Sheriff Terry Maketa just announced Wednesday morning he will not seek a third term in office, explaining he has been approached about "several opportunities in the private and public sectors" that would likely keep him from finishing out his term if he were re-elected.
That leaves an open field for the job, with no one yet appearing on the secretary of state's database of registered candidates.
Maketa apparently kept his decision under tight wraps before informing his staff at a 9 a.m. meeting. Here's the press release the sheriff's office sent out at 11 a.m.:
SHERIFF TERRY MAKETA WILL NOT PURSUE RE-ELECTION
It is with a heavy heart that I announce I will not seek a third term as El Paso County Sheriff. I am approaching the end of my second term and feel as though I have served this community well. Over the past couple years; I have been approached with several opportunities in the private and public sectors. These are opportunities which may not always be available and would certainly increase the quality of life for me and my family. My family whole heartedly agrees, it is time for me to explore some of these new opportunities and challenges. This decision was not made without serious consideration. I believe the Sheriff’s Office is a great organization and deserves to have the leadership and passion I have given this past seven years. I believe I would do a disservice to seek third term with a high probability of not seeing it through the full four years. I know the Office will be in good hands and the next Sheriff of El Paso County will be leading a tremendous collection of quality people; with great opportunities to build on the momentum that exists today. I never intended to be a career politician, and the time is right to pass the baton and move on to new challenges.
I have had the pleasure to serve El Paso County for over 22 years as a member of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office During that time, I have been able to contribute at all levels of the organization serving in each rank within the Sheriff’s Office. I have been given many opportunities to make significant contributions to benefit this community and work along side of some truly amazing and dedicated people. One of the greatest professional honors was being elected to serve as Sheriff. Serving in this role is an honor that marks the pinnacle of a law enforcement career and an accomplishment not every person has the privilege to achieve.
I have had the honor to attend the prestigious FBI National Academy and the FBI National Executive Institute which provided wonderful opportunities to interact and develop relationships with law enforcement professionals from around the world. My two terms as Sheriff have been marked with many internal and community wide accomplishments. My administration witnessed the expansion to the Criminal Justice Center, we used a large tent to reinstate the work releaseprogram (previously eliminated due to budget constraints), and converted the old Metro Jail to a permanent work release facility with space for future growth utilizing revenues generated from offenders in the program. We expanded our volunteer programs, such as developing a new citizen’s patrol, the first of its kind in this community, to enhance public safety and better serve our citizens. We joined in partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to become the first and only Sheriff’s Office in the State of Colorado to have deputies commissioned as Federal Immigration Enforcement deputies, under the 287G program to aid in the investigation and deportation of illegal aliens. We were able to enter into an Inter Governmental Service Agreement (IGSA) for the housing of illegal aliens. The revenues generated were used to expand jail bed capacity, construct a detoxification facility, and help control costs to the county wide medical insurance benefits. We obtained accreditation under newly developed performance based standards in the jail, medical services, and law enforcement. The Office earned the coveted Triple Crown Award as well as the prestigious Flagship Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). These honors alone validate the professionalism and dedication of the staff I have had the opportunity to lead.
I could go on and on about the many accomplishments of our Office, but most importantly, I know in my heart, I have always done what I believe is best for the Office and our community. I have left this organization better then when I took over as the Sheriff. I will miss the people and always be so proud of what we accomplished and the service we delivered to our citizens. It is my intent to see this Office continue to succeed and I am committed to do what I can to insure there is a smooth transition in 2011.
Thank you for all your support and friendship.