Fremont County

Locals react to Fremont County Sheriff's Office drama

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. - The Fremont County community is demanding answers after learning four more Sheriff's Deputies are now on administrative leave. 

According to our news partners at the Pueblo Chieftain, there are a total of 11 deputies that have been placed on administrative leave since the beginning of 2017. 

However, there are only eight deputies currently on leave, because two returned to duty after a investigation revealed no wrongdoing. Another deputy retired after being on leave for four months.

Sheriff Beicker confirmed the four deputies placed on leave were due to HR issues and not any corruption.

We received a consistent response from people stating they're concerned about the lack of transparency from the Sheriff's office.

Local reaction

Lana Oswalt moved to Canon City 15 years ago.

"We'd only  been here a couple of weeks when our house was robbed, but the Sheriff's department found the person and recovered every single piece of jewerly," she said.

Oswalt always thought the Sheriff's office was consistently dependable.

"They were awesome at first," Oswald said. "But that feeling faded... I don't know how everything started deteriorating."

Oswalt had a friend that used to work for the department that decided to leave.

"The leadership is what has affected people leaving," she said. "And also things that have come out that were never addressed when they should have been."

Martha Sellen had similar concerns.

"When they're taken away and put on leave, it leaves the community unprotected," said Sellen. "I worry about our safety as a community."

Other residents who wish to remain anonymous said it's common for people to complain about the Sheriff's office.

"People always report you know they pull people over for no reason, and they're always aggressive."

The problem?

Now that the four deputies who are on leave were responsible for supervising the rest of the patrol division...many wonder who is going to take on that responsibility?

We contacted Sgt. Megan Richards, the spokeswoman for the Sheriff's office, multiple times for a comment but didn't hear back until later Tuesday afternoon.

Other people said they agree with the Sheriff's department - stating it's what it takes to get the job done.

"If we need to get better people in there and that's what it takes... then put them on leave," said Shawn Kingston, a local resident. "If we do something wrong, then we deserve the consequences."

For now, these unanswered questions continue to linger.

"I feel like I'm in the dark, I'd like to know why such a strong department all of a sudden started deteriorating," said Oswalt.

Leaving the rest of the community searching for answers.

"The citizens just want transparency."

Note: The Sheriff's department has contacted us stating Sheriff Beicker will be making a statement Tuesday at 1 p.m. 

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