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Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons responds to accusations and questions that have been made in the past weeks. Inaccurate information is being circulated in regards to the Sheriff’s Office turnover rate, investigation case closures, & response times.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 11, 2018
Contact: Erin Opsahl
FACTUAL SUMMARY OF SHERIFF’S OFFICE RETENTION, INVESTIGATION CASE CLOSURE STATISTICS AND RESPONSE TIMES
SUMMIT COUNTY, CO – Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons responds to accusations and questions that have been made in the past weeks. Inaccurate information is being circulated in regards to the Sheriff’s Office turnover rate, investigation case closures, and our response times to calls.
“Turnover is a natural part of any business life cycle and government employment is not immune to employees leaving for a variety of reasons; employees have left the Sheriff’s Office for a change of living location, cost of housing, limits on job opportunities, disciplinary reasons, workplace stress, liability and risk, and differences with management over pay, benefits, and job performance expectations,” stated Sheriff FitzSimons.
Nationally, Law Enforcement employees have been leaving police positions at an increased attrition rate where the national average is around 14 percent per year. The number of employees departing Jail positions is even higher with the range between 20.8 to over 28 percent turnover rate depending upon the state of employment. These increases are significantly higher than the previous 16.1 percent turnover rate common in Jail employment prior to 2014. Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service and Pew Charitable Trusts.
“During my time as Sheriff, three employees have expressed dissatisfaction with a decision I made and the outcome of the previous Sheriff race in 2016. I stand by my record and have re-established a professional and ethical expectation of my employees, and understand this was not a good fit for some who previously worked here. I wish them the best in their new positons with other law enforcement agencies,” said Sheriff FitzSimons.
Sheriff FitzSimons commented, “With each employee departure I have taken the opportunity to examine job functions and efficiencies. New employees we have hired are hardworking, qualified, and professional in performing work that meets and exceeds the public expectation. I am proud of the quality of service we have provided to the public and will continue to provide under my leadership.”
The Sheriff’s Office is comprised of four Divisions. One of the four Divisions is the Office of Emergency Management which is staffed by one employee and has seen three new directors since June 2016. Because of the size of this Division, it was not included in the tables below; Source: Finance and Human Resources Departments of Summit County Government, October 2018 and included*.
This table shows the turnover percentage from 2014 to 2018 for the combined Sheriff, Jail and Animal Control Divisions and demonstrates the fluctuation under Sheriff Minor and Sheriff FitzSimons (each table below splits 2016 between the terms of Sheriff appointment).
This table shows the turnover from 2014 to 2018 for the Sheriff Division which includes the functions of Patrol, Investigations, Special Operations, Records, and Administration.
This table shows the turnover from 2014 to 2018 for the Jail Division which includes the functions of Jail Operations, Court Security, Civil, and Administration.
This table shows the departing employees indication for ‘reason for separating employment’ for the period 2014 to 2018. Information was not collected from every employee.
Legend: 1 = Employee moving out of area; 2 = Employee moving to Law Enforcement Agency in Summit County; 3 = Employee moving to Law Enforcement Agency out of Summit County; 4 = Employee terminated; 5 = Employee voluntary quit with no additional information provided
Criminal Investigation Case Closure Information
Sheriff FitzSimons stated, “I am proud of our Detectives who work tirelessly on complicated cases and the support they provide to victims by their thoroughness. Our relationship with the 5th Judicial District Attorney is a positive and productive relationship between law enforcement and prosecution. Through this partnership and hard work, our Detectives are clearing cases at a rate 5 percent above that of the state average”
According to the Colorado Department of Public Safety, the 2017 average clearance rates for the state of Colorado as a whole were 48 percent for violent crime and 20 percent for property crime (robbery, larceny (theft), burglary, fraud, motor vehicle theft). The Sheriff’s Office CIS 53 percent case closure rate includes both violent and property crimes. Source; Colorado Bureau of Investigations at https://coloradocrimestats.state.co.us/
It is worth noting that these statistics represent only cases opened by CIS. All cases reviewed by CIS are evaluated for solvability factors including, but not limited to, victim cooperation and viable leads. The Patrol Section investigates and closes many cases that never even get to CIS.
Response Time to Assaults in Progress
“It is disappointing that yet again disparaging public remarks are inaccurately portraying the response time to assaults in progress calls and raising questions from the public. These are the most frightening type of calls to the public and my deputies or the nearest police department officers are on scene most often in four minutes or less; on scene in under ten minutes between 64 - 69 percent of the time; on scene in under fifteen minutes in 80 - 85 percent of the time. I stand behind the level of public safety service provided by the men and women of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and am disheartened by the uninformed remarks being spread and questions raised as a result,” Sheriff Fitzsimons stated.
The Summit County Communications Center serves as the Dispatch Center for all public safety which includes law enforcement calls for service. The Communications Center underwent a computer software upgrade in 2018 and the table below provide detailed call type and call response information.