A peek inside the sheriff’s office

I would like to welcome you to glance inside the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office. It is my privilege to command highly trained and dedicated law enforcement professionals in the business of serving and protecting their community. I take great pride in the fact that Montezuma County is my home and I grew up in the very same community to which I have committed 32 years of my life in the realm of public safety and service to the community. And because this is my home I will do everything necessary to maintain the quality of life that makes Montezuma County not only one of the Colorado’s premier tourist destinations, but one of the finest places in the United States to live, work, and play

A long and cold winter is starting to succumb to the inevitable and enjoyable days of spring. With the warmer days and longer hours of daylight comes the remedy for cabin fever. Residents will be doing more outdoor maintenance and planting flowers and preparing their gardens. Others will be looking forward to outdoor picnics and camping trips into our beautiful county. The beauty of our state is second to none, in my opinion. As many of us get out and go hiking, there are many things in the mountains and desert that draw us to explore. The wildlife and landscape are just a few of the draws.

If part of your spring cleanup requires burning ditches or pasture, don’t forget to call Dispatch at (970) 565-8454. Dispatch will ask your name, phone number and advise whether it is a non-burn day. Should you fail to call, a neighbor may not realize yours is a controlled burn and send the fire department racing to your residence. If you burn during a fire ban, you may be cited.

You may see worker inmates wearing bright orange along your county roads. They will be accompanied by a guard as they pick up trash. The inmates who work along the road have been screened and are being incarcerated for nonviolent crimes. Rather than sit in jail, they are out doing a community service.

With the courts’ recommendation and collaboration, a pretrial services program was started in 2012. The program is designed to monitor suspects who bond out of jail before they go to trial or reach a disposition on their case. Thirty percent percent of inmates are being held before trial. The program relieves overcrowding in the jail and is a system that supervises persons out on bond. When the courts order defendants to attend pretrial services, they are set up with the proper monitoring. If they have been charged with multiple drug- related crimes or alcohol offenses, they will likely be required to do random drug or alcohol tests.

The sheriff’s office also offers a child identification program. If parents would like their children fingerprinted and photographed, our office has two special instruments that can do that. The prints and photo are given to the parents for identification purposes should the child become lost or abducted. The sheriff’s office does not keep any database, and children’s information is not retained. A child ID booth will be set up at the Home and Garden Show May 3-5. There is no charge for this service.

Getting your fingerprints taken, for jobs, school teachers, carry conceal permits or whatever, is now made easier by a special fingerprint machine purchased by the sheriff’s office. No ink is used, and the fingerprints are electronically sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for quicker and more reliable response. Fingerprints are taken on Tuesdays and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m.. Special arrangements can be made if you cannot get in during those hours.

For more information on the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, visit our website at MontezumaSheriff.Org

Please stay safe and enjoy beautiful Montezuma County.

Dennis Spruell is sheriff of Montezuma County.

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