Fourth candidate enters sheriff’s race

Aaron Martin, a Granby resident and former Los Angeles Police Department detective, is running as a Republican candidate for Grand County sheriff.
McKenna Harford / Sky-Hi News

When it comes to being Grand County sheriff, Republican candidate Aaron Martin believes no job is too small for the chief law enforcement officer.

Martin, a Granby resident and former Los Angeles Police Department detective, said he’s running for sheriff to make the office more accessible to the public and build trust within and outside of the department.

“It’s about reading the public and finding out what people need,” he said. “A lot of problems can be solved quickly if you know what they are and don’t ignore complaints because when people get frustrated, things happen.”

In his two decades of law enforcement, Martin worked as a patrol officer, a jail deputy, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff and in multiple departments of the LAPD, including homicide, gangs and Asian crime investigations. He experienced the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the area’s 1994 earthquake.

Martin retired in 1998 from the LAPD, switching to private investigations and taking a job with Southwest Airlines, working in security and dispatch before becoming a flight attendant. He also volunteers with Grand Fire.

“I feel that I can do a better job (as sheriff),” he said. “I’m extremely qualified and second, I’m a people person and I’ve always been a problem solver. I’ve worked a couple hundred murders and you know how I solved most of them? Talking to people.”

As sheriff, Martin said he wants to focus on building a community presence. Though he’s running as a Republican, Martin said politics would not play a part in how he runs the department, adding that he believes law enforcement should serve everyone equally.

“Especially a place this small, where you have the chance to have personal relationships with everybody, it’s a lot better,” he said. “There should be trust with the public where they aren’t afraid of you. That’s the absolute worst thing, because then people don’t call … not only are you not getting them service, but you’re probably not solving a problem that needs solving.”

Martin also sees room for improvement when it comes to keeping drugs off the streets, dealing with traffic concerns and addressing transient crime.

To strengthen the department, Martin wants to tackle the staffing shortage. He said he would take a career-oriented approach to training staff and building them up to be able to take on the role of sheriff.

“You should never be insecure with the idea of grooming the people underneath you to take your job over,” he said. “If somebody does take your job, that means you’ve actually done a good job making sure people are qualified.”

To get his name on the primary ballot Martin is working to get 147 signatures from registered Republicans by March 15. Incumbent Brett Schroetlin is also running as a Republican candidate and will face Martin in June.

Two other people have filed to run for Grand County sheriff — Melissa Peters, a former Grand County deputy and unaffiliated candidate, and former Kremmling police chief Jamie Lucas. However, Lucas is no longer eligible since he moved out of Grand County.


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