Jefferson County, CO. – On March 31, 2020, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader implemented two additional law enforcement actions in response to COVID-19 concerns. Both initiatives are in effect through May 31, 2020, unless discontinued or extended. The new initiatives enhance efforts the Sheriff’s Office and partner public safety agencies have already made to help flatten the curve and reduce the risk of spread. Details of the new initiatives are provided in the attached documents.
Declaration Deputizing Eligible Peace Officers: Pursuant to the powers vested in the office of county sheriff by the State of Colorado, Sheriff Shrader deputizes all P.O.S.T.-certified peace officers employed by, and in good standing with, any law enforcement agency within Jefferson County. This action is intended to facilitate sharing of resources between agencies should the need arise, and to maximize law enforcement’s ability to continue to keep our communities safe.
Jefferson County New Arrest Standards: The Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies in Jefferson County are temporarily adopting new arrest standards to avoid unnecessary community spread of COVID-19 and reduce the potential for an outbreak to occur in the jail. The new standards balance the appropriateness of misdemeanor, felony, and warrant arrests with current public health crisis concerns, taking into consideration the effect the Governor’s Stay at Home Order has had on reducing crime.
While the new arrest standards remain in effect, individuals who have an outstanding warrant are encouraged to contact the jurisdiction from which the warrant was issued and arrange a court date to address the charges. When the new arrest standards are lifted, any leniency afforded through them will no longer apply and most county detention facilities will have an abundance of jail beds available.
Both initiatives allow for a uniform law enforcement response throughout Jefferson County, and were developed in collaboration with Jeffco public safety agencies. Executive officers of these agencies meet twice each week to share information and ensure continuity of public safety services for all communities within the county.
Sheriff Shrader explains that “while these actions are not ideal, we have to make preparations and take preventative measures to best ensure the public’s safety as well as that of first responders. Due to multiple collaborative efforts already in existence, such as the regional crime lab, dispatch center, and law enforcement training academy, I am confident any peace officer in the county can work effectively in any agency’s jurisdiction to enforce the new arrest standards and help ensure Jefferson County remains safe for everyone.”