BY CHRIS LUCHINI
Candidate For Los Alamos County Sheriff
The 2016 referendum to eliminate the Sheriff as an officer of the County of Los Alamos failed by only about a 5 percent margin. Reasonable people were on both sides of the debate and that election. Given that the referendum failed, and the current status of the lawsuit Lucero vs Los Alamos County, there is and will be a Sheriff’s Office for the foreseeable future. Given that reality, everyone on both sides of the 2016 referendum has an interest that the Sheriff’s Office is a positive institution that adds value to the residents of Los Alamos.
I intend to use the office of Sheriff to execute in the most financially efficient manner possible the duties that are recognized by whatever the applicable court ruling is at the time. Currently, those duties are maintenance of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) Registry and service of Civil Process. Since ~2016 however, the Los Alamos Police Department has been doing both of these tasks, with the expenses charged to the LAPD budget.
I intend, if elected, to the greatest extent possible to shift the burden and expense of those tasks to the Sheriff’s Office. There are currently only 7 registered sex offenders residing in Los Alamos County and two additional who commute to Los Alamos for their jobs. While the burden of re-registration four times per year for these individuals is small, the work should still be done by Sheriff’s Office personnel and charged to the Sheriff’s Office budget.
Similarly, I’ve been told that the number of services of Civil Process is about 10 per month. It seems very inefficient to use a $90,000 a year police officer to serve those papers when a $7,000 a year Sheriff can do the same job of handing someone an envelope of paperwork. Occasionally, papers will have to be served by an LAPD officer if the person to be served has a violent criminal history, however I’ve been told that such a situation only arises about once a year.
Finally, character matters. The Sheriff must be someone who will actually do their job, and only do their job, not invent new tasks outside of those allowed by the current court ruling – someone that realizes that the Sheriff’s position is an administrative one. I am that person.
I have the character and willingness to do the job, and I ask for your vote.