Six years ago during my first campaign, I made a promise to you--the voter and my constituents--that I would never participate in negative campaigning or mudslinging. Today, I will stand true to that very promise. With that said, I must respond to lies that have been made to you--the delegate-- in a desperate attempt to win an election.
Make no mistake. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office has fully cooperated with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). ICE itself agrees that EPSO fully cooperates with immigration laws. I am the ONLY Sheriff in Colorado to be sued by the ACLU for my stance on illegal immigrants. You can refer to this article regarding the lawsuit here: http://gazette.com/aclu-sues-el-paso-county-sheriffs-office-saying-it-illegally-keeps-suspected-undocumented-immigrants-behind-bars/article/1621798. If I had "catch & release" policies as you have been told, I would not have the ACLU suing me.
The fact is, El Paso County has not provided sanctuary status by any definition. The El Paso County jail is one of only 2 jails in Colorado with a physical office dedicated for ICE to conduct business; Adams County is the other. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has never been added to any ICE warning list for failing to cooperate. EPSO has complied with all ICE audits of the jail facility.
In the early morning hours of March 20th, an El Paso County Judge granted an injunction against me and my stance on holding illegal immigrants in my jail on ICE holds. You can read that story here: http://www.koaa.com/story/37767282/judge-rules-el-paso-county-sheriff-must-stop-illegally-holding-prisoners-for-ice. You can also read the press release statement from the County stating my intent to Appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court here: http://news.elpasoco.com/Pages/default.aspx?ReleaseID=2803. President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, ICE Director Thomas Homan and Carrie Hill of the NSA have been personally briefed on the ACLU lawsuit and injunction placed upon me.
Many of you have received emails and phone calls referring to a 287G program and how it is somehow a solution for holding illegal immigrants. There are far more risks in participating in the program then benefit to you the taxpayer. We were the only Sheriff's Office in the State and one of only a few counties in the country participating in 2015. The fact is, ICE needs to do their job and not leave Sheriff's (and the taxpayers) holding the bag.
I ask you to do your research on these important issues and know the facts. If you have any questions, you can personally call me at 719-243-3158.
Bill is a Life-Member of the NRA and belongs to several local firearms organizations. Bill proudly took his first oath in 1979 as a Deputy Sheriff in El Paso County, to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado. He strongly agrees with the Heller Decision, written by the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding an individual citizen's right to keep and bear arms for purposes of self-defense. Gun ownership, and the fundamental right to be safe at home and in the community, is a natural right that cannot be ceded to government. Today, as the Sheriff of El Paso County, Bill fully supports the concealed handgun permit program and fully supports the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. Since Bill Elder has taken office, more than 15,000 NEW concealed weapons permits have been issued, and over 8,000 renewals approved, bringing the total permits to nearly 46,000 in El Paso County.
After taking Office in 2015, Bill Elder implemented two brand new units to the Sheriff's Office: the Community Relations and Outreach Unit and the Rural Enforcement & Outreach Unit. Both have been highly successful since their inception. Since 2016, the CRO Unit and the Sheriff have attended well over 300 community events, to include monthly forums on race and community relations, body worn cameras, senior pillar groups, youth council meetings, Coffee with A Cop functions, Eastern Plains Chamber of Commerce meetings to just name a few. Bill implemented the Rural Enforcement & Outreach Unit responding to the need of enhanced law enforcement services in the large expanses of eastern El Paso County. This specialized unit provides a direct link to the citizens in rural regions and creates a mechanism to address issues specific to the eastern plains culture and landscape. Some examples of their day-to-day work include investigating illegal marijuana grows, marijuana compliance, fence line disputes, livestock issues, equine abuse/neglect, and regular calls for service.
Bill firmly believes the ongoing success of the Sheriff's Office as a premier law enforcement agency is related to the development of its future leaders and the creation of a succession plan. Upon his election, Bill implemented the STRATA Leadership, Character CORE Leadership Traits program. This ethics and character based leadership training has been provided for all employees of the Sheriff's Office and was the catalyst for the current agency wide, employee led mentorship program. Since 2015 Bill has participated with other community leaders who have recently developed an enhanced leadership development initiative in partnership with the UCCS School of Public Affairs. Leadership development courses offered include LPO (Leadership in Police Organizations), Leadership Pikes Peak, John Maxwell Leadership Trainings, STRATA Leadership Ethics in Law Enforcement, FBI National Academy, and the National Executive Institute.
Below is an excerpt of the expectations Sheriff Elder has for every candidate for promotion: