George Brauchler: Criminal drug activity overwhelming rural law enforcement
October 13, 2018
I grew up seeing my mom fight for those who were being persecuted or unjustly treated. I saw firsthand how rewarding public service and fighting for things in which you believe were not only individually rewarding but indispensable to America.
Coming from a middle-class family from Lakewood, Colorado, I helped pay for college by earning an Army ROTC scholarship, which I used up the road at the University of Colorado. I earned a degree in economics, a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and returned to C.U. to earn a law degree. I cut classes in law school to conduct trials as an intern at the First Judicial District district attorney’s office in Golden. Nothing in the law school classroom came close to providing better preparation and experience for the practice of law than what I learned in the courtroom.
In the 24 years since my first jury trial, I have never stopped fighting for victims, defending our communities and neighborhoods and guarding our constitutional rights. I have been a prosecutor, a criminal defense attorney, a plaintiff's attorney, a civil defense attorney and a small business owner. I have handled some of the largest cases in Colorado's history, including prosecuting the Aurora theater shooting and Columbine High School tragedy and conducted trials in municipal, state, federal and military courts.
I currently serve as the district attorney in Colorado's 18th Judicial District — which includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties — the most populous judicial district in the state, with more than one million Colorado residents.
I have been mobilized twice since 9/11 and last served on active duty as the chief of military justice for Fort Carson and, ultimately, the chief of military justice for Northern Iraq with the 4th Infantry Division, Taskforce Ironhorse. I continue to serve as an Army colonel in our Colorado National Guard.
Crime is on the rise throughout Colorado and across much of America. There is no single answer or easy fix for this trend. An experienced attorney general can play a crucial leadership role in assisting local law enforcement agencies — many of whom are strapped for resources — to fight back against those who seek to victimize our families and neighbors.
Too often, the debate about criminal justice reform has deteriorated into knee jerk, quick fixes designed only to address a statistic or to minimize accountability for those who run afoul of our laws. Real reform requires changes far bolder — make naturally expiring laws, be transparent in sentencing, expunge outdated records and be braver on pardons.
I oversaw the internal investigation of law enforcement officers who killed the suspect who murdered Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zachery Parrish on New Year's Eve 2017. I am very sensitive to the due process considerations and how they impact someone's Second Amendment rights. I'm skeptical of giving the government greater authority to gain access to people's homes and deprive them of firearms and other property.
As district attorney, I have seen how methamphetamines, heroin and black-market marijuana is increasing crime in smaller counties. Criminal investigations typically fall to local police, sheriff and county law enforcement but too many rural counties are short-staffed and cannot handle the illicit activity that has sprung up due to the legalization of marijuana.
I believe that the next attorney general for Colorado should be someone who can take on these societal challenges and fight against injustice.
Experience matters. I have the right experience and offer real solutions to fight for all Coloradans.
Colorado attorney general Republican candidate