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Letter to the Community

Chris Scherr, a candidate for Summit County Sheriff, sits in front of a tiled wall.
Chris Scherr, a candidate for Summit County Sheriff, sits in front of a tiled wall.

I have been a dedicated public servant for 19 years, and am seeking election to the office of Summit County Sheriff this November.

 

I believe in Ethical Conduct, Community Oriented Policing, and Organizational Excellence, and look forward to improving the safety of our community together.Chris Scherr

April, 2022

Summit County Community,

For several reasons, I am seeking election to the office of Summit County Sheriff this November. First and foremost is your safety, your family’s safety, and the safety of our visitors. From my perspective as a police officer in Summit County, it is a common occurrence for officers from municipal agencies to handle calls for police services in unincorporated Summit County, while at the same time, the number of command staff and supervisors outnumber the patrol deputies. This is simply an unacceptable result of the current administration’s priorities, culture, and policies. For example, when the SMART (mental health) Team was established, it was a desperately needed service to address mental health issues here in Summit County. However, some of its unit members were selected from patrol to the detriment of the already understaffed patrol unit.

As a result of the current administration’s priorities, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Unit is understaffed in areas that directly impact your safety on a daily basis. Our current Sheriff and his administration have often put politics before our community. While making my decision to take on such a daunting task as running for political office against an incumbent, I have enjoyed meeting with Summit County residents who have seen these issues and the many other problems that characterize the current administration. In response, I have decided to run unaffiliated to any political party to put your well-being above a political agenda.

Improvements

I have the capability, knowledge, and leadership skills needed to work with my command staff, and we will work together to retain, train, and hire highly qualified deputies. We will foster a proactive and community policing mindset through training and support to decrease crime. We will bring equity to our community by better reflecting the community we serve. I will create incentives to hire bilingual deputies and train deputies interested in learning a second language. Our law enforcement needs to be able to serve our diverse community using modern practices and technology. We can improve our training in responses to disasters and our growing community of backcountry users through training. Colorado’s jump to number one in the US for auto theft has affected Summit County. I want to input a Criminal Interdiction Unit (CIU) working with partners in our criminal justice system and Chiefs of Police in the county. A CIU would combat auto theft and deadly narcotics flowing into and through our community.

Core Values

My core values as the next Summit Sheriff will be Ethical Conduct, Community Oriented Policing, and Organizational Excellence. I believe in demonstrating ethical behavior through respect and transparency. I wholeheartedly believe in community-based policing. I look forward to creating new relationships and building upon current relationships to ensure open communication and supporting Deputies to engage with the community. Law Enforcement is ever-changing; technology and training have to be a priority to provide superior service. I want our community to weigh in on the new direction of the office and be able to provide feedback. My strength as a collaborator will allow me to work with members of our criminal justice system and community members to further the Summit County Sheriffs’ Office.

Background

I have been a dedicated public servant for 19 years. I started in the volunteer fire service and was promoted through the ranks. I have held my EMT since 2005 and worked for Ski Patrol and then for a prominent career ambulance service in NJ. After Hurricane Katrina, I volunteered for a month of service as a disaster relief technician and shelter manager. In 2014, I entered my Law Enforcement career at the Dillon Police Department after completing Colorado Mountain College Law Enforcement Training Academy. As an Officer, I have had proven results in crime prevention and solving crime through community partnerships. I have had extensive training to further my career, accumulating thousands of specialized training hours. As a field training officer, I trained fellow officers to create community partnerships and daily use of proactive policing tactics. As a detective, I have led and collaborated with multiple Law Enforcement agencies and teams to combat deadly and addictive narcotics in our community: drugs such as methamphetamine, GHB, cocaine and heroin, and other synthetic opiates (fentanyl) that have devastated families here in our community. I have worked drug distribution cases of persons bringing methamphetamine from the front range to Summit County. I have training in Mobile Data Forensics and have worked on complex cybercrime cases partnering with the US Secret Service Mountain West Cyber Fraud Task Force utilizing modern technologies to solve local crimes of sexual assault, child exploitation, extortion, and cyberbullying.

Personal background

Like many, I moved to Summit County from out of state. I arrived as a seasonal employee in 2003 from New Jersey. I worked at Copper Mountain at Ski and Ride School and then Ski Patrol. I made Summit County my year-round home in 2011. I met my wife Michelle here in Summit County. Michelle works as an Emergency Physician here in our community. In 2018, Michelle and I had our son, Ethan, at Saint Anthony’s Summit Hospital. In 2019, our family sought out what northwest Montana had to offer; I took a job with the City of Whitefish Police Department. We missed our friends and family here in Summit County and returned in 2021. 

My family and I are proud to live as your neighbors in this community. I look forward to serving the Summit County Community as the next Summit County Sheriff in 2023.

Thank you for your time and support.

Chris Scherr

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