Undersheriff Joos seeks election as county sheriff

Undersheriff Mike Joos

Undersheriff Mike Joos
Undersheriff Mike Joos
RBC I Rio Blanco County Undersheriff Michael Joos has thrown his hat into the race for Rio Blanco County Sheriff after a 39 year career in law enforcement which began as a police cadet with the Federal Heights (Colo.) Police Department in 1975.
“I believe this is just the right time in my career; I have done basically everything else in law enforcement at the city and county level,” Joos said. “Law enforcement is my career, and I love Rio Blanco County. I love Rangely and Meeker and I have enjoyed the blood, sweat and tears involved in all these years.
“I have enjoyed the people at the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office I have worked with these past 24 years,” he said. “And I believe I have played a role in bringing much-needed major changes to the sheriff’s office in the past 11 years that I have been undersheriff.”
“Being the elected sheriff isn’t just a title, it isn’t just reaching a goal, it’s being able to make a difference, to lead a great group of people who have dedicated themselves to helping others,” Joos said. “I want to give back to those people and our communities, which make where we all live such a great place and a safe place to raise our families and live our lives.”
Joos, 53, was born in Norfolk, Va., and was graduated from Westminster (Colo.) High School in 1978. He then attended Metro State College in Denver for a year.
He became a police cadet with the Federal Heights Police Department as a high school student in 1975, continuing until 1979. In 1979, he became a dispatcher with the FHPD and in 1981 became a reserve officer.
From March 1982 to 1987, Joos served as a regular police officer with the FHPD and his assignments included patrol, K-9, crime prevention and DUI-traffic. He also became a Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy (CLETA) certified officer after 302 hours of police academy in 1982.
In 1987, Joos was promoted to detective with the FHPD, assigned to crimes against property. He was also the lead accident reconstructor for all serious bodily injury and fatal traffic crashes within the city limits.
In 1988, he was promoted to senior police officer as the top officer in the patrol division and he continued as lead accident reconstructor.
In August 1990, Joos left Federal Heights and joined the Meeker Police Department as a patrol officer. Again he was lead accident reconstructor and accident investigation instructor for the two municipal law enforcement agencies in the county. He was also a defensive driving instructor.
In March 1995 through 2002, he was a lieutenant with the Meeker Police Department, second-in-command behind the chief of police. His job was management of all on-going felony investigations and case filings.
Joos remained the lead accident reconstructor and accident instructor at the sheriff’s office and the two municipal law enforcement agencies in the county. He also continued as a defensive driving instructor.
From January 2003 to the present, Joos has served under retiring Rio Blanco Sheriff Si Woodruff as undersheriff. As such, his responsibilities have included management of all daily operations for the RBCSO and detention center.
He has had direct supervision over the civil, detention, patrol, traffic and investigation divisions. He is still the lead accident reconstructor and accident investigation instructor for the sheriff’s office as well as Meeker and Rangely, and he continues to be a defensive driving instructor.
Joos is the father of four daughters: Kristen Houser (husband Tyler and grandson Tiernan Houser) in San Antonio, Texas; Kimberly Joos of Minneapolis; Stacy Joos of Fayetteville, N.C.; and Stephany Joos, a senior at Meeker High School.
As far as community service is concerned, he was a member of the Meeker Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in the early 1990s, served on the Pioneers Hospital Board in 2004/2005 and was an emergency medical technician (EMT) with Meeker Ambulance Service from 1993 to 1999.
“I am not seeking the position of sheriff as just another job,” Joos said. “It is my life and career,” Joos said. “It is nice to find yourself in position to help people or resolve issues that may come up.
“Yes, you certainly see bad things, but there is a lot more good than bad in a county like ours,” he said.
He said there really are no “good” calls to the sheriff’s office, “in that no one really calls just to see if we want to go to coffee,” he said. “But when you can resolve problems or comfort someone in time of need, it’s all worth it.”
“The tough side of the job is that in such a small community as this county, you know everyone; you may have to offer comfort to a family you know and sometimes you have to arrest your friends,” Joos said. “The calls you really hate, however, are when bad things happen to children. I have seen plenty of death scenes, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), auto accidents and drownings.
“We have to deal with death often and then move on with life,” he said. “When that death involves a child, it certainly hits you a lot harder.”
If Joos wins election, he said he does not anticipate any major policy or philosophy changes.
“There certainly will be personnel changes with retirements, promotions, etc.,” he said. “But I believe the sheriff’s office is running very well – although suggestions are always welcome and I would certainly listen if someone has some good ideas for the department.”
“I believe this sheriff’s office has come a long way in the past 11 years,” Joos said. “I’ve played, I believe, a large role in that progress over the years.
“I believe I’m the best candidate and I believe my track record speaks for itself,” he said. “I have a very strong work ethic, I treat people honestly, fairly and all the same, and I will continue to keep a personal presence in Rangely and Meeker after I am elected.
“I believe the sheriff should be visible to all residents in the county, and that is what the sheriff and I have been doing for the past several years — being visible in Meeker and visiting Rangely at least once a week.”
Joos is POST certified in administration of justice, basic law, patrol procedures, traffic/accident reconstruction and breath-testing instruments.
In addition, Joos has more than 2,500 hours of in-service training in firearms, traffic enforcements (radar, DUI, etc.), traffic crash investigation, hazardous materials, crime risk management, leadership training, sex crimes investigation, police media relations (as public information officer), search and seizure, instructing, crime scene investigation, homicide investigation, domestic violence, defensive driving, liquor codes, first aid and CPR, interview and interrogation and air crash-scene disaster safety and investigation.
“I want to continue doing the work I have been doing my entire adult life, and I want to continue to do it where I have been for the past 24 years — in Rio Blanco County,” Joos said. “Being a cop isn’t just a job, it’s a career — one I started 37 years ago.”
Joos has also instructed at law enforcement academies in Colorado and Wyoming and at law enforcement agencies in more than half of the counties in Colorado.

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