Bill Elder, Republican candidate (Incumbent)
Campaign Website: sheriffelder.com
Campaign Facebook Page: facebook.com/EPCsheriffelder/
Education: Palmer High School; El Paso County Community College (now Pikes Peak Community College) and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; Colorado Springs police academy
Experience: Became a sworn deputy in 1979 and rose through the ranks to lieutenant; four years in the Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Division; commercial and residential Realtor from 1998 to 2012; worked for Fountain Police Department and was promoted to deputy chief in 2012; Sheriff since 2015
What's the best way to deal with overcrowding at the El Paso County jail?
Because average daily populations have grown from 1200 in 2015 to over 1700 many times today, I instituted a multi prong plan that includes different methods including greater use of PR bonds, use of a new felony summons', developing new cooperative agreements with health care providers, use of alternative programs to incarceration of pregnant women, reducing the backlog of state prison inmates, reducing the numbers of "technical parole violators" being held locally, developing alternatives to incarceration of failure to appear and failure to comply on minor charges. We are monitoring the population daily as we near jail capacity. This is one of my 2018 priority projects, and I have a detailed operational plan to address it.
Should the Sheriff's Office play a role in enforcing federal immigration law? Explain.
Yes, we have and we do. ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is advised of any criminal Illegal aliens who are brought into the jail. ICE is again notified when they are to be released and ICE takes custody of them. I am the only Sheriff in Colorado being sued by the ACLU for these policies, I refused to bow to their threats.
Do you believe the medical and recreational marijuana markets are creating a problem with illegal grow operations in the county? If so, how can the Sheriff's Office help address that problem?
I don't believe those markets are creating the problem, the problem is created because proper restrictions were not in place when our state constitution was changed to allow grows and not provide reasonable limitations on size, location, etc. While supporters claimed legal marijuana would lower black and grey markets, it did the opposite. In 2017 we were able to change the law on plant counts, we are now able to shut down these illegal grows. This is also one of my 2018 priority projects, and we are 60 search warrants into addressing this problem.