Dalessandri deserves another term | AspenTimes.com

Dalessandri deserves another term

For the last five years I have been employed by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department under the leadership of Sheriff Tom Dalessandri.

Sheriff Dalessandri is a terrific leader, always conducting county and department business conservatively and with the utmost integrity, giving his all for his employees and the citizens of Garfield County.

Sheriff Dalessandri truly cares for his employees and all the citizens he and his department serve. The new Garfield County Detention Facility, which he spent endless hours researching and planning so we’d have a jail that was best for the county and the taxpayers’ budget, is a monument to that caring.

Since Sheriff Dalessandri began his first term in office eight years ago, he has implemented many programs and sought after numerous grants to bring in revenues to help relieve taxpayer burden. Just in the last five years, these programs and grants will have brought in revenues in excess of $1 million by end of this year.

Grants received since 1998 include Federal and Civil COPS grants, an investigations grant, juvenile holding renovations grant, and grants for bulletproof vests, a fingerprint machine and a portable radar screen for traffic control and safety.

Programs implemented in the last five years include State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), inmate cost of care reimbursement, bond release fees (paid when bonding out of jail), and inmate medical reimbursement.

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For the last two and a half years, along with other duties, I have worked with the inmate cost of care program implemented by Sheriff Dalessandri. Sentenced inmates pay $15 per day for a portion of their housing costs. This usually is paid via monthly installments following an inmate’s release.

Though for years the Colorado Revised Statutes have allowed county sheriffs to charge inmates for cost of care, only a small percentage of sheriffs in the state have implemented such a program.

Since inception of our cost of care program in January, 2000, it has brought in revenues in excess of $128,000, with very limited administrative support those first two years. This year thus far, ex-inmates have paid Garfield County more than $53,000. Not only does this help the taxpayers, it also promotes persons taking further responsibility for their actions.

Another way that Sheriff Dalessandri is helping taxpayers is through the proposal he made to the Garfield County Commissioners, which subsequently was made part of the municipal prisoner housing agreements.

Sheriff Dalessandri proposed that all sentenced municipal inmates pay $15 cost of care for each day housed from date of sentencing forward. Therefore, municipalities are paying $15 per day for their pre-sentenced prisoners only.

Let’s give Sheriff Tom Dalessandri another four years as our sheriff to continue his tireless efforts on our behalf!

Andrea Faudree

Grand Junction

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