Opinion | Jaime FitzSimons: As sheriff, I have built a better community, and I’ll continue if reelected
Candidate for Summit County Sheriff
I firmly believe at the core of law enforcement is the safety and well-being of the people we serve. To achieve that goal, we must be responsive to the people, we must be believable and we must be trusted to perform our duty with uniform fairness and justice to all.
Occupation: Summit County sheriff
Years in Summit County: 18
Family: Married 32 years with two children and two grandchildren
Civic involvement: Board member of Building Hope Summit County, Treetop Child Advocacy Center, Summit County Communities That Care Key Leader Board. Member of the Summit County Suicide Prevention Team; Summit County Child Fatality Review Team; Summit County Conflict Resolution Coalition.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1990 and served the city of Los Angeles until 2005 when I moved with my family to Summit County and joined the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. In 2016 and again in 2018, you boldly elected me to serve as your sheriff of Summit County.
I am a strategic and forward-thinking experienced law enforcement professional with a strong leadership presence and excellent interpersonal skills. I direct the work of over 100 law enforcement and civilian employees in their duties to serve you, the residents and visitors of Summit County. I am team-oriented, possess exceptional communication skills, employ data-driven decision making and I am committed to transparency within the organization and community. I am uniquely accessible and a highly visible member of our community. I have worked collaboratively to meet your high expectations in our vibrant urban environment that is growing, supportive and increasingly multicultural and diverse. I have proven to be resilient in the face of extraordinary challenges.
My priorities have been — and remain as — public safety, professionalism at all levels of the Sheriff’s Office, fiscal responsibility and accountability. The culture embodied by the men and women of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office reflects our community-oriented view and policies. Self-confidence and the highest levels of integrity while serving the public with humility has been the hallmark promoted within our organization. While the organization exhibits my professional attitude, fair and consistent visionary leadership style, perhaps most important is the product of my leadership: duty, honor, integrity and the very positive results created by my example and reflected by our team members.
Since you first elected me as your sheriff in 2016, I have worked tirelessly on the important issues facing our community. I acted with community partners and stakeholders to raise awareness about mental health in our community and jail, school safety, substance abuse, fentanyl and suicide. Together we worked to expand our Household Medication Take Back Program and implemented harm reduction measures to help combat the opioid crisis. Through community partnerships we laid down the foundations for Building Hope Summit County, the TreeTop Child Advocacy Center and the Colorado Mountain College Law Enforcement Training Academy. We improved safety in our schools by maintaining our school resource officer program and restarted the Summit County Law Enforcement Explorer Post for our youth. We implemented contract medical care and installed an advanced surveillance system to better protect both deputies and inmates in the detention facility. We constructed a modern evidence and property room for the collection, preservation and storage of evidence and property. Also, we implemented modern safety standards and disposal methods as it relates to evidence and property.
We have restored, and in some cases expanded, programs, systems, services and staffing levels across the organization with our Recruitment, Retention and Wellness Plan to include our community-based Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Team, our jail-based Strategies to Avoid Relapse and Recidivism program, Pretrial Assistance and Supervised Treatment program, Community Service Officers program, Court Security program, Traffic Safety Unit program, and our K-9 Narcotic Interdiction and Enforcement Team. We have instituted evidenced-based police reform initiatives that provide transparency and accountability and worked on meaningful legislation that enhances the safety of our community.
My family and I enjoy the year-round outdoor activities that Summit County offers, but central to my personality is my love of community, whether it is our local residents, business owners and ranchers, visitors, or people experiencing homelessness, behavioral health crises, substance use disorders, or a passing stranger. Every individual has value to me. Accordingly, my staff and I treat every individual with kindness, dignity and respect.
It is with steadfast confidence, a humble desire to continue to serve and the brightest hope in the future of our county that I am seeking reelection to the office of Summit County sheriff and asking for your vote on Nov. 8.
Jaime FitzSimons is the incumbent candidate running for Summit County Sheriff for the Democratic Party.
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