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RBC I Anthony Mazzola of Meeker, currently the chief investigator for the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, announced Nov. 25 that he will be seeking election to the office of Rio Blanco County Sheriff, to succeed long-time Sheriff Si Woodruff, who is retiring.
Mazzola has “proudly” served the public since 1985, he said, when he entered the U.S. Army, serving for 4.5 years and then again in 1990 when he was recalled for Operation Desert Storm.
“Soon after my return from Desert Storm, I began my law enforcement career with the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, beginning as a jailer and quickly working my way through the ranks to patrol deputy, then on to investigator and then on to administration,” he said.
“For eight out of my 18 years at the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, I served as undersheriff, working very closely with the sheriff, the county commissioners and the residents of Rio Blanco County.
“I promise to do the best I can and to support Rangely as well as Meeker,” he said. “I will make my presence known quite often in Rangely, where I believe it is important to let the residents there know I care as much about them and other rural areas as much as I care about Meeker. They are all county residents and I want to represent and serve the entire county.”
In 2008, Mazzola was offered the job of investigator for the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
“To continue my experience and education in the law enforcement field, I accepted the job,” he said. “After just four years, I was appointed as chief investigator, the position I currently fill.”
Mazzolla was born in Denver, Colo., but his family moved to Steamboat Springs in 1969, when his father purchased and operated an Italian restaurant.
“I credit my father for a tireless work ethic,” Mazzola said. “I can remember washing dishes for him at the restaurant while having to stand on a milk crate. In 1978, while I still attended high school, my father moved our family to Meeker, where he opened another Italian restaurant.” He (Mazzola) is a graduate of Meeker High School.
“It was here in Meeker where I met my wife to be, and, at 19 years old, I married my life partner, Cheryl, in Meeker,” he said. “I am proud to share that we just celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary.
The Mazzolas have one son, Anthony (Bubba), who is currently enrolled at Colorado State University, majoring in mechanical engineering. He will be working for Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (H&P) this summer as an intern.
“I strongly believe in giving back to the community,” Mazzola said. “I am very active in the Meeker Lions Club, where I served as president for two years. Under my direction, the Meeker Lions Club was awarded the non-profit organization of the year (award) in 2012.”
Currently, Mazzola serves as president of the board of directors of White River Electric Association.
“My philosophy for law enforcement is to emphasize the ‘Serve’ in ‘Protect and Serve,’” he said. “I very well understand who I would ultimately be working for and who would ultimately be paying my salary.
“I am a conservative who strongly believes in the Constitution of the United States,” Mazzola said. “I swore an oath when I entered the U.S. Army, I swore the oath when I was appointed chief investigator for the 9th Judicial District and I will continue to uphold the oath that ‘I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against enemies, foreign and domestic; and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.’”
Mazzola has also had an abundance of specialized training in law enforcement, including: Current member of the FBI’s Western Slope Joint Terrorist Task Force; has taught crime scene investigations class at the CNCC Police Academy; classes specializing in homicide and death scenes, crime scene evidence search and collection, interview and interrogations, financial crimes, criminal investigation, computer and electronic crimes; is currently a member of the National White Collar Crime Center; trained with the FBI’s SWAT and Hostage Rescue Team; was in charge of Search and Rescue in Rio Blanco for approximately 15 years, with specialized training in the incident command system, rope rescue and managing a lost person incident and he has been an instructor for arrest control and police driving teaching and certifying both the Sheriff’s Office and Meeker Police Department.
Also, he has earned the credentialed cooperative director and board leadership certificates from the National Rural Electric Association. This training included classes in communications with the public, fiduciary responsibilities, ethics, strategic planning, financial decision making and emergency response planning, which will complement his experience as a law enforcement officer; and he has attended numerous hours of training from the Colorado County Sheriff’s Association when he was undersheriff, focusing on administrative duties and responsibilities.