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Sheriff election

Dear Editor:

Who is Carl Smith?

There has been a lot of chatter lately with the elections around the corner. There has also been talk about Carl Smith who wants to implement a new way of policing used in San Diego, Calif. — COPS. If you are not familiar, COPS stands for “Community Oriented Policing Services” and it is a component within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to community policing. It feels like something out of a corporate rulebook.

It may have worked in big border cities like San Diego and surrounding but here, we have something called small town kinship. In a small, tight-knit community with about 1,800 people, these tactics utilized in cities may not have the same effect on us. What works and has been tried and tested is a team of dedicated deputies who know their community and is involved amongst their people. When you walk across the street and a handful of people smile and wave at you because they have known you for years. It goes to show the respect you have earned from the community you have grown up in and policed.

Rich Valdez has been here his entire life and he has put in 14 years in Law Enforcement in our community. He has shown loyalty and commitment and has risen through the ranks. That is an example of hard work and perseverance. Just reference what Carl Smith said about Rich Valdez in The Pagosa SUN archives, under letters 2-23-2006 “Morale Problem 2.”

Carl Smith says: “I have not only known Richard as a friend for many years, but have had the privilege of working with him in the law enforcement community, both as a police officer and a deputy sheriff. I have watched him mature in this field, and have often given him direction when he has come to me for advice. Richard never was shy about asking before he acted. Having seen all caliber of people become law enforcement officers in the last 27 years, I see Richard Valdez as one of the best; ethically, morally, and professionally. He is the epitome of what all employers strive to recruit for their departments. Whoever is fortunate enough to inherit him as a police officer, will find themselves laughing at his prior employer for being foolish enough to allow him to get away.”

Carl Smith seemed to jump from department to department in short spans. Is this from lack of commitment or does he not get along with others? Do we want someone who might turn his back on us for the offer for more money or do we want someone who has stood the test of time?

I know where my vote is. Vote for Rich Valdez this election.

Sean Padilla

This story was posted on June 5, 2014.