Dear Men and Women of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office,
I’ve written a great deal about professional development since this campaign began, much of it focused on the deputy force. Sworn officers represent the operational tip of the spear and the bulk of the personnel at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO).
But that’s not to suggest I have neglected the civilian force in my discussion of professional development. In the Air Force I come from, and from which I draw many of my ideas for your development, is a concept we call the Total Force.
The Total Force is everyone: military and civilian, active duty, guard, reserve, and Civil Air Patrol. We oftentimes would refer to everyone collectively as airmen, civilians included, because every person who serves does so to advance airpower.
I see EPSO in the same light. Civilians, salaried and volunteers alike, support everything we do, and without them, the operational aspects of EPSO’s mission would fail. Just like in the military, civilians are the glue that holds it all together.
I value your service and I am committed equally to your professional development. You will receive the same level of attention as the deputy force when it comes to that development. You will also find new opportunities coming your way when I am Sheriff.
You will have a career progression plan that is unique to your functional area (same as in the Air Force, by the way). You will compete for promotion through a merit-based system like the deputies, and you will have training and education opportunities as well. Although it should go without saying, the zero-tolerance policy I’ll implement on day one applies equally across the board to our Total Force.
The other night at my Meet the Candidate event, I fielded a question about training opportunities for civilian staff. I am open to the idea of training civilians in programs that may traditionally be set aside just for deputies.
Budget and manpower considerations will factor in, but I have no opposition to the idea. Training civilians in areas they may not ordinarily get exposure to only enhances their professional development and makes them better able to perform their support roles because they better understand nuances of the operational side of EPSO.
I was also asked if I would be open to the idea of a grooming path for civilian support staff to becoming deputies. Short answer: YES. I see no reason why anyone who is qualified to attend a training academy and become a deputy cannot make that transition. If anything, having worked at EPSO means you already know many aspects of the job and will do well in training.
When I talk about or send a Message to the Troops, I mean the Total Force. Everyone who serves at EPSO, sworn officers and non-sworn civilians alike, are my troops. I’ll care for you all equally. I value your service and I look forward to leading you into a future defined by dignity and respect and greatness and service to our community.
God bless you all.