This is the concluding post in my series that tells the story of how Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) counterterrorism operations evolved in the Middle East and my role in orchestrating them. This is a story about powerful leadership lessons and experience I gained, experience that toughened me for future command and leadership positions.
It is also a story about developing hands-on operational concepts and techniques in complex international crime operations that prepped me for my next station in life, as Sheriff of El Paso County. Our county has seen a growing problem with foreign criminal elements: gangs like MS-13, drug cartels, and criminal illegal immigrants. I am the only candidate in this race with the background and skill set to tackle these complex and dangerous problems.
In this final post, I bring it all into focus. What do my experiences running counterterrorism operations in the Middle East have to do with being your next Sheriff? It comes down to two things: leadership and experience conducting complex international law enforcement operations.
Your Future Sheriff
Leadership is what being a Sheriff is all about. I have had five assignments as an OSI Commander or Chief Executive Officer of federal law enforcement field offices. The desert time was just one, but it was powerful.
I will bring to the Sheriff’s Office not only proven, hardcore law enforcement leadership experience, but I bring detailed knowledge and expertise in taking on tough international crime targets and successfully neutralizing them. Many of the same concepts I pioneered in the Middle East in targeting terrorists are applicable to El Paso County when I go about neutralizing foreign criminal gangs like MS-13 and the drug cartels.
Much of this starts with good criminal intelligence, a capability I plan to develop and make robust when I am Sheriff. We’ll detect, identify, exploit, and ultimately neutralize these foreign criminal threats and shut down their enterprise that threatens our community. I’ll also fully support President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement goals. I’ll bring back the 287(g) joint enforcement program with ICE that the current Sheriff terminated in 2015.
Terrorism in our community is not to be taken lightly. With five major military installations in our county, we’re definitely on the terrorists’ radar. In 2014, the Middle East group al Qaeda placed Colorado Springs on its list of targeted communities in America.
We need to ready ourselves for such a possibility. I will ensure we develop solid joint planning CONOPS with all the stakeholders from across federal, military, state, and local agencies. We will then have to conduct joint training exercises so that the first time we meet and work through a scenario is not when a real bomb goes off.
It’s time to get tough on these serious threats, and no other candidate in this race has the credentials to match mine when it comes to doing just that.