• Five Adams County cities are suing the sheriff and county commissioners over the much-maligned cap on the number of municipal inmates that has jeopardized citizen safety.

    Aurora, Commerce City, Federal Heights, Northglenn and Thornton filed the suit in district court on Wednesday.  The suit names Sheriff Doug Darr and the members of the Adams County Board of Commissioners.

    In it, the cities say, “the safety of Plaintiff’s citizenry has been compromised by Defendant Darr’s actions.”

    The cap on the number of duly sentenced criminals allowed in the jail has been a point of contention between area cities and the county for three years.  These municipalities and their taxpayers paid for the relatively new jail that now sits largely unoccupied.

    Despite efforts by the cities to reach an amicable solution that would not jeopardize public safety, Darr has essentially told the cities to pound sand.  He has turned a deaf ear to the concerns of local police chiefs, elected officials and citizens.

    The chiefs of police have unanimously said that Darr’s lockout has put citizens at risk.

    For their part, the cities have done their best to work with the sheriff to come to some sort of agreement.  They have offered dozens of suggestions on ways jail operations could be improved and criminals housed as they should be.

    Darr has refused to work in good faith to correct the issue and like so many other county officials, shown his contempt for those who put him in office.  Worse than that, he puts lives at risk.

    The sheriff has said since his budget was cut during the economic downturn he was unable to maintain adequate staffing at the jail.  This may well be true and most likely is.

    However, it is his job to properly manage the facility and if there was any doubt that he would not be able to do so with his funding, he should have raised the issue at the time.  Additionally, the commissioners (really the previous occupants of the seats) are to blame for failing to properly fund the sheriff’s office.

    It is a sad statement about Adams County when cities must take the county to court to protect their citizens and ensure basic law enforcement services are provided.

    Proper planning, management and collaboration would have prevented this before it became an issue.  Instead we are left with yet another example of Adams County government failing to uphold the public trust and do its job.

    Thankfully county voters will have their say in November.  We will be able to elect a sheriff with the proper credentials and morals to uphold the public trust and protect its citizens.


    Posted by Dana West @ 6:15 pm for Adams County Politics |

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