May 23, 2013: Graduation/Memorial Weekend means celebrations and fun for many of Pueblo’s families. For some it also means increased consumption of alcoholic beverages. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to enjoy the festivities of the long weekend in moderation, this weekend especially. DUI’s, DWAI’s, and alcohol related traffic accidents can all increase when family and friends gather to celebrate. The desired outcome is never a weekend in the Pueblo County Jail, but unfortunately that will be the reality for some.
This weekend the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office will increase the number of patrol cars on the roads of Pueblo County. The primary objective for these deputies will be to watch for potentially impaired drivers.
In Colorado the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for a person 21 years or older is .08 for Driving under the Influence (DUI) and .05 for Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). Anyone under the age of 21 is not legally allowed to drink so any BAC above .01 will have significant ramifications. The National Transportation & Safety Agency chart isn’t a guarantee but it is a good guideline for adults who aren’t sure what their limits are.
An understanding among friends before the celebrating begins is one way to stay out of trouble. “The designated driver approach is a great movement. A friend or family member that will agree to stay sober while others drink alcohol is a hero. They watch out for their friends’ best interest and then get them home safely. Have the conversation about transportation before everyone starts drinking and hand over the keys right then. We want everyone home safe this weekend.” says Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor.
May 22, 2013
May 22, 2013: On May 20, 2013, Pueblo West resident Joshua B. George turned himself in on a Felony Sexual Assault warrant. Deputies found probable cause to request the charge after a 32-year-old female reported George continued sexual advances and, in fact had sex with her after she repeatedly told him “No”.
The incident occurred in October of 2012 while the female was a guest in the George’s home.
After George turned himself in he posted $50,000 bond.
May 17, 2013
May 17, 2013: At 11:30 PM Pueblo County Sheriff’s deputies were on routine patrol when a suspicious parked truck caught the attention of Deputy Mike McCluskey on Pueblo Blvd near 31st Street. He noticed a pair of sunglasses outside the truck and upon inspection noticed the abandoned blue 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 still had keys in the ignition and there was a purse located in the back seat. The Colorado State Patrol responded and assisted.
At 1230 AM Paul Blasi and Marian Krol asked that deputies respond to their property in the 23000 Block of Iris Rd to report four trucks stolen. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Communications Center recognized the address of the caller was the same as the registered owner of the abandoned truck found earlier.
When deputies arrived on Iris Rd Mr. Blasi indicated they had a total of four vehicles stolen. A silver 2003 Dodge Dually 4×4, a white Ford F-350 4×4 and a red in color 1999 Ford F150 4×4. All were missing from the property. After the report was taken, the two headed toward Pueblo Blvd to retrieve the Dodge Ram that was found there just over an hour ago by Deputy McCluskey. While enroute,they witnessed two of their trucks driving down the road (The white Ford and Silver Dodge) and pursued them a short distance while responding to the Pueblo Boulevard area to retrieve their other truck. The owners followed one truck to the area of Chantala (East Pueblo)where the suspect pulled over and fled on foot, eventually jumping enough fences that Mr. Blasi waited for arriving sheriff’s deputies and the Colorado State Patrol.
In total three vehicles were located by the deputies and the owners, all were processed and returned. The silver Dodge was located in Pueblo West where witnesses stated two males left the vehicle on the side of the road and walked away. The red F150 is still considered stolen at this time. Earlier in the evening an automobile fire was reported on Cortner Road and 27th Lane, it was considered suspicious and may be related to the remaining stolen truck. The vehicle was a total loss and will have to be identified after processing.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor stated this case turned three-quarters to the better due to alert property owners and law enforcement working together. The investigation will continue some persons of interest in this case have been tentatively identified. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office would encourage anyone who may have information to contact 583-6250 Communications or 542-STOP (7867) to remain anonymous.
May 15, 2013
May 15, 2013. Captain DeFusco was killed in the line of duty in August 2012 after he and retired Police Captain John Barger were surveying the second largest marijuana “grow” in state history. The grow was in the beginning stages of being harvested by a Drug Cartel believed to be from Mexico.
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office participated this week in the events known as “National Police Week”. In 1962 President John F. Kennedy declared that May 15th would be known as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. The National Law Enforcement Memorial is located in Washington DC. There are 19, 981 officers with their names placed on the memorial. In 2012, 120 officers nationwide lost their lives in the line of duty and they were placed on the wall. Additionally 201 historical finds of officers killed in the line of duty were posthumously placed on the wall based on historical reviews of how they died. Last year the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office sent a contingent of deputies and honor guard to place the name of W.W. Green on the wall who was killed in 1919 in the jail by an inmate who had a gun smuggled in. The gun was smuggled in by way of picnic basket suspected to have been brought by the inmate’s girl friend.
In memory of Leide W. DeFusco, the sheriff’s office sent a contingent of co-workers some of whom worked non-stop to find then recover the missing plane, the whole time hoping for a different outcome. It is important to note the forfeited money seized federally from convicted drug dealers which is shared with law enforcement was used to pay for the trip.
The non-profit group SAFE (Sheriff’s Assistance for Employees) raised over $7000.00 to send Captain DeFusco’s family to Washington DC as well.
The week is dedicated to the family of the fallen officer and to co-workers and fellow officers. It is estimated 20,000 people were present today for the official ceremony and President Barack Obama delivered the keynote address to families, colleagues, friends and supporters of such organizations. The National Law Enforcement Memorial can be observed online at nleom.org and (COPS) Concerns for Police Survivors National Organization plays a large role in providing contemporary structured training and debriefing sessions during the week.
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard competed for the second year and we expect the results to be favorable to their hard work over the weeks.
There was a somber candlelight vigil Monday May 13, 2013 attended by United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the National President of COPS Madeline Neumann.
Attorney General Holder made note of the fact that fallen officers such as Leide will have “their legacies and contributions always endure” Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor echoed the Attorney General by stating “today we placed my friend, my colleague and my captain forever on a wall so that all who pass by will know, he is remembered.”
In Washington DC there are plans to open soon a museum close to the Memorial which will contain mementos, plaques and memories of those killed in the line of duty. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s dedicated a replica plane and plaque for the museum complete with signatures from co-workers, family and friends of both men killed August 31, 2012.
It is important that family and fellow officers, co-workers and friends be allowed to find closure if ever that were possible completely, the Memorial Week in Washington DC goes a long way to attempt healing with classes, special events and genuine care. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office was glad to participate, but heavy hearted for the circumstances that required it.
May 13, 2013
May 13, 2013: A 54 year old woman who went hiking with her two dogs this afternoon lost her way and needed emergency crews to rescue her. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call from the woman’s concerned son after she called him and said she didn’t know where in the park she was. He spoke to her last at 2:20 pm but then her cell phone died. Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies and Beulah Valley Fire and EMS volunteers were immediately dispatched to the area. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Volunteer Search and Rescue Team was also dispatched to assist. She and her dogs were found, thirsty but safe just after 4:00 pm.
The short Search and Rescue effort is a good opportunity to remind people that will be taking advantage of the warm weather this week and in the coming months to be prepared when they hike.
• It is important that you let someone know where you will be and when to expect you back.
• Go with a “buddy” whenever possible.
• Bring plenty of water with you to avoid dehydration.
• Wear layers because Colorado weather changes quickly.
• Bring a fully charged cell phone and a hand held GPS.
• Carry a whistle and flashlight for signaling.
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office credits the safe rescue of the woman to the Beulah Fire and EMS team members that found her. “We are lucky that the communities around us have such robust volunteer programs. Beulah, Rye, Boone, West Park, and our own agency all rely on the feeling of civic responsibility that drives people to volunteer. This event is a perfect example of how people that know the area, that can get there quickly, and that find the time to give, make all the difference.” says Undersheriff JR Hall.
If you would like to volunteer for any of these agencies, contact them directly or call Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Bureau at 719/583-6204.
May 3, 2013
May 3, 2013: The Pueblo Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) annual exercise will be held on Wednesday, May 8. The exercise is scheduled to start at approximately 9 a.m. and conclude in the early afternoon. This annual event has been designed to test participants’ response capabilities to two simulated emergencies and to have that response effort federally evaluated.
Members of the American Red Cross, ACOVA, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Pueblo Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Pueblo School District 70,Pueblo City-County Health Department, Pueblo Chemical Depot, Pueblo Board of County Commissioners, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, Otero Junior College, Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), Pueblo City Schools, Pueblo Memorial Airport, both Parkview and St. Mary-Corwin Medical Centers, and the Fire Departments of Rye, Pueblo, Pueblo West, West Park, Boone, and Rural will all participate.
The exercise scenario will involve a simulated chemical incident at Pueblo Chemical Depot and another non-related emergency within Pueblo County requiring the activation of the Pueblo County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the Pueblo Community Joint Information Center (JIC), shelters, and field decontamination and treatment facilities.
Four of Pueblo’s public warning capabilities will be tested during the exercise. The Emergency Telephone Notification System will call people in the community of Boone the evening before. Electronic signboards will also be set in the area of the exercise the night prior. In addition, twenty outdoor warning sirens located in the emergency zones surrounding the Pueblo Chemical Depot will be tested Wednesday at noon and tone alert radios, which serve as a warning for people who are indoors, will sound a test message shortly after the exercise begins.
Citizens may see exercise related activity at several locations. The responders may be dressed in full protective equipment and mock accident victims will receive realistic looking injury make-up called “moulage”. Emergency equipment and vehicles will be deployed to Pueblo Memorial Airport, the Town of Boone, Pueblo Chemical Depot, Parkview Medical Center, Parkview West, and St Mary-Corwin Medical Center.
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor knows exactly how beneficial these evaluations can be. “This year likely has us ending our exercise efforts in our current Emergency Operations Center. The fact is, it was during one of these exercises that our federal evaluators confirmed what we already knew, we needed a new EOC here in Pueblo County. The funding for our PCSO Emergency Services Center is a direct result of conversations we had after the 2010 CSEPP Exercise. Construction on the new building should be completed before next year’s event.”
For more information on CSEPP or the exercise, contact Lisa Shorter at Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services Bureau at (719) 924-0474.
April 24, 2013
April 27, 2013: Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help Pueblo’s citizens dispose of old, unused prescription medications. This Saturday, April 27th is the Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
It is a free and anonymous way to turn over these pills for destruction. Once these medications have passed their expiration many become unsafe to take. Also, if the pills are not destroyed, they could fall into the hands of people that use these pills for a purpose other than their intended one.
Citizens are encouraged to check their medicine chests and turn in any unused items to the following locations between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM on Saturday:
Pueblo Rural Fire Station
24941 Highway 50 East
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Pueblo West Sub-station
320 E Joe Martinez Blvd
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Colorado City Sub-station
4497 Bent Brothers
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor believes it is important for Pueblo to take part. “We have a large senior population, many whom have a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions they didn’t use up, or couldn’t use at all and it is important that we give them a way to dispose of them safely. We get calls asking when the next one of these events is, so I knew we had to make ourselves available to support this effort.”
April 24, 2013: National Volunteer Appreciation Week is this week. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office has over 100 volunteers that dedicate their time to making a difference in the Pueblo Community.
PCSO volunteer teams include:
Explorer Cadets: The Explorer Program is modeled from ideals set forth by the Boys and Girls Scouts of America. The program is designed to educate the young adults, on the mission and goals used by law enforcement agencies. The program provides the teens of Pueblo County the opportunity to observe and interact in real life experiences, current training trends and career opportunities within the realm of law enforcement.
Fire, Search & Dive Team Members: This 3 team group has the responsibility to meet the Sheriff’s statutory responsibilities of providing wildland fire suppression, and coordinating search and rescue. Team members are trained in several areas, including: Basic First Aid/CPR, HazMat awareness, wildland firefighting, search and rescue, dive rescue/recovery, and National Incident Management System.
Reserve Deputies: The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Reserves consists of P.O.S.T. certified volunteers. Duties include assisting the Sheriff’s Office with special events, extra manpower for Patrol, special security assignments, transit system patrol, and any other duties as needed by the agency.
PCSO Couriers: Couriers pride themselves in providing reliable daily, high quality service. This close knit group is made up of useful and dependable citizen volunteers that are responsible for providing a daily delivery service between the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Offices.
ACOVA Advocates: ACOVA volunteers serve all victims of crime or circumstance when called upon. They are committed to ensuring the rights of victims and meeting their needs by offering support and information regarding appropriate community resources. This team often responds for immediate crisis intervention but is also available for victim follow-up and referral to support agencies.
Community Service Officers: This team of civilian volunteers performs general to complex duties in a non-sworn capacity in support of the Pueblo County Sheriff Office. Operations, services, and functions including but not limited to the areas of patrol, traffic, community policing, records, front-desk, investigations, crime lab, and program or project implementation and management.
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank these men and women, and the other volunteers through-out Pueblo County for their contributions. Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor says, “Our volunteers make this organization work. Many of them put in hundreds of hours a year to find missing persons, extinguish fires, supplement our patrol force, shuttle our paperwork, or support victim needs. There is no doubt their service makes a difference in the protection of our citizens.” Anyone interested in volunteering for any of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office teams can contact Sherri Herrera 719/583-6204.
April 17, 2013
Pueblo City and County to Honor Crime Victims and Advocates at National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Opening Event
April 17, 2013: Pueblo will open 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 21-27) with a ceremony recognizing local victims of crime and local champions of crime victims’ rights. At the center of the recognition ceremony will be a ribbon tree. Local residents are encouraged to adorn the tree with provided ribbons in tribute to victims of crime.
This year’s theme—New Challenges. New Solutions.—celebrates the spirit that will advance the progress these heroes achieved. 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the Colorado Victim Rights Act. Victim Advocates face a host of new challenges as they strive to provide culturally competent services for increasingly diverse populations (e.g., seniors, teens, immigrant populations) and victims of newly prevalent crimes (e.g., trafficking and technology-related stalking and identity theft). As funding sources decrease, providers must target their services even more strategically. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will be held April 21–27 in communities throughout the nation.
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office ACOVA Coordinator, Jennifer Olmstead, knows firsthand the challenges the program faces but also praises how far it has come. “Through decades of advocacy and hard work, we have come a long way. During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week we are reminded of the many challenges that remain both for us and those we are striving to support.” In 2012 alone, the ACOVA program here in Pueblo helped 3432 victims. The twenty volunteers in our community are available 24/7 to make sure victims of crime know their rights, have access to support services, and a person to count on when they are feeling alone or victimized.
The City and County of Pueblo will observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with special events and programs, including a Proclamation to be held at the Pueblo County Courthouse steps on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 11:00AM. The keynote speaker for the event will be former 10th Judicial District Attorney Gus Sandstrom. Mr. Sandstrom was instrumental in getting the Victim Rights Act passed in Colorado; other speakers will include representatives from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, Board of County Commissioners, City Council, Pueblo Police Department and the 10th Judicial District Attorney Jeff Chostner. The public is encouraged to attend.
April 16, 2013
April 16, 2013: A 12-year-old Liberty Point International School student is being interviewed by Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office detectives after school officials notified the sheriff’s office the child brought a handgun to school. The weapon was not loaded, no ammunition was found, and it was determined the child was acting independently. Since the threat was removed quickly, the school day continued as scheduled. PCSO investigators are working with the District Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate charges.
The school notified PCSO at approximately 0730 that a young man was in the office because two other students reported he may have a gun in his possession. The two students immediately reported the information to a teacher. The boy was taken into the office of the Dean of Students and searched. A gun was found in that office close to where the boy was sitting and he was taken into custody by the PCSO School Resource Officer.
Pueblo School District #70 has spoken to the student body and the staff about the situation and will be posting an informational letter to their website. Every student at the school has also been given a copy of the letter for their families to read. Superintendent, Ed Smith knows this type of situation, although not common in Pueblo, must be handled swiftly and appreciates the relationship the schools and law enforcement have here. “It appears this young man has made a very poor choice. That choice will have lasting consequences both at school and with law enforcement. There are heroes in this story too. Two students made the right choice today. They came to the staff right away and reported their concerns. These are the types of young adults our district strives for and we praise them.”
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor is staying in close contact with the detectives handling the case. “Investigations Captain Teschner is leading this investigation and has been talking with the young man and his father for some time now. The gentleman is helping us in any way he can. The staff at this school should be commended for their handling of the situation.”