Surname: Kevin Edling
profession: Control Officer at the Denver Police Department
biography: Kevin has spent his entire career in public service protecting our community and defending our country.
He currently serves as a case officer with the Denver Police Department. He has been with Denver PD for the past 27 years and has worked in patrol and special operations.
During this time he also served more than 30 years in the Colorado Air National Guard at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado. He served as commander of the 140th Security Forces Squadron (2015-2020) and completed his last deployment from the Middle East in 2018. His current assignment is the Joint Force Headquarters – Colorado National Guard in Centennial.
In his free time, Kevin volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol and loves sharing his passion for aviation with cadets. He is an accomplished pilot with commercial pilot license for airplanes, seaplanes, helicopters, gliders and certified flight instructor. Kevin operates out of Centennial Airport (APA).
Kevin holds an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Masters of Education with a concentration in organizational performance and change from Colorado State University.
What changes do you think are needed in Arapahoe County policing given the statewide talks on police reform?
It starts at the top. We should expect professional behavior from elected officials and hold them accountable. Denver District Attorney Beth McCann called Sheriff Brown’s behavior “irresponsible and unprofessional” after he started a fight at Pindustry and was reportedly publicly intoxicated. Its captain made numerous inappropriate comments towards female staff. His lieutenant was paid $30,000 for the breakup after posing nude and engaging in sexual acts online. We must select and hire experienced, respectful managers and deputies who hold themselves to the highest professional standards. I will not tolerate unprofessional or unethical behavior and will improve morale and bring back pride to the agency.
How would you address the public’s desire for accountability and transparency?
Law enforcement needs to communicate better with the people we serve and provide our community with easy access to information. The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office is far from transparent about how it works or what it does to combat our record crime rates — particularly auto theft. I will post our policies and procedures for all to see; something the current sheriff promised but never achieved. Body-worn cameras are now required by law, often capturing the amazing work our brave MPs do every day – and sometimes highlighting things we could do better. Transparency is badly needed and I will ensure it. Almost every Uber or Lyft driver has a dash cam installed; Our police cars will have them too.
What are your solutions to reduce the crime rate?
Crime is at an all-time high under this sheriff and people don’t feel safe. Auto thefts are up 139% in Arapahoe County and people are demanding help in this criminal tsunami.
We need to go back to being a proactive law enforcement agency instead of reactive. People are fed up with the extreme right and left and want to return to common sense. I will empower our MPs to hold criminals accountable for their actions and bring them to justice. I will work with the other law enforcement agencies in and near Arapahoe County to make this one of the safest counties in the state.
How would you combat the ongoing fentanyl crisis?
Colorado is now the second-leading fentanyl user fatality nationwide, up 382% over the past two years. The lax laws regarding fentanyl don’t work. Fentanyl continues to invade our community through counterfeit pills and other street drugs. I will not be a silent sheriff who sits by and watches this happen. I will stand up for our children and work with our lawmakers to call for action and tougher penalties. Also, I will work with our federal law enforcement agencies to allocate the maximum amount of resources to address this crisis and arrest drug dealers who profit from killing our residents with this deadly drug.
What do you think of the need to replace Arapahoe County’s current jail?
I don’t want the nicest prison in Colorado. I want a prison that provides a safe working environment for MPs and a safe place for inmates to be housed. The current prison was built in 1986 and has many known problems. The jail currently has a capacity of 1,500 inmates, but has an average daily population of just 701 inmates, according to the sheriff’s office’s 2021 annual report. We don’t need a new prison if we use less than half of its current capacity. I will conduct a cost-benefit analysis and carefully consider all solutions and protect taxpayers’ money from wasteful spending.
What plans do you have for enforcing the Red Flag laws?
As a police commander with over 30 years of experience, I have never had to use a red flag law to bring a criminal to justice or put a mentally ill person in a hospital for 72 hours. Usually there is an underlying crime leading to the person being apprehended and severed from their guns, or there is a mental health crisis leading to hospitalization for evaluation. I take our constitutional rights seriously and believe in protecting them. The Red Flag Act should only be used in the most egregious situations.
How would you address the threat of school shootings and mass public shootings?
It has been more than 23 years since the horrific massacre at Columbine High School, perpetrated by pure evil, and yet we continue to witness tragedy after tragedy of mass shootings across our country. As sheriff, I will ensure that my deputies are equipped and well trained to meet any threat to our public safety, and they will not hesitate to fight evil. I will expand the school resource officer program to protect our children. I will also be implementing a random anti-violence action program that will provide an extra layer of protection for our Arapahoe County schools by sending random delegates to our schools during school hours.
What changes do you think the sheriff’s office should make to improve and/or make the community safer?
Our country is experiencing an unprecedented mental health crisis. I will make Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) certification mandatory for all deputies. I have been the lead instructor for CIT since 2004 and have trained hundreds of officers across the metro area on its use. Officers are given de-escalation techniques that help defuse a critical situation with their most powerful weapon – their mouth. This week-long training is invaluable to our MEPs and will result in a reduction in the use of force (including deadly force) and injuries to both MEPs and those in crisis.
Candidates for Arapahoe County Sheriff; Kevin Edling for the sheriff; Kevin Ebling,
Arapahoe County Sheriff Candidates