Meet your Jefferson County primary election candidates
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Bio: Reggie Marinelli is a 36-year veteran with Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Reggie has written and overseen policy, contracts, and grants. She assisted in the development of the agencies’ accreditation process. Reggie teaches statewide. She’s a national consultant for The Moss Group, teaching cultural change in reference to the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
In light of the recent nationwide spike in crime, without talking about the state, federal government or anyone else, what would you do to bring crime numbers down in Jeffco if you were elected Sheriff?
It is my goal to centralize services within the county, allowing us to prioritize Deputies on the street. Using data, we will then deploy deputies into high-risk areas. We must also listen to our citizens to make sure that our areas of concern are in line with theirs.
We will utilize evidence-based programs throughout the Sheriff’s Office, which will reduce the rates of repeat offenses.
We will use performance measurements to guide and ensure progress with any approaches we implement.
In the wake of recent, highly-publicized mass shooting events and increased gun violence, what is your position on Colorado’s red flag law? Would you enforce it?
If there is cause to request an extreme risk protection order, we will enforce it regardless of any personal opinions. Because families know their loved ones better than any officer, we should cooperate with the family whenever possible, but each case is unique and must be handled as such. We must do everything we can to keep our citizens safe, which is why I would like to see mental health services intertwined with this law.
Outgoing Sheriff Shrader was a vocal proponent of guns. He is in favor of both open and concealed carry in Jeffco’s parks and recreation areas. What is your position on allowing open and concealed carry of firearms in the county’s public parks? My position is that the job of the Sheriff is to enforce the laws that are in place, not just those they like.
If JeffCo Open Space, or any other district, chooses to prohibit concealed weapons within their boundaries, we will respect their right to do so and enforce the law as it is written.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge for both the Sheriff’s Office and general law enforcement in the county right now, and in the years ahead?
Community engagement and support significantly impact the retention of staff. The county is losing the expert knowledge that comes from having a seasoned work force. I will change that.
The biggest challenge in law enforcement right now is building trust and engagement with the community. I believe that the best way to improve that relationship is to cultivate and retain the best possible staff.
How do you plan to address those challenges?
I will put our recruiters to work attracting the best candidates available. We will then provide them with the most effective training possible. We will develop the tools and partnerships needed to meet the expectations of our citizens, and to allow our officers to serve with dignity and respect.
Following the recent tragedy in Uvalde, TX., disturbing reports of procedural errors in the tactical response were made public. What can the Sheriff’s Office do to protect Jeffco students from experiencing a similar incident and outcome?
While we should always learn from others’ experience, I have learned not to speculate on sensational headlines until all of the facts have been investigated.
The people of JeffCo have learned all too many times that our focus should be on honestly finding out how and why these events occur so that we can prevent them in the future, rather than rushing to find someone to blame, possibly in error, only to suffer another incident that should have been prevented.
It is time that we partner with schools, mental health experts, and any other entity that can help keep our community safe. We must also be fully prepared to respond swiftly and appropriately when necessary.
What do you consider the biggest criminal issue in Jefferson County, and what would you do to deter it?
Although we have recently experienced several harrowing situations, I recognize that we are currently facing increasing numbers of auto and catalytic converter thefts. Property crime patterns and trends change based on many different factors. Those factors need to be evaluated, so we can deploy the necessary staff to high-risk areas, while educating citizens in how they can secure their property and prevent themselves from becoming victims.
What is your philosophy of policing?
Community Oriented Policing. I will form partnerships to collaborate with the citizens, other law enforcement agencies and organizations that are working toward the development of solutions to the problems within our community. I intend to build trust within the agency and all those we serve, working to protect our citizens, businesses and visitors from crime and disorder.
Opioid abuse is a national epidemic and Jefferson County is not immune from this problem. What can the sheriff’s office do to address this issue?
There are two aspects of opioid abuse that must be addressed. First is the education of our citizens to prevent substance abuse and the second is, access to treatment for those addicted.
I will re-introduce behavioral health and evidence-based therapies for those in custody. I will support services to help people successfully re-enter society, and I will enhance programs already in place, where mental health experts collaborate with our deputies to provide support and de-escalation for those in crisis.
Anything else you'd like voters to know?
I have worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 36 years in every major division. I am ready on day one to take charge and lead this agency.
Learn more about me on social media and on my website at www.MarinelliForSheriff.com
If you would like to contribute to my campaign, please refer to my site, or send contributions to 601 16th St C-336, Golden, CO 80401
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