2016 was a big year for retirements and promotions. We lost over 300 years of management experience when our undersheriff, jail division chief, and several command level deputies retired. The good news is that there is plenty of “depth on the bench!” Tommy Sloan was promoted to the number two position at the sheriff’s office and became the undersheriff, Heidi Prentup was promoted to be the Chief of Support Services, and Jeff Goetz was promoted to be the Chief of the Jail. Of course when you are promoting people at that level it creates a domino effect, and a number of commanders and sergeant promotions occurred as well.
It was a busy year for calls for service, and several major events occurred. The jail population continues to swell, and mental illness (30-40% of inmates) continues to add to the complexity of running our jail. Rocky Mountain Rescue and our mountain deputies set a new all-time record with 194 search and rescue calls in 2016. In July, we had a large forest fire near Nederland. The Cold Springs Fire quickly consumed over 500 acres resulting in the loss of 18 structures, including eight homes. Two transient campers were arrested and convicted of felony arson; they carelessly attempted to extinguish a campfire and failed to do so before we had a big wind event. In October, a drug-infused suspect on a three day meth binge attacked one of our deputies. During contact on the roadside of Highway 287 near Longmont the shooter narrowly missed our deputy. The deputy was able to return fire and the suspect was shot and eventually died from his wounds. The next month, a bomb in a backpack was left outside of the Nederland Police Department – it was a complex and very dangerous device. Fortunately for all it failed to detonate as designed. Our bomb squad spent 20 hours of patient, painstaking work to dismantle and render the device safe. We then worked with the FBI, and within four days identified and arrested a suspect who is currently facing a life sentence if convicted of federal charges of making a weapon of mass destruction.
The men and women at the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office continued to provide excellent public safety services throughout the year, and kept up with a busy work load with a great attitude and fantastic skill and ability!
Sheriff Joe Pelle
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office
The Sheriff provides law enforcement in rural areas and small towns, manages the county Jail, serves as an officer of the court, runs the county 911 communication center, provides emergency management and coordination for major events, (man-made and natural), transports and extradites prisoners, and a handles a variety of other statutory responsibilities.
We work cooperatively with other police and public safety agencies in Boulder County to provide a high level of service and safety.
Our mission is to provide efficient, effective public safety services; delivered with character, competence, and open communication.
We accomplish our mission through the effort of almost 400 dedicated employees and approximately 200 volunteers.