My Turn

Opinion: Sheriff asks for voters' support on Election Day

By Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe
Posted 10/18/18

I'm Jerry Hogrefe and I'm asking for your support for reelection as Taos County Sheriff, so together the TCSO team can continue the commitment to service and partnerships that are making a positive …

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My Turn

Opinion: Sheriff asks for voters' support on Election Day

Posted

I'm Jerry Hogrefe and I'm asking for your support for reelection as Taos County Sheriff, so together the TCSO team can continue the commitment to service and partnerships that are making a positive difference in our community.

The Nov. 6 general election is upon us, and the commitments and duties of the sheriff's office have again limited my personal time to campaign as much as I'd like to. However, I have been astounded by the many call, rallies, community and impromptu meetings that have generated focused discussions and ideas. I sincerely hope the readers and listeners appreciate that if I have missed visiting you at home I am still asking for your support for reelection and am still committed to making Taos County a better place for all of us.

Throughout my career and during my first term, I've been noted as a "hands-on" leader that isn't afraid to jump in and work on cases. My proven leadership, experience, integrity and listening ability have brought about much change at TCSO. We have changed the way we conduct daily business from completing investigations, obtaining search warrants, obtaining arrest warrants, recovering stolen property and, equally important, clearing the innocent.

We've opened the door for more training for the deputies than ever before. We've reduced liability claims for the sheriff's office, enhanced safety for community and ourselves through the NARCAN opioid training and tactical medical training. In addition, all deputies are now required to carry life-saving tactical tourniquets on their person.

Several new initiatives are underway at TCSO, such as the motor team and our K-9 drug detection and protection dog. They have been paid for primarily through grant funding and by working hard and training together with other agencies and the community.

We have enhanced our investigations to better serve the community by developing and training our sheriff's response team for high-risk searches and arrests, and I've been able to replace our aging fleet with new patrol units and much-needed equipment.

Our relationship with the community, schools, other law enforcement agencies and other public safety disciplines is stronger than ever thanks to the staff at TCSO and the community involvement that has been developed. Communications and the trust of our constituents is what brought us to where we are and what I will continue to build upon. We are also a HIDTA-designated county now and work closely with the Region 3 drug task force. (HIDTA is the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, a drug-prohibition enforcement program run by the U. S. Office of National Drug Control Policy).

My opponent has said we need more staffing and technology to meet the daily demand, and she is right - because we do. That's exactly what I have been fighting for during my first term and why I restructured the office. I reallocated lieutenant positions/salaries and created two more patrol positions and an evidence technician to relieve deputies from some of the burden of gathering case information for discovery.

This change effectively gave each deputy four to six hours more patrol/investigation time each week. I also restructured the scheduling, so we always have 24-7 coverage and never only one deputy on duty by themselves or a deputy on-call during the night.

Each year since I took office the TCSO budget has increased. This year was more generous, and we received two newly funded positions of the six that I asked for. We quickly filled those and overall our budget increased by 9 percent.

I am also working on technologies to make better use of patrol time, and we are collectively moving forward with purchasing the National Incident-Based Reporting System for all five Taos County law enforcement agencies and laptops for our vehicles. A major topic during the primary election was budgetary restraints. I commend the commission and County Manager Leandro Cordova for all they do, and we are all committed to public safety needs and continually look for funding and ways to meet the many needs of the community.

With that said, I am thankful that I have Undersheriff Steve Miera and a dedicated staff to keep on top of daily operations, interviews, arrests, reports, investigations, transports, civil process and much more. Ask the deputies and they will tell you we are a united team. I hope to keep that team together for the next four years.

I humbly ask for your support Nov. 6. Let's continue to make a difference together. Support your local sheriff. Reelect me, Jerry Hogrefe, and together we will continue the hard-driven path to make Taos County a better and safer place for all of us.

Jerry Hogrefe is the Taos County Sheriff, running for reelection.

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