Letter To The Editor: Sheriff Responds To Gibson

By MARCO V. LUCERO
Los Alamos County Sheriff

Reference: Robert Gibson’s Letter to the Editor

This letter is in response to clarify some misleading statements authored by Mr. Robert Gibson. Mr. Gibson mentions the same arguments he made during the recent public forum, which then as well as now are inaccurate and misleading. 

Mr. Gibson mentions that the only role I currently have is to register and monitor the criminally convicted sex offenders. First of all I take offense that he minimizes the importance of doing all I can to keep our community from having children victimized by a child predator. While I worked in Santa Fe I conducted criminal investigations from the homicides to the felony larceny and everything in between. There were no worse crimes than those committed on the children. Secondly, the duties and responsibilities of the Sheriff are clearly outlined in our state statutes, and I hold true to my commitment to adhere to the laws as outlined.

Mr. Gibson mentions my desire to increase the budget of the current office. Again he is trying to misrepresent me and my intentions. Prior to the majority of the council voting to transfer civil duties that were assigned to the sheriff, we had a budget of $85,000. Since that time, it has been slashed to $15,000. This was a maneuver by members of council to systematically dismantle the office of sheriff prior to the vote of the people. I have now heard that the Los Alamos Police Department is going to have to increase their more than $8 million budget to hire two new full time employees to do what the sheriff’s office was doing prior to the transfer. This is an additional cost to you the taxpayers.

I have never asked for more money from the council. I asked for handheld communications so that the deputies and I would have some form of communicating with dispatch should we need assistance while doing our job. I also asked for a free marked sheriff’s unit to help identify us as part of the Los Alamos Sheriff’s Office. Though Mr. Gibson would like you to believe otherwise, these two requests were officer safety requests.

Mr. Gibson states that “Untrained, uncertified, unauthorized ersatz cops patrolling are a recipe for tragedy.” I am your elected sheriff, I have nearly 30 years in law enforcement experience and training. I am a state certified law enforcement officer, and who else other than state law do I need for authorization to help protect our community? We have deputies that all have law enforcement experience and have a more trained and efficient sheriff office now than we have ever had. I have never asked or have had intentions of patrolling the streets of Los Alamos.

Mr. Gibson states that there are no constitutional sheriffs. I took an oath as do all elected officials, to support the Constitution of the United States. And I believe it is every American’s responsibility to stand in favor of our constitution. To be villainized for this belief, is just not right. It’s disappointing that a person who is trying to make a pitch in favor of doing away with your elected law enforcement sheriff has continued to again mislead you, the people.

Mr. Gibson mentions the two sheriffs from our neighboring counties that were brought to justice. Is he implying that by my efforts to enhance public safety and my work ethic are going to lead me to prison? 

Since becoming your sheriff, I have worked diligently to hold true to my platform to try to help the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Office become more professional and functional. I believe we have done that. Though Mr. Gibson may be fearful of that, I hope that you are not. While being your sheriff, if even one of my arrests, one of my communications with a sex offender or wearing my uniform while doing my job, prevented a child in our community from becoming victim, my work as your sheriff was a success.

I encourage everyone to vote AGAINST the referendum as voting no will allow us to keep the office.

Your sheriff,

Marco V. Lucero

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