WCSO announces changes in agency responses to calls for service

Published on March 28, 2024

WCSO patch with a gray media release banner in front of the WCSO patch.

Weld County Sheriff announces changes in agency responses to certain calls for service due to staffing shortage

(GREELEY, CO)- The Weld County Sheriff’s Office will be temporarily suspending Animal Control Services to the community. In addition, responses by the patrol division to certain calls for service will be assessed case-by-case and will be dependent upon available staffing. Examples of some changes the public may encounter are some calls for service in the patrol division will be handled by phone, and some may be referred to our online reporting system (P2C).

The primary factor the sheriff’s office will consider in responding to certain calls for service is the severity of the crime that is being reported. The WCSO will respond accordingly based on the resources available. These modifications in how the sheriff’s office responds to calls will take place immediately, effective Monday, Mar. 18, 2024, and we will keep the community updated if there are any additional changes in how we do business.

These changes are taking place because it is Sheriff Reams primary responsibility to keep the Weld County jail operational. All other agency operations are secondary to this responsibility. Due to an on-going staffing shortage agency wide, the sheriff and administrative staff have made the difficult decision to temporarily relocate employees out of their current roles and transfer them to the jail to rectify the staffing shortage. WCSO intends to relocate employees back to their desired assignments as soon as possible, once the staffing shortages at the jail are properly addressed and overcome.

Other factors that led to these modifications in staffing and in service to the community include the changes in state laws pertaining to law enforcement, the overall national narrative against law enforcement, a general workforce shortage, and lack of competitive funding for hiring and retaining sheriff’s office employees.

The Board of County Commissioners is the source of funding for the Weld County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Reams has been working with the board for some time to make the appropriate changes to attempt to mitigate the problem, but funding decisions are at the sole discretion of the Board of County Commissioners. The Board of County Commissioners has agreed to make a mid-year supplemental to the Sheriff’s Office budget to try and impact the most critical needs of the agency, but staff reallocation will still be necessary for the foreseeable future.

“The Weld County Sheriff’s Office has been struggling with staffing for over two years. We have finally reached a point where a shift is required to give employees at the jail relief. I am disappointed we find ourselves here,” said Sheriff Steve Reams.

It is the sheriff’s office top priority to provide effective law enforcement services to our community. This decision to change our operations and how we serve our community is not something the administrative staff took lightly. It is a sincere desire for the sheriff’s office administration to return to normal operations as soon as the Weld County jail is fully staffed. During this time of change, our administrative staff will continue to strive to get our deputies and employees back into the roles they signed up for, so they can serve our community in the ways that are significant and meaningful to them.