BENT COUNTY – One of Colorado’s newest sheriffs right here in southern Colorado is also its youngest at just 27-years-old. Sheriff Jake Six was the runaway choice in a three-way race last fall for the office in Bent County.
The Las Animas native and 2010 graduate of the high school is out to prove he’s earned his rank in spite of his youth. “The community, they were stating they needed help. And I wanted to help,” says Sheriff Six.
As for his credentials, “I went to the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office and got promoted through the rantks, up to undersheriff of Kiowa County,” says Sheriff Six.
He faces the big challenges of a major drug and homelessness problem, exacerbated he says by the nearby Fort Lyon rehab center for the homeless.
“They’re bringing the people from Denver to here to get them away from a drug problem and it’s brought us a large, large drug problem,” Six explains.
The rural community in recent months is seeing more big-city crime in a small town. Most recently, a burglary spree hitting homes, businesses, even the cemetery. Sheriff Six says a fresh approach and fresh faces could help make a dent.
“We’re young and energetic. Most of the office is pretty young, but they all want to be here, they want to work here, and they’re going to push hard to get some things changed.” Six is proud of the work within his young department. “It’s community volunteers, much like a fire department, they just volunteer to help, and we can use the manpower right now.”
In a part of the state where recruiting and retaining is tough, and trust in law enforcement is easier to lose than to earn, Six is having relative ease filling his staff. He’s bringing in veterans from surrounding departments to join ranks in Bent County. And so far, showing results like an arrest in the buglaries, crackdown on drugs, and help from committed citizens.
Back to the his previous job as the Undersheriff for Kiowa County. His old boss, the retired former Sheriff of Kiowa County, has signed on to run the Bent County Jail.