Pitco offers to help in Kobe media crush | AspenTimes.com

Pitco offers to help in Kobe media crush

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The media circus has hit Eagle County – and if law enforcement there needs help keeping unruly journalists at bay, they can call on their neighbors in Pitkin County.

Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis said Tuesday that he has offered to lend deputies to Eagle County as Kobe Bryant, the NBA star charged with sexual assault, prepares to make his first court appearance. Eagle County is already working overtime to handle media requests surrounding the case – as well as recent threats made against the Eagle County District Attorney’s Office – and could use a helping hand, Braudis reasoned.

Bryant will likely be in court on Aug. 6 for an advisement hearing. The proceedings could “be over in five minutes,” Braudis said, but the media crush will certainly last throughout the day. Television cameras will be stationed both inside and outside the courtroom.

Pitkin County deputies could be on hand to provide courtroom security or to handle the traffic jams caused by Bryant’s first court appearance, Braudis said.

“If they need us, we can send a couple of guys to man a position outside the courthouse or at a traffic intersection,” he said.

The sheriff’s offer stems from a statewide mutual aid agreement, which allows taxed law enforcement agencies to seek help from their neighbors. Pitkin County has been on the receiving end of this agreement, Braudis said, and the time has come to return the favor.

“We were the beneficiary of that mutual aid during both of Clinton’s presidential visits here,” he said. Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies also provided aid last summer when a wildfire threatened the Thompson Creek area near Carbondale.

Eagle County has yet to accept Pitkin County’s offer, Braudis said.

[Jennifer Davoren’s e-mail address is jenniferd@aspentimes.com]

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