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Sheriff race shaping up in El Paso County

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As El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa serves out his third, four-year term, the possibility of a 2014 Republican primary election is coming into view.

Jim Reid, county director of public services, filed for the office in mid-September. He joins Bill Elder, who worked for the Sheriff's Office for 20 years and now works with the Fountain Police Department ("Getting a jump on 2014," Noted, Nov. 14, 2012). Undersheriff Paula Presley, with the department for 28 years, has also said she'll consider a bid. She couldn't be reached for comment this week.

Before assuming his new gig in April, Reid served as commander of the Emergency Services division and oversaw the county's response to the Waldo Canyon Fire. He predicts the county's involvement in fires and their aftermath will dominate the Sheriff's Office in coming years, adding, "I'm the guy" to see the county through such tragedies.

Certified as a law enforcement officer a couple of years ago, Reid adds that he understands the sheriff's operation. In his commander role, Reid oversaw arson investigations, search and rescue, homeland security issues, hazard materials response and wildland firefighting.

He joined the Sheriff's Office after a 20-year Air Force career, during which he worked fires and terrorist attacks and supervised 300 to 400 people, he says. The California native retired as a master sergeant while serving at Peterson Air Force Base.

Reid vows to build on Maketa's existing programs, including the concealed carry program, the Citizens Academy and the detox facility. Like Maketa, he says he'll stand up for gun rights and also work for better safety programs, including the DARE program in schools. He also wants to address the jail's large mentally ill population by working within the community and with the state to find solutions.

Reid has an undergraduate degree in organizational management.

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