Letter To The Editor: Support Expressed For County’s Sheriff And Police Department

By PATRICK BRENNER, Republican Candidate
Los Alamos County Council

In light of recent events, I offer my full fledged support of our County’s Sheriff and Police Department. Thank you for everything you do.

I am jumping into the quagmire of the Sheriff feet first. I am stumped by the amount of vitriol surrounding the elected position that Sheriff Lucero has legitimately won and is in his 2nd term. What could cause a County Council to systematically reduce the role of our Sheriff to virtually nothing and then ask the voters whether they’d like to remove the Office of Sheriff from our town permanently? Further, is this legal?

The role of Sheriff in most municipalities is that of the chief law enforcement officer. The role differs from that of the Chief of Police in that the Sheriff, being elected directly by the people, answers directly to the people. The Chief of Police and the LAPD answer to the County Council. Many say there is a duplication of duties that make the county inefficient. This is why the role of sheriff was originally minimized in the County Charter decades ago. Nerses Krikorian, who worked on the original charter (Letter To The Editor, July 25, 2015, LA Daily Post), stated “We deliberately minimized the role of the sheriff and stipulated a secondary role since we could not legally abolish the position“.

Whether the Sheriff duplicates services or not, as a directly elected official he can provide the necessary check on the services provided by the LAPD and the County Council. This role helps to avoid the appearance of collusion and corruption that could occur between the two entities: the LAPD and the County Council. I want this.

When I witness the Council diminishing the role of sheriff even more from the original charter as has happened recently, it raises some serious flags. When the Council decides to be “democratic” by putting the abolishment of this position to a vote of the people–I really begin to question things. Sheriff Lucero was already elected by the people. That was the democracy. I do wonder why some on the Council seem rather fearful of the oversight of Sheriff who wants to perform his duties. I also wonder and will investigate whether what the County Council is doing is legal.

Lastly, we’ve got it backwards in this town. The County Council thinks they have the right to oversee the Sheriff. It’s the other way around. I want that.

I support the Office of Sheriff. I support Sheriff Lucero in maintaining and solidifying his position as a necessary check on the local government. I am, very sincerely, Patrick Brenner and I am your candidate for County Council. Visit www.brenner4nm.org or contact me at patrick@brenner4nm.org or 505.377.6273.