Sheriff holds first question-and-answer forum

SUN photo/Marshall Dunham Sheriff Rich Valdez addresses the audience at the ACSO Q-and-A Forum. The forum was an informal panel consisting of all department heads within the ACSO and allowed the public to ask any questions they had. The next forum will be held in January in Arboles.

SUN photo/Marshall Dunham
Sheriff Rich Valdez addresses the audience at the ACSO Q-and-A Forum. The forum was an informal panel consisting of all department heads within the ACSO and allowed the public to ask any questions they had. The next forum will be held in January in Arboles.

The Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) hosted a question and answer (Q-and-A) forum on Thursday, Dec. 10.

The forum was created to allow the public to address any questions or concerns they had regarding the ACSO.

Sheriff Rich Valdez began the forum by introducing the ACSO personnel there, and letting each person talk a little bit about their job and duties within the ACSO.

Then, Valdez gave a brief summary about the courthouse flooding in April, and how the ACSO moved out for a period of time before moving back in.

“On April 24, when we had the flood hit us, we had no choice but to evacuate the facility,” explained Valdez. “At that point we evacuated and took all the inmates over to the La Plata County Sheriff’s Department.”

Valdez explained how the ACSO pays La Plata County to currently house the ACSO’s inmates.

Valdez explained, “$53.64 a day is what its costing us. We’re going at the Department of Corrections rate.”

Because La Plata County is housing all inmates, it also takes care of food, medical and housing costs for the ACSO. Valdez explained that the ACSO had budgeted $110,000 for meals, with $80,000 budgeted for medical purposes.

The ACSO was able to offset a good portion of the cost of housing inmates because it no longer had to pay for meals and medical costs, so the money budgeted for those things was used to pay La Plata County.

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This story was posted on December 17, 2015.