Sheriff candidate Combs

Todd Combs is seeking a second term as Yuma County Sheriff.
The longtime member of the Colorado State Patrol, he first won the Republican primary over incumbent Chad Day in 2018, then ran unopposed in the November election.
He now faces a primary challenge from Curtis Witte, a former member of the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office and currently a sergeant with the Yuma Police Department.
The ballots are due to be returned by Tuesday, June 28, at 7 p.m. (See elsewhere for more information about the mail in ballots.) The primary winner likely will run unopposed in November, as there is not a Democrat candidate, and no one has indicated a desire to go the petition route this summer to run as an unaffiliated candidate.
Combs and his wife have four children and five grandkids with two more on the way. All of them live in Yuma County.
He is a competitive shooter, and said he enjoys shooting pistols and muzzleloading rifles in competitions. Combs said he also enjoys roping in the spring at local brandings, and helping when needed on the ranch. He added that he enjoys the wide open spaces Yuma County offers, living at the end of a dead end road in the middle of nowhere.
He has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement with the state patrol and YCSO. He has become an instructor in many different kills required by the job through the years, particularly enjoying teaching firearms and defensive tactics.
Combs was asked about his accomplishments in his first term.
“Putting together a great team of individuals to serve the residents of Yuma County is probably my key accomplishment,” he wrote. “There were many issues facing me when I came into office but the individuals working here took ownership of their jobs and came up with procedures to streamline and be more efficient. Because of that, we have a jail that reopened to full operating status and we now take in prisoners from other counties, which brings in revenue. I am also proud that my officers are well trained to do their jobs. All of this is because of the employees who work at the Office and their attitude toward work.”
Combs said he is running for another term because he thinks he has done a good job leading the YCSO and providing good law enforcement for the people of Yuma County.
“I would like to provide my services as Sheriff for another term for the stability of the office, the county and the employees who work there. My employees have done a good job and I would like to see them continue in a profession that can be difficult to work in.”
He added that he can honestly said he has truly enjoyed the job of being the Yuma County Sheriff.
“I never wanted to be a supervisor while on the State Patrol and am kind of surprised I decided to run for Sheriff,” Combs said. “I look forward to going to work with a bunch of people with the same goal in mind who enjoy their jobs.”
Moving forward, he said he would like to see increased pay for the detention deputies working in the Yuma County Jail. He noted the starting wage is $16 an hour “for a life threatening job that involves managing individuals who are suffering drug withdrawals, mental disorders and immaturity issues. Those deputies put up with denigration by the inmates, assaults, and, among other things, getting urine and feces thrown at them.”
Combs said the Yuma County Jail is understaffed as people can get higher pay in less challenging jobs.
“If the staffing continues to fall, I will face the question as to whether we can safely run a jail, and if not, what are we going to do if it has to be closed,” he explained. “My jail staff has done a great job protecting the county in the area where counties get sued the most.”
He was asked about drug use and other crimes in Yuma County.
Combs said he thinks that nearly all property crimes that occur in Yuma County are committed by people involved with illegal drug use. He noted that Colorado has gone the way of California by basically legalizing drug usage. He said crime is rampant in California, and is on the rise in Colorado.
“To work effectively the illegal drug issue in our county you have to have a drug user willing to work off charges they are facing by buying drugs or have an undercover officer working in that community,” Combs explained. “I have talked with sheriffs about how they are doing on this issue and they all have the same opinion. Some have had success by getting someone to work with them to make a deal on other charges.”
However, drug users are now less interested in working with law enforcement “since they are not facing any real consequences.”
“Police are left trying to catch the individuals doing other crimes that support their drug habit,” Combs said. “We have had success in catching individuals committing property crimes, but they are often back out committing crimes again in short order. Since I have been in office we have had over 70 cases involving illegal drugs. It is one of the more frustrating aspects of my job.”
He thanked the people of Yuma County for allowing him to serve as their sheriff, and thanked them for their vote as he runs for re-election.