Eagle County Sheriff Hoy will address El Jebel staffing levels | AspenTimes.com

Eagle County Sheriff Hoy will address El Jebel staffing levels

BASALT – Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy wants to arrest some rumors about his alleged plans for paring back patrols in the Basalt-El Jebel part of his territory.

Hoy said he shared concerns this summer with some homeowners in the Roaring Fork Valley about tough decisions he must make because of budget cuts. “From there it kind of took on legs of its own,” he said.

Various e-mails have circulated among midvalley residents, some merely saying that Hoy will hold a meeting in El Jebel on Sept. 27. Others sounded an alarm that deputies will stop patrolling western Eagle County.

Hoy said his management staff has pared about $1.75 million out of the sheriff’s department budget for 2011 without reducing the patrol in the Basalt-El Jebel area.

“Right now, I don’t see any impact, as of today,” he said.

What remains to be seen is if the Eagle County commissioners will require deeper cuts, he said. If so, he might have to revisit one of the options his management staff explored: reducing coverage to an officer on call during periods where call volume is traditionally low, such as 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.

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The Basalt Police Department already has mutual aid agreements with Eagle County in which town officers will assist deputies on calls with the potential for violence. Hoy said he wouldn’t support Eagle County contracting out all law enforcement services to Basalt.

Hoy will hold a meeting to discuss his plans in greater detail at 6:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 27, at the Eagle County building in El Jebel. All residents are invited to attend.

scondon@aspentimes.com