loaded, because it was. That took the excuse out of any accidental discharges. Upon reflection, I believe that there was no better time to start a law enforcement career. It was a time where old school traditions would either collide with, or bridge over, new legislativedirected expectations and sophistications. Although my generation would be among the first to experience the academy, we also received seasoned perspectives on refined street and people skills from the dinosaurs. Within the first 15 years of beginning my career, computer skills were all of a sudden a mandatory aspect of report writing. Fortunately, by this time I had children in grade school so I was able to learn the basics from miniature experts. The down side to this new application was that there was so much to learn and I was already used to the pen and paper method. The up side, however, was a thing called spell check! Although this function was not entirely fool proof, it was a marvelous concept. (On one occasion I attempted to spellcheck an accident report that had trans-axel in the narrative. My attempt at the word was without a hyphen and the computer suggested transsexual. My sergeant was eager to point out the differences if indeed I did not know. It was also suggested that I more closely proof the computer s deciphering.) Evolution is necessary for growth in every aspect of society. Perhaps this is no more obvious than in law enforcement. Every case that goes to trial will be subject to interpretations by attorneys. Old school would argue for a more black and white approach. After all, what is so complicated about the Ten Commandments? God s law left no room for argument by terminology such as affirmative defense or temporary insanity. I can see it now thou shalt not use the Lord s name in vain unless the sergeant dressed you down once again in front of troops. Thou shalt not commit adultery unless Raquel Welch (old school) begged you and a 15

16 reasonable male would be tempted beyond self resolve. Courage is still a prerequisite for this occupation. We don t set the stage for which we are expected to respond, but we are expected to respond no matter what the stage. Our charge is to take action with authority and then be responsible for the outcome, no matter how influenced the outcome has been by dishonorable intentions of others. We are expected to act in an instant, and then our instamatic response can be subject to review and scrutiny for years, even decades. We have been chosen for the most honorable profession on earth, not only by personal pledge but by society s design. This is the profession of peace keeping, often under extraordinary circumstances. We protect those who insist on putting themselves in harm s way and then blame us when we are unable to sufficiently rescue them from themselves. We expose ourselves to daily risk of life and limb, ridicule, bias, and liability inquiry of the most imaginative kind; and we run toward the sounds of gun shots when everyone else stampedes from the scene. As fond as I am about reminiscing about my rookie year and all the guidance I was blessed with by those before me, I am more impressed with the prospects of law enforcement today. As truly good as it was back in the day, it is much better now. Thirty-five years ago the macho mystique was a signature element of the cop s charisma. We were quick to suggest that the only options were the easy way or the hard way, and we were sometimes too eager to pursue the latter. There was no such thing as pre-hire psychological testing, or for that matter, with some departments, any kind of testing. Often it was not so much what you knew but who you knew; a concept that now makes us cringe. But before we become too judgmental about the lack of hiring protocol back in the transitional period, let us be reminded that such good ol boy techniques were an acquired process. Basic people and street skills were far more developed and reliable back then than they are today. Unfortunately, present-day terminology, as well as definition, has placed the word intuition in the same category as the word profiling. The distinct difference between the two is intent. If you are profiling, you are asserting prejudice and you should be held accountable. When you follow your developed instincts, you are practicing a strong facet of sound police techniques. Also, a veteran understands the difference between empathy and sympathy psychological longevity depends on it. The constant base ingredient that will stand the test of time from the first Bobbie on the streets of London in 1829, to the present day Blue Knight, is courage. Whether facing the menacing end of a 12-gauge shotgun, sitting in front of 12 jurors while being badgered by defense council, or holding a precious 12-month-old victim of SIDS, it takes courage. Courage is required at the moment, in the middle of night well after the shift is over, and sometimes the next morning when we are not really sure why, but we go to work anyway. We need courage to maintain professional conviction and ethical standards, and courage to conduct a thorough investigation, prepare a comprehensive report and create an expert mind-set, even though your last case was pled from sodomy to following-too-close. So, when you observe the aging veteran attempting to verbally match the sounds of Steppenwolf s Magic Carpet Ride on a cassette as it resonates from labored car speakers, be understanding and sing along. This will win his admiration for you and clear the way for mutual understanding. Remember, the cop, no matter the age or gender, is charged with the monumental task of seeking and reporting nothing but the truth. We don t always succeed, but it is our unwavering destiny to strive for such a discovery. Society s stability depends on such integrity. By the way, the Corvette won the unofficial freelance competition by a half car. Through my recommendation, both drivers were offered a deferred prosecution. Why? Because those were the good ol days. 16

17 In & Around the Capitol with Peg Ackerman Report on the 2010 Session of the Colorado General Assembly For law enforcement, the issue creating the most frustration and consuming the most effort in the 2010 legislative session was medical marijuana. Even before the session began, several sheriffs became an integral part of the working group convened by Attorney General John Suthers to address the uncontrolled growth in medical marijuana dispensaries. The County Sheriffs of Colorado agreed with their law enforcement colleagues that the retail sales of medical marijuana by dispensaries violated both the letter and the spirit of Amendment 20 as well as the intent of the citizens who voted for that amendment. In addition to representatives of every law enforcement organization in Colorado, medical professionals, substance abuse treatment providers, and youth counselors joined the group because of their concerns about the negative impacts of the drug on physical and mental health, especially among adolescents. Initially, the working group was seeking the introduction of legislation that would return Colorado to the patient/caregiver model that worked well prior to the explosive growth of medical marijuana dispensaries. That growth was the result of a change in federal policy combined with the failure of the Board of Health to limit the number of patients a caregiver may serve. When it became clear that the Legislature would not put dispensaries out of business, the working group very reluctantly began working with the sponsors of the House and Senate bills to limit the persons receiving medical marijuana cards to those who actually have the debilitating conditions listed in Amendment 20 and to stringently regulate dispensary operations, including the option for local governments to ban dispensaries. Fortunately, the medical marijuana bills signed by Governor Ritter on June 7th do accomplish these main objectives. S.B by Senators Romer and Spence and Representatives Massey and McCann requires: (1) that a bona fide doctor/patient relationship exists between the referring physician and the medical marijuana patient; (2) that the referring doctor holds a valid unrestricted license to practice medicine in Colorado and a valid and unrestricted federal Drug Enforcement Administration controlled substances registration; and (3) that the referring doctor has no economic interest in any enterprise that provides or distributes medical marijuana. The bill also requires physicians to maintain a record-keeping system 17

18 for all their medical marijuana patients and authorizes the State Board of Health to use the information in these records to refer any doctor who appears to have abused the authority to recommend the use of medical marijuana to the State Board of Medical Examiners for disciplinary action if warranted. H.B by Representatives Massey and Summers and Senators Romer and Spence regulates medical marijuana with a series of provisions including: (1) authorizing governing boards or the electorate of local governments to adopt and enforce resolutions or ordinances regulating or prohibiting the cultivation of medical marijuana or the sales of medical marijuana and marijuana infused products; (2) requiring dispensaries (called medical marijuana centers) and their associated off-site medical marijuana growers (called optional premises cultivation operations) to obtain both local and state licenses; (3) banning a person with a drugrelated felony conviction from obtaining a license; (4) placing restrictions on the location of medical marijuana centers and limiting their hours of operation to the period between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (5) specifying that a medical marijuana center may purchase no more than 30 percent of its inventory from another center and prohibiting a medical marijuana center from selling more than 30 percent of its inventory to another center; (6) prohibiting the consumption of medical marijuana on the premises of a center, on the grounds of a school or in a school bus, within a correctional facility, or in a vehicle, aircraft or motorboat and (7) establishing requirements for persons acting as primary caregivers, including limiting the number of patients to five per caregiver and prohibiting a caregiver from charging a patient more than the cost of cultivating or purchasing the medical marijuana supplied. Despite the passage of these bills, the fight is far from over. It will now shift to municipalities and counties contemplating a ban on dispensaries and to the courts where lawyers for dispensary owners will attempt to challenge the constitutionality of some of the restrictions in H.B However, the advocates claim that Amendment 20 legitimized dispensaries has been damaged by the refusal of the Colorado Supreme Court to take up an appeals court decision stating that a primary caregiver must do more than merely supply a patient who has a debilitating medical condition with marijuana. Overshadowed by the medical marijuana debate were a number of very important bills brought forward by the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (commonly called the CCJJ). This Commission consists of 26 members representing all facets of the criminal justice system and is primarily charged with: (1) conducting an empirical analysis of and collecting evidence-based data on sentencing policies and practices, including but not limited to the effectiveness of the sentences imposed in meeting the purposes of sentencing and the need to prevent recidivism and re-victimization; and (2) investigating effective alternatives to incarceration, the factors contributing to recidivism, evidence-based recidivism reduction initiatives, and cost-effective crime prevention programs. The County Sheriffs of Colorado are represented on the Commission by Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson. In addition to strengthening the laws governing certain crimes, the following CCJJ bills were also aimed at reducing the time and costs of incarceration in order to fund treatment and other services proven to reduce recidivism. H.B by Representative Priola and Senator Steadman This bill eliminates money laundering as solely a controlled substance offense and makes it an offense involving fraud. The bill also adds money laundering to the definition of racketeering activity for the purposes of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act. H.B by Representative McCann and Senator Steadman This bill allows individuals with two or more felony convictions to apply for probation unless the defendant has a current or a prior conviction for a serious crime against another person such as assault, robbery or arson. This bill generated significant savings that provided funding for a number of other important criminal justice bills. H.B by Representative Levy and Senator Morse This bill strengthens the penalties for second offenses of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI) 18

19 and creates much more stringent penalties for third and subsequent drunk driving offenses. In sentencing persons for drunk or drugged driving and habitual use, the bill also encourages courts to require the use of approved ignition interlock devices as a condition of bond, probation, and participation in work, educational, and medical release programs. H.B by Representative Waller and Senators Steadman and Mitchell This bill makes a number of changes to offenses related to controlled substances. It lowers the penalty for the unlawful use of a controlled substance and separates the crime of possession from the crime of manufacturing, dispensing, selling, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute a controlled substance. It directs the money saved by lowering the penalties for persons who are addicted to drugs to the Drug Offender Treatment Fund to cover the costs associated with the treatment of substance abuse or co-occurring disorders. H.B by Representative Carroll and Senator Hudak This bill reduces the penalty for the crime of escape from a class 4 felony to a class 5 felony if the escape is from a direct sentence to a community corrections facility or intensive supervised parole and allows the court to order that the sentence be served either consecutive or concurrent to any other sentence. Under the bill, an escape crime following conviction for a felony from all other correctional facilities or types of supervision will remain a class 4 felony subject to a mandatory consecutive prison sentence. H.B by Representative Ferrandino and Senator Penry This bill makes significant changes in the statutes related to parole, including: (1) requiring the Parole Board to use a specific sex offender release guideline instrument developed by the Sex Offender Management Board when considering the release a sex offender on parole; (2) directing the Division of Criminal Justice to develop, in consultation with the Parole Board, an administrative release guideline instrument for use in determining when to release an offender on parole; (3) directing the Department of Corrections to develop, in consultation with the Parole Board, administrative revocation guidelines for use in determining when to revoke an offender's parole; (4) imposing qualifications that must be met by certain offenders who are serving sentences for lowerclass, nonviolent felonies in order to earn more earned time per month than other offenders; and (5) directing the Division of Criminal Justice to develop a Colorado risk assessment scale and a Parole Board action form and provide training for the Board on the Colorado risk assessment scale and the administrative release guideline instrument. In addition to supporting the CCJJ bills and other bills impacting the criminal justice system, the County Sheriffs of Colorado promoted the introduction of two bills designed to increase efficiency and reduce costs in sheriffs offices. H.B by Representative Ryden and Senator Spence brought the 1891 statute governing the service of process in noncriminal actions up-to-date by authorizing sheriffs to implement a zone- or zip code-based mileage structure that allows them to charge a flat rate for any service of process within a specified zone or zip code, and by authorizing the establishment of billing accounts for licensed attorneys and licensed collection agencies who are heavy users of sheriffs offices for service of process. H.B by Representative Tipton and Senator Morse allows properly trained civilian employees or bona fide representatives of a police department or a sheriff s office to do certified Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) inspections; thus, giving sworn police officers and deputy sheriffs more time to fulfill their law enforcement duties. As always at the end of another legislative session, the County Sheriffs of Colorado thank the legislators and our public safety partners in police departments, fire districts and state agencies who worked with us to improve the criminal justice system and the safety of Colorado s citizens. 19

20 Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony, 2010 By Keith Dameron, Memorial Historian On May 7, 2010, an assembly of law enforcement officers, family and friends gathered at the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial at Camp George West in Golden to honor the lives and memory of the officers, both current and historic, who died in the line of duty and whose names were added to the memorial this year. 20

21 SERGEANT DAVID J. KINTERKNECHT: Montrose Police Department Sergeant David J. Kinterknecht is the most current addition to the memorial. Kinterknecht was mortally wounded during a response to a domestic disturbance on July 25, Pamela Gurney, 50, had called 911 as she escaped from her house with an injury to her arm after a dispute with her husband, Dennis, 52. He had retreated to his garage and was reported to be intoxicated and despondent. A decision was made to enter the garage, and Gurney opened fire with a semi-automatic shotgun striking two officers, and mortally wounding Sgt. Kinterknecht. Dennis Gurney then retreated to another portion of the garage and took his own life with a handgun. Sergeant David Kinterknecht, 41, was a 10-year veteran of the Montrose Police Department. He had previously served with the Telluride Marshal's Office, San Miguel County Sheriff's Office and Montrose County Sheriff's Office. HISTORICAL DEATHS Deputy Bill Thompson: Las Animas County Deputy Sheriff Bill Thompson was shot and killed in Boston, Colorado, on February 16, 1888, while attempting to serve a warrant on the 'Band of Thirteen' gang led by Jack White. The gang was in Boston when Thompson arrived and Jack White met him, inquired about the warrant, then shot Thompson, breaking his neck. White was later captured, convicted and sentenced to prison. At the time of this incident, Las Animas County extended to the Kansas line. The old town of Boston would have been southeast of Springfield, Colorado and only existed from 1886 to Officer E. T. Clark: Officer E. T. Clark, 35, of the Cripple Creek Police Department died at about 10:35 p.m. on August 9, He was on patrol when he spotted a fire. He ran to the nearest fire box to pull the alarm. As he reached for the alarm with his right hand, he was electrocuted by a 2,000 volt line. He was dead before the doctor could arrive. Officer E. T. Clark was a former firefighter for the city but was hired by Police Chief J. Knox Burton after the election the previous spring. Deputy Francisco Garcia: Las Animas County Sheriff s Deputy Francisco Garcia was shot and killed on Thursday, October 19, 1905, by Dave Arguillo. Las Animas County Sheriff Davis swore in Garcia as a deputy in the spring of 1905 because Garcia knew two fugitives the sheriff believed were hiding in the county, Dave Arguillo and Luz Apodaca. Deputy Garcia lived near Trinchera and may have been hunting a stray colt when he arrived, unarmed, at the Floyd Ranch on October 19th. Arguillo had hired on at the Floyd Ranch just two weeks before. He had also been tipped off just a couple of days before that Garcia was looking for him. So when Deputy Garcia passed Arguillo in the dining room of the ranch, Arguillo threatened him. After Garcia finished his dinner and left the dining room, Arguillo was waiting for him and shot him below the heart. Arguillo was immediately overpowered and disarmed by six men, and was then transported to Raton. Arguillo was hung in Raton on May 26, Deputy Antonio T. Shelby: Las Animas County Sheriff s Deputy Antonio (Tony) Shelby, 42, was shot and killed in Aguilar, Colorado, on April 6, 1908, by a drunken itinerant peddler named Frank Cantania. Deputy Shelby was patrolling Aguilar when he observed Cantania mistreat his own 10-year-old son, Tom Cantania. Shelby rebuked the elder Cantania and then took the lad to his house. When he returned, he found that Cantania was still being disorderly. As Shelby approached him and rested his right hand on the rear wheel of Cantania s buggy, Cantania drew a gun and fired once striking Deputy Shelby in the throat. Cantania then whipped up his pony and headed out of Aguilar towards Hastings. Cantania, 40, was captured about 8 a.m. the next day on the road to Hastings. Cantania was kept in 21

22 the Las Animas County Jail in Trinidad because the residents of Aguilar wanted to lynch him. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Cantania was declared insane in 1920 and died in prison on January 17, Night Marshal Harvey Calvin Neese: Shortly after 2 a.m on July 3, 1920, Night Marshal Cal Neese of the Cripple Creek Police Department received a report that William Sloan had obtained a quantity of liquor and had expressed that he was prepared to shoot up the town. He had also hit another man over the head with his gun. When Neese responded to make the arrest, Sloan immediately turned, drew his weapon and fired twice at Neese, with one shot striking him through the lung near the heart. Neese died about seven hours later. William Sloan, 38, was immediately arrested and subsequently charged with first degree murder. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the State Penitentiary at Canon City, arriving December 1, His sentence was commuted by Governor Ed Johnson, and he was released on parole on May 5, He died July 31, Patrolman Jacob G. Benner: Denver Police Department Patrolman Jacob G. Benner, 28, was injured Saturday, November 6, 1937, during a gambling raid at 3142 Osage Street in Denver. Officer Benner jumped on a table during the raid and his left foot went through the top of the table. His leg injury wasn't believed to be serious, and he continued to work until November 27th, then went to the hospital on December 3rd. A blood vessel had been ruptured and blood poisoning had set in. Officer Benner died on Monday, February 14, 1938, as a result of this injury. Chief Deputy Fidel Aguirre: On Friday, May 13, 1938, the owner of a dance hall in Gardner requested security for a dance scheduled for the next evening from 7-9 p.m. The deputy who normally worked this type of event was off so Chief Deputy Fidel Aguirre of the Huerfano County Sheriff s Office got the job. This was an extra-duty assignment for which Deputy Aguirre was to be paid $2.75. The Peralta brothers, Pete, 31, and Paul, 26, were in attendance and had been drinking. Somehow Deputy Aguirre was lured outside by one of the brothers, and the other was waiting there. He was severely beaten, suffering a skull fracture, broken jaw and a large gash to his throat. Deputy Aguirre died about 3 p.m., on Sunday, May 15, 1938, without regaining consciousness. An investigation determined that Deputy Aguirre had previously cited the Peralta brothers for rustling sheep several weeks before. The trial of the Peralta's began on October 4, 1938, and concluded with their conviction for 'Murder in the First Degree' on October 7th. Both were sentenced to life in prison at hard labor. Pablo (Paul) Peralta, and Placedes (Pete) Peralta, had their sentences commuted by Governor Walter Johnson to '35 years to life' on January 8, Paul Peralta died in prison on October 9, 1951, of respiratory cardiac failure. Pete was paroled on August 11, 1954, and was discharged from parole on June 15, Chief Morris Dolan: Chief Morris Dolan, 30, of the Cripple Creek Police and Fire Departments, was killed in an arson fire in Cripple Creek early on Friday morning, August 23, Dolan was notified of the fire about 2 a.m. by a telephone alarm and responded to the burning rooming house. He entered the building wearing a gas mask. When he didn't re-appear, other firefighters went in several times before finally finding Dolan unconscious on the second floor. He died soon after reaching the Cripple Creek hospital. The investigation determined that the fire was set by a Cripple Creek firefighter who admitted that he had been a firebug since age seven. He pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 60 years to life in the State Penitentiary. His sentence was commuted by Governor Vivian in He was paroled on October 10, 1950, and released from parole on June 15,

23 Special Agent Dean L. McLaughlin: Special Agent Dean McLaughlin, 62, of the Union Pacific Railroad Police was found shot to death in his car in the parking lot of the Union Pacific building in Denver at about 7 p.m. on April 6, Evidence indicated that someone had come up and fired two shotgun blasts into McLaughlin's car as he was pulling out of the parking place. He was killed instantly. Agent McLaughlin had just flown back to Denver from UP's headquarters in Omaha and had been dropped off at his car by another agent. Investigation determined that after the other agent left, McLaughlin was approached by another (offduty) special agent who pulled a shotgun from behind his back and shot McLaughlin. The shooter was later identified as Joseph White who was subsequently arrested, charged and convicted of the murder. Apparently White had just received a negative performance appraisal from McLaughlin and was despondent over that. Special Agent Larry E. Boles: Special Agent Larry Boles, 28, of the Union Pacific Railroad Police interrupted a burglary in progress at a boxcar in the Union Pacific rail yard on July 9, Boles had notified Denver Police that he was holding a suspect and requested backup. Arriving officers found Agent Boles dead. He had been shot five times and struck numerous times with a 2x4 board. Agent Boles had served one year with the Union Pacific Railroad Police. Prior to that, he had been an Adams County Deputy Sheriff for three-and-a-half years, serving on their dive team. increased, other pilots were unable to raise him on the radio to warn him of the increasing downdrafts. Later they picked up an ELT signal and began searching for the plane. It was found about midmorning on an 11,662-foot ridge northeast of Hunts Lake. Pilot James Olterman died upon impact. Special Agent Greg R. Boss: Special Agent Greg Boss, 35, of the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, USPS-OIG, was killed while on duty as the result of a felonious traffic crash on November 8, Jason Reynolds, 34, of Parker was recklessly driving westbound on E-470, tailgating other traffic, when he came up behind a vehicle being driven by Kelvin Norman, 50. After Norman changed lanes, Reynolds passed him, then pulled in front of him and hit his brakes. Norman swerved and ended upside down in the eastbound lanes atop a Ford Explorer driven by Boss. The crash resulted in the deaths of Special Agent Boss and Kelvin Norman. Reynolds was subsequently charged and convicted by a jury in January of 2007 of two counts of first degree murder with extreme indifference, two counts of vehicular homicide with aggravating circumstances and two counts of careless driving resulting in death. In April 2007, Jason Reynolds was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison. Reynolds conviction was upheld by the Colorado Court of Appeals on March 18, Senior Biologist James Olterman: Wildlife Manager James Olterman, 57, a 30-year veteran of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, died when the Cessna 185 he was piloting crashed near Hunts Peak in Fremont County on September 4, The crash occurred at approximately 6:55 a.m. while Olterman was on an aerial fish-stocking mission at Hunts Lake and other alpine lakes west of Howard, Colorado. Winds were calm when he departed the Salida airport at about 6:40 a.m. that morning, but as winds 23

24 A Legacy of Firsts in San Juan County County Undersheriff Kristine Burns and Sheriff Sue Kurtz pause for a photo at the historic San Juan County Jail, which is now a museum. Photo by Bruce Conrad. Amid the beautiful mountains, deep canyons, and swift, clear waters of San Juan County, history is being made. On May 2, 2009, Deputy Kristine Burns became undersheriff of San Juan County, making Sheriff Sue Kurtz and Undersheriff Kristine Burns the first female sheriff/undersheriff team in Colorado. Kris brings great law enforcement skills, organizational skills, and dedication to her work here, said Sheriff Kurtz, emphasizing that Undersheriff Burns was hired for her talents, not for her gender. Of the 64 sheriffs in Colorado, San Juan County has the only female sheriff, Sue Kurtz. She has been the sheriff there for the past 10 years, in addition to serving as sheriff for three years in the early 1980's. When she was first elected sheriff in 1981, Sheriff Kurtz became the first elected female sheriff in Colorado, and now she also holds the distinction of being the longest-serving female sheriff in Colorado. The San Juan County Sheriff s Office is small, with four full-time employees. They are Sheriff Sue Kurtz, Undersheriff Kristine Burns, Deputy Bruce Conrad, and Administrative Assistant Melody Skinner. They also have three part-time deputies, two of whom are deputies in LaPlata County in their full-time work. The other part-time deputy is a teacher at Ft. Lewis College in Durango. He works full-time during the summer when the Sheriff s Office needs the extra help and school is out; then he works part-time in the winter when school resumes and the seasonal rush is over. They also have a seasonal employee who serves as Alpine Ranger in the summer. He works on the Alpine Loop four-wheel-drive roads, assisting and educating Sports Utility Vehicle, motorcycle and Off Highway Vehicle operators about the rules and regulations in San Juan County, and writing citations for violations of those rules. That small staff serves an area of more than 400 mountainous square miles, and a permanent, year round population of about 500 hardy folks. Every year, though, more and more visitors discover the wonders of San Juan County and its incredible recreational opportunities. The county is comprised of 86 percent federal lands, either BLM or Forest Service. In the summertime, the population increases dramatically with the influx of summer residents, tourists, and riders on the Durango and Silverton train. Both Sheriff Kurtz and Undersheriff Burns will tell you that they come to work and work hard. We work well as a team, which is critical in any Sheriff s Office, Sheriff Kurtz said. But perhaps it is even more important in the small offices where so much depends on the other folks you work with. It is especially important to have a close working relationship between the sheriff and undersheriff. We have very open communication between us and with the rest of the staff as well. While crime rates are historically low in San Juan County, the Sheriff s Office is prepared to deal with any type of incident that occurs. They work closely with their federal and state partners who manage the public lands. Because of the rugged and isolated terrain, the Sheriff s Office must respond to a wide variety of incidents under sometimes difficult environmental circumstances. The women and men who work for the San Juan County Sheriff s Office are proud of their long tradition of service in Colorado s Most Beautiful County. 24

25 Summer Sheriff and Undersheriff Training Conference By Gary Cure, Assistant Executive Director Las Animas County Sheriff s Office hosted the summer 2010 sheriffs and undersheriffs conference in beautiful Trinidad, Colorado. The conference started on Monday, June 14th, with the undersheriffs participating in a roundtable discussion, sharing issues and concerns from their respective counties with the rest of the group. They also received training on the Prison Rape Elimination Act provided by Don Bird of Pitkin County Sheriff s Office, a demonstration on the Milo Shooting system, a case law updates presentation by Commerce City Chief Phil Baca, a background investigations class facilitated by Harvey Ward, and a legislative update that included information about the 2010 changes in the medical marijuana laws. The sheriffs arrived on Wednesday and began their conference with a Board of Directors meeting followed by a session on the New Sheriffs Institute, a twoweek long training session put on by CSOC that all newly-elected sheriffs are required to attend before they take office. They also received an update by Douglas County Sheriff Dave Weaver on the VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) system. Later they attended a gas-line investigations session by Ed Krevit, a roundtable discussion, a presentation on Future Trends by Colorado Springs Chief Richard Myers, and a session by Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson on Colorado Life Track, a high-tech tracking system used by law enforcement departments nationwide to locate adults and children who suffer from Alzheimer s disease, Down Syndrome, Autism and other related disorders and have the tendency to become lost. Those at risk wear a tamper proof wristband transmitter that emits a silent radio signal. When the person is reported missing, trained personnel use tracking receivers to locate the signal and recover the person. To wrap up the conference, Attorney General John Suthers gave the sheriffs an update on medical marijuana, meth, and the legislative session that just ended. Las Animas County Sheriff Casias, Las Animas County Undersheriff Navarette, the Las Animas County Commissioners, Las Animas Chamber of Commerce, Las Animas Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Trinidad Mayor Jenny Garduno, Colores del Tiempo Dancers, Cappellucci Brothers, Holiday Inn staff and the La Quinta staff all put an enormous amount of effort into making the sheriffs and undersheriffs welcome, and we thank them. 25

26 Willis A. Davis, Auctioneer Sheriff of Delta County By Duane Freeman, former Delta County Emergency Manager Willis A. Davis was born in Braymer, Missouri, on November 27, He married Ollie B. Pence on July 3, The couple lived briefly in Oklahoma and Wyoming prior to moving to Delta County in January of Davis, an auctioneer by trade, was considered the best auctioneer on the western slope and soon became one of the best known auctioneers west of the Mississippi. The name of Willis A. Davis, as auctioneer, was enough of a drawing card to bring people to an auction just to see the man and hear the poetic rhythm of his rapid fire auctioning voice. In October of 1924, Willis A. Davis, also the sheriff of Delta County, accompanied a youth to Buena Vista to be committed to the boys reform school. With him was a friend, Wilford Flaugher of North Delta. In Buena Vista, Sheriff Davis learned that a man named Wildene L. Allentharp, who was wanted in Delta for the theft of a set of harnesses, was working in the vicinity of Leadville. Allentharp, age 22, had a criminal record as a juvenile, and at one time had been involved in a gun incident on California Mesa south of Delta. He was the son of Ira Allentharp, a well known western slope sheepman. Sheriff Davis, along with Flaugher and Jack McGowan, a deputy sheriff from Lake County, found Allentharp about three miles from town cutting wood alongside a wagon and team. Having known Allentharp since Allentharp was a small boy, Sheriff Davis approached him with a friendly greeting and a handshake. Sheriff Davis told him, Wildene, I believe I m as good a friend as you have in Delta. Wildene replied, Yes, I believe you are. Sheriff Davis then told him he had papers for his arrest. Allentharp, according to reports, replied that if he had to go, he would. He said, first he wanted to get his sweater. He walked to the head of the horses where a sweater was on the ground, pulled a.45 caliber handgun from its folds and leveled it at the officers. When Davis reached for his gun, Allentharp fired three shots at him, one hitting him in the side. Davis fell to ground and fired at Allentharp, who started to flee. Allentharp quickly dropped his weapon and said, Don t shoot, I m through. I ll give up. Davis asked, Why did you do it, Wildene? There was no response. The wounded Davis was taken to St. Vincent s Hospital in Leadville while Allentharp was housed in the Lake County Jail. Davis s wife and children were in Arizona and were notified as was Charles Davis, a cousin of the sheriff, who rushed to Leadville. Sheriff Davis, knowing his wound was serious, asked his cousin to take care of business 26

27 matters for him, and told him to make sure Allentharp was brought to justice. The sheriff told his cousin, He has taken my life! Doctors operated on Davis, but his wound was too severe. Sheriff Willis Davis died October 18, 1924, at the age of 50. He left a wife and seven children. Sheriff Davis s body was returned to Delta where approximately 1,100 people attended his funeral. A group of local Japanese farmers, who Davis had befriended, were among those present. Davis was a member of the Masonic Lodge so the Masons took charge of the funeral, with subsequent burial in the City of Delta Cemetery. A jury convened in Lake County in Leadville in February of Allentharp pleaded self defense and said Davis had fired at him first. Raising a technicality, the defense questioned the attempt to arrest the accused that day. Willis did not have the necessary arrest warrant with him. On February 19, 1925, after eight hours of deliberation, the jury found Wildene L. Allentharp guilty of second degree murder with a sentence of ten-to-twenty years. District Court Judge Milton R. Welch, in an unprecedented move, had requested the death penalty. Judge Welch is quoted as saying, The only fault we find with Sheriff Davis was that he was a little too slack, a little too off guard, a little too good natured, a little too friendly to all, for Davis was a friend to everybody. Allentharp, committed to the Colorado State Penitentiary at Canyon City in March of 1925, was paroled July 7, He served a prison sentence of less than five years for killing a peace officer. Willis A. Davis is the only Delta County Sheriff to be killed in the line of duty. Willis A. Davis, 1913, with wife Ollie and children, Thelma, Loyd and Glen. Photo courtesy of Delta County Historical Society. Sources: Delta County Sheriff Fatally Shot by Friend He Arrested, The Denver Post, Oct. 19, Colorado Sheriff is Dead from Shot and Assailant Will Face Murder Charge, The Denver Post, Oct. 20, (Coroner s) Murder Verdict Returned Against Delta Youth who Shot and Killed Sheriff, The Denver Post, Oct. 21, Sheriff W. A. Davis is Murdered, Delta County Tribune, Oct. 24, Sheriff Davis Laid to Rest Sunday Afternoon, Delta Independent, Oct. 31, Delta Man Found Guilty of Murder, The Denver Post, Feb. 19, Allentharp is Found Guilty of Second Degree Murder, Delta Independent, Feb. 20, Record of Convicts When Received in the Colorado State Penitentiary, Wildene L. Allentharp #12874, Colorado State Archives, Denver. 27

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