November 21, 2019
Over the past several months The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, local law enforcement and first responders and the citizens of Chaffee County have experienced both large-scale and life-changing events.
All of this started when the Decker Fire entered Chaffee County and made a run towards our residents on Methodist Mountain, threatening both property and the lives of our residents. At that very moment that the fire headed towards Salida, your local law enforcement, fire personnel, EMTs, U.S. Forest Service personnel, as well as both county and city officials, sprung into action. Within a short amount of time, our residents were making an orderly evacuation from their homes and our shelter was set up and ready to accept evacuees.
The Red Cross was there in no time ready to assist. Our local radio stations responded to begin to get information out to those affected, and our citizens immediately began to offer assistance to any and all that were in need. As all this unfolded, I watched with very proud and appreciated eyes and realized that at times, we have differences, but we, as Chaffee County residents, are the very best when we are at our worst.
On Nov. 5, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office lost Deputy Roy Williams. This was a huge loss to both the sheriff’s office and the community he served. As the news spread of Roy’s passing, it became quite clear of the bond that has been built between our local law enforcement agencies, EMTs, firefighters and other first responders. We, as citizens, should be very proud of the men and women who are so dedicated not only to one another but to providing professional service to our communities. Combine this with the outpouring of support and love expressed by our community, and once again, it proved that Chaffee County is one of the best places to live and raise our children.
As your sheriff, I am very proud of my employees, all first responders and the residents of Chaffee County. It is times like these that a huge thanks need to be said.
John A. Spezze
Chaffee County Sheriff