Undersheriff is the first person to announce candidacy for sheriff


FARMINGTON — A 41-year-old San Juan County resident announced his plans to run for Sheriff this week during the San Juan County Fair.

Shane Ferrari is the first person to announce his candidacy for San Juan County Sheriff. Ferrari has worked in the sheriff's office for 20 years and currently serves as undersheriff.

While it is not a requirement for the sheriff to have a law enforcement background, Ferrari said he thinks it gives him an advantage.

"It's absolutely necessary to have an experienced lawman holding the position of sheriff," he said.

Ferrari anticipates a number of challenges in the upcoming years. He said the downturn in the economy has forced the sheriff's office to do more with less. At the same time, he anticipates municipalities will continue to annex county land. While the annexations mean the county receives less tax money, they also mean decreasing the amount of territory the sheriff's office has to cover.

Ferrari also anticipates immigration will become another area of concern for the sheriff's office. He said there has been an increase in the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in San Juan County. He said the county does not have an estimate on the number of illegal immigrants currently living in the region.

"Do we have illegal immigrants? Yes," Ferrari said. "To what degree? We do not know."

Ferrari said he would work with ICE agents to deport illegal immigrants that have been convicted of crimes.

Ferrari said he will continue with the policies implemented by current sheriff Ken Christesen. Christesen is serving his second term and is not eligible to run again. Ferrari said he would prioritize investigations, including internet crimes against children, crime prevention and narcotics.

He said since 2013 the number of calls the sheriff's office responds to has decreased by 10,000. Ferrari believes a change in the culture at the sheriff's office as well as an emphasis on hiring, training and adding opportunities have led to the decrease.

Ferrari said he would continue partnering with community organizations that serve people with mental illness and training officers to interact with people who have mental illness.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.


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