Dear Men and Women of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office,
In my pursuit of the office of Sheriff of El Paso County, I’ve highlighted my executive leadership credentials in law enforcement the most. My Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) Command experience is important since leadership is what’s needed at the EPSO right now. Hence the emphasis.
But I’ve not stressed much my core, foundational LE grounding. Today I’ll lay that out there since it’s important for you to know your future boss wasn’t always in charge of things. Before any of that, I had to learn the ropes.
I held twelve Air Force assignments, only five of which were Command tours. Among the remaining seven were a mix of schools, staff, and field assignments where I learned the ropes of LE. In my early days of OSI, I practiced what I would later preach as the ‘gumshoe’ work of LE: putting shoe leather to the pavement and working the streets.
I’ve had considerable experience doing all sorts of traditional LE work:
- Processing crime scenes (you name it, been there from burglary to homicide)
- Collecting, preserving, bagging and tagging evidence
- Interviewing victims and witnesses
- Interrogating subjects
- Taking sworn statements
- Preparing search warrants
- Writing affidavits and getting warrants signed at 2:00 am
- Recruiting, training, levying and running informants of all kinds
- Making arrests (we called them apprehensions under the UCMJ)
- Conducting surveillance at all hours of the day and night
- I worked two different long-term undercover narcotics operations
- Testified in court
The list goes on and on.
In addition, over the course of a 25-year career, I was fortunate to work every case category OSI had in its inventory of case classification. These include: murder, rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, child sexual exploitation, use/possession/sale/transfer/manufacture of narcotics, and many more.
Some of the more unusual ones I worked: counterfeiting (yep, a real, no-kidding, sophisticated operation on base) and arson (doesn’t happen often in the military, but some knucklehead in Okinawa tried burning down his dormitory).
Not to be outdone, I had many additional duties in my OSI career: Firearms Manager, Assistant Evidence Custodian, Vehicle Management Officer, Training Officer, Security Manager, Source/Informant Manager, Undercover Operations ‘Safety Valve,’ Communications Officer, among many others.
The spy stuff was fun, so were the counterterrorism operations we conducted around the world, but I always look back fondly to my core, gumshoe days and would push my troops over the years to never forget the basics of the profession. It was common for me, even as a Commander, to respond to a crime scene with my troops, slap on a pair of rubber gloves, and assist with collecting evidence. I always let the lead agent direct the crime scene, but I took on an assisting role while coaching and mentoring at the same time.
If you’d like to learn more about Air Force OSI, here’s a great video OSI produced about a year ago: Air Force Office of Special Investigations Command Video.
I could not have had a more fun, rewarding and varied career. The leadership side of it came as a natural course of events for me as an officer Special Agent, and because of my successes in my career, was something the Air Force OSI kept challenging me with to do more.
I don’t think I could have had a better grounding to become your next Sheriff. I am excited every day I am on the campaign trail, working hard to get our message out there. With every new EPSO professional I or one of my Posse speaks with, I draw more inspiration to make this a reality next year.
God Bless you all.