Council Votes For No Change to Sheriff’s Office

After listening to comments and recommendations from members of the Charter Review Committee, which studied the issue at length, Councilors voted 5-2 to retain present language in the Charter stating that the duties of the Los Alamos Sheriff do not include law enforcement. During the discussion period, Councilor Fran Berting suggested doing away with the Office altogether since Los Alamos County does not have unincorporated land in which a sheriff’s department normally operates. Councilor Mike Wismer seconded the motion saying it was not a reflection of current Sheriff Marco Lucero who has an extensive law enforcement background, rather he objected to redundancy between sheriff and police duties. Councilor Vincent Chiravalle did not support the motion saying he supported the option proposed by Sheriff Lucero that would instead expand the duties of the Office of the Sheriff to include law enforcement responsibilities. Councilor David Izraelevitz recently read the history of the Los Alamos Sheriff’s Office on the library’s microfiche. He explained that in January 1976 the same issue went before a vote of the people and an amendment with the Charter’s current wording passed by the majority of citizens. He said for that reason he did not support changing that wording today. A petition has been circulated throughout Los Alamos County to place the Sheriff’s Office duties issue to a vote of the people. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

The County Council called Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy to the podium to ascertain his opinion with regard to the Office of the Sheriff and its duties. Torpy basically said that it was up to the Council to decide those duties. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

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