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Grand Sheriff speaks on sanctuary status and squatter issues

Apr 2, 2024

Grand Conty Sheriff briefed the Grand County GOP Central Committee at it’s April meeting, how lax Federal immigration enforcement and recent state legislation has impacted, and continues to impact his department’s ability to enforce the law.

Sheriff Schroetlin explained that neither Colorado nor Grand County has chosen “sanctuary” status. In fact the 2 weeks ago the Grand County Commissioners approved a resolution declaring that Grand County IS NOT a sanctuary for illegal aliens.  However, he went on to describe that Colorado HB23-1100 and HB 19-1124 (HB stands for House bill, 23 or 19 indicates what year the bill was passed into law), prevent all Colorado County Sheriffs from holding a person arrested for a crime past the time required for the DA to bring a charge for that crime, and past the time for a judge to make a bail ruling for release of that person.  This means that his officers have anywhere from just a few hours to a few days to determine if the person is a legal resident and make notice to the Immigration Service.  If they are unable to make that determination and bail bond conditions are met, they must release the person even if they are unable to determine residence status.  Secondly, due to relaxation of bonding requirements, a $1500 bond is all that is required even for a person charged with manslaughter!  With all of these changes working together, it is common for a person to be released before his officers can even complete the required paperwork.  Forged identification documents are encountered frequently and compound the difficulty of truly knowing whom they are dealing with.

In spite of these difficulties, Sheriff Schroetlin is steadfast that his office is fully committed to enforcing the law.  Grand County will not ignore crime.  He stated “Be Alert and Report Suspicious Activity–We will Respond”.

With respect to potential squatters, the Sheriff stated that with Grand County’s numerous second home owners, they must be vigilant to protect their property.  Install security cameras to monitor activity, engage your full- time resident neighbors to be observers, keep the drive plowed and grass mowed so that it does not look vacant.  Most of all, report any suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Ooffice (SO) immediately.  The SO will investigate reported trespassing or burglary.  It becomes more difficult to resolve, the longer trespassers are living on your property.

 Sheriff Schroetlin closed by describing his personal observations at the southern US border. As the president of the Western States Sheriff’s Organization, Mr. Schroetlin was able to work alongside County and State police in AZ.  His perception is the drug cartels are fully in control.  The Border Patrol is full engaged in simply processing immigrants, so intercepting criminal activity falls to other police forces.  He stated ” we have great surveillance tools, but the cartels have even better surveillance equipment.  We were always under counter-surveillance–as soon as we were tied up with one group of people–the word went out–that we were busy–so they would double up the efforts to get drugs and people hidden in vehicles past us.  We encounter the full range of illegal drugs in Grand County, it is available and is directly flowing from the cartels.

Grand County Republicans thanks Sheriff Schroetlin for sharing his thoughts and completely support him and his staff as they work hard to keep Grand County a safe place to live.




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