Garfield County Sheriff Speaks Out Against Setback Proposal

Glenwood Springs—The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would be severely impacted if Proposition 112 is passed by voters on election day according to the man in charge, Sheriff Lou Vallario.  During his “Just the Facts” update on the Sheriff’s Facebook page, Vallario says he’s reluctant to make political statements but following the Board of Commissioner’s recent public stance against the 2,500 foot drilling setback proposal, he felt compelled to offer his take.  County officials say the proposal would mean a 20 million dollar hit to the annual budget.  Vallario says that will in turn, take a 60 percent bite out of his budget and that would mean drastic cutbacks.  Vallario says first and foremost, would be the corrections division of the Sheriff’s Office, meaning, they would have to reduce operations and only allow felony arrests to be housed in the jail.  He says the patrol division would be hit hard and a number of deputies would be taken off the road leaving the department to respond only to major crimes.  In addition, Vallario says budget cuts would also reduce traffic enforcement and bring an end to several programs such as animal control, school resource officers, the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team and the All Hazards Response Team.  County officials say according to a state-sponsored study, Proposition 112 would render over 98% of public land off limits to new drilling operations in Garfield County.