Name: Tyler Brown
Profession: Arapahoe County sheriff
I was elected sheriff of Arapahoe County by the citizens of Arapahoe County, effective January 8, 2019. As sheriff, I have the responsibility for the overall operation of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office and the 800 members who are proud to serve the community. As a full-service sheriff’s office, the major functions and operating components include patrol, detentions, investigations, dispatch, budget, emergency management, human resources and professional standards.
I currently sit on the board of the Unified Metropolitan Forensic Crime Lab; co-chair of the Highlands Ranch Law Enforcement Training Foundation (Facility); and am on the board of the Arapahoe County Justice Coordinating Committee.
Amid national conversations of police reform, what changes do you think are needed in policing in Arapahoe County?
The men and women of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office do an amazing job providing law enforcement services to our citizens . We are a CALEA-accredited law enforcement agency, which means we open our policies and procedures to outside review annually and participate in an on-site review every four years. We are the only sheriff's office in the nation's history to attain triple crown accreditation under four different sheriffs. We continually strive to be on the cutting edge of procedures and technology to meet the needs of our citizens.
How would you address the public’s desire for accountability and transparency?
I will continue to comply with all state statutes in Senate Bill 217 as well as expanding our digital evidence program to ensure transparency into investigations.
What are your solutions for bringing crime rates down?
During my time as sheriff we’ve created a special investigations unit which is responsible for taking over 75,000 tabs of illegal fentanyl off the street. I will continue to work with legislators and the governor's office to ensure that we have the proper tools equipment and statutes to make Colorado one of the safest states in the nation.
We have also created a special response team whose job is to work with patrol teams and community partners to address specific areas of the county which are experiencing criminal activity.
How would you combat the ongoing fentanyl crisis?
As I mentioned before we’ve created a special investigations unit to attack the fentanyl crisis head-on. This unit of highly trained investigators is going after the source and distributors of this poison. I will also continue to work with legislators to push them to have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the possession of fentanyl.
Due to the increase in overdoses we’ve made it mandatory that every deputy carry two doses of Narcan with them to assist individuals who have overdosed. We also have a very robust medicated assisted treatment program at the Arapahoe County detention facility which is used on a regular basis to assist people who are in custody with getting off opiates.
What are your views on the need to replace the current Arapahoe County jail?
The Arapahoe County detention facility was built in 1986 for 386 people in custody. Through triple-bunking and two expansions we have a capacity of 1,458 beds. The original infrastructure for the jail has stayed the same and our model for treating individuals in custody has changed and we need a facility which still has the ability to hold individuals accountable for their actions but also provide them with resources so when they are returned to our community they are stronger and less likely to reoffend.
What are you plans for enforcing Red Flag laws?
I will continue to enforce Red Flag orders or Extreme Risk Protection Orders in conjunction with the due process of court proceedings. This tool allows law enforcement officers to work in conjunction with the courts to afford people due process and also make sure individuals who are experiencing mental health issues aren’t in possession of firearms. Since the passing of this bill the sheriff's office has rarely had to intervene in any situation.
How would you address the threat of school shootings and mass public shootings?
We’ve expanded our school resource officer program. It’s not only adding more deputies but utilizing new tools such as therapy dogs to allow students to create positive relationships with deputies. These positive relationships break down barriers and allow for communication from staff students and family members to deputies, which allows us to address situations before they become violent. We also offer community base training for businesses to be able to recognize signs and to allow deputies to have early intervention into situations therefore reducing the risk of violent encounters.
What changes do you think should be implemented in the sheriff's office to improve and/or make the community safer?
One of the biggest changes should be making sure our deputies and staff are compensated appropriately so we can maintain appropriate staff levels across our agency. One of the big changes I implemented during my first term was the creation of an internal law enforcement academy to train deputies to serve the citizens of Arapahoe County. The academy was created to ensure our deputies were trained to the high standards that are demanded to serve the citizens of this fine county. I will continue to advocate for our deputies and law-enforcement officers across the state to ensure we have the tools and laws to make Colorado one of the safest places to live, work, and play. We have an amazing staff and I want to thank the men and women of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office for their service.