On Wednesday, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office released a statement laying out their process for honoring extreme risk protection orders.
“Once an extreme risk protection order is granted by the courts, members of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office will evaluate the entirety of the order, conduct a risk analysis to determine what resources and personnel are necessary, and establish operational plans to safely serve the order as required,” the office wrote.
Sheriff Bill Elder made national news this November when he appeared on “60 Minutes” in opposition to the “red flag” law that went into effect on New Year’s Day. Elder at the time said that he would prefer to see better mental health treatment instead.
Extreme risk protection orders from a judge temporarily remove firearms from someone deemed a danger to themselves or others. A Denver police sergeant filed the first red flag petition on Jan. 2 for a man who allegedly beat his wife and made suicidal statements.
Elder’s office said that deputies will not petition for a red flag order “unless exigent circumstances exist, and probable cause can be established” of a crime being committed. It warned that a signed search warrant plus probable cause will both be necessary conditions for the office to remove firearms.
“The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office will ensure that the rights of people to be free from unreasonable search and seizures, and to receive due process of law, are safeguarded,” the statement reads.