History of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office was founded in 1883
The first Sheriff in Mesa County, Martin Florida, was appointed by the Governor of Colorado in February of 1883 and served until the first election for the office of Sheriff. In November 1883, William Innes became Mesa County's first elected Sheriff. There has been a strong tie between Mesa County's sheriffs and the pioneer ranching and farming activities. Many sheriffs over the last century have left office to become important figures in these two industries.
These elected officials also represent the changing culture of western Colorado as it has faced a growing population, boom and bust cycles, the challenges of wet and dry issues during Prohibition, and agricultural and industrial concerns.
Over the years, there have been many apparent changes in the Mesa County Sheriff's Office as well as the profession of law enforcement. The changes have been dramatic from, horses and wagons to high-performance vehicles, single-action revolvers to ultra-modern semi-automatic weapons, and leather-bound tomes of handwritten records to computers and digital technology.
Throughout the decades and despite these changes, Mesa County sheriffs have remained committed to eight statutory functions:
- Custodian of the jail/Detention Facility
- Civil process service
- Courthouse security
- Inmate transport
- Issue concealed handgun permits
- Keeping the peace, using deputy sheriffs as patrol officers and criminal investigators
- Search and rescue missions
- Wildland firefighting
Many Mesa County residents are unaware of these various functions and responsibilities, perhaps only seeing the famous "green-roofed inn" on the west side of downtown Grand Junction or passing a patrol vehicle in a remote part of the county.
The Sheriff's Office has worked hard over the last two decades to fulfill these duties while meeting the challenges of a rapidly growing population, an urbanizing culture, and the demands for more interdependent policing across jurisdictional lines.
As the agency continues to move forward technologically and philosophically, we seek to build upon the successes of joint public safety ventures. As well as better navigating the criminal justice labyrinth that profoundly affects the jail population and court system.