Letter To The Editor: Office Of Sheriff Is Redundant

By MIKE WHEELER
Los Alamos
 
The office of sheriff in Los Alamos County is redundant and has been for many years. The largely ceremonial office has persisted partly because of the public acceptance of previous sheriffs who recognized and complied with the restrictions specified in the County Charter.
 
The current sheriff has lobbied at the State Legislature and County Council to expand his duties, increase his budget, and eliminate his term limits. All to no avail. Both the State Legislature and County Council have rejected these requests. Our local police department can well absorb the limited duties of the office at much less cost without redundant personnel, equipment, and administration.
 
Louie Rojas served multiple terms over the years as elected sheriff and was a friend. He served with honor and integrity and was an asset to our community. Louie always understood the duties and restrictions of the sheriff’s office. Since then, we have had a few elected sheriffs who have tried to expand the duties of the office, and who have exposed the county to liability. In an effort to deal with this ongoing issue, the County Council has placed on the ballot a question “to amend the County Charter and consolidate the remaining powers and duties of the office of the sheriff to the police department and to abolish the office of the sheriff as an elective office…” This charter amendment will reduce costs, improve efficiency, and eliminate confusion with outside law enforcement agencies. 
 
Please vote “for” question 1 to amend the County Charter and abolish the office of sheriff.
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