EL PASO COUNTY – The two top cops in the Pikes Peak Region are joining forces in the new year. El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder announced that he is hiring the retiring Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey as his new undersheriff.
“Pete and I have been friends since 1984,” Elder said. “We spend a lot of time together, we camp together, our families are friends.”
In an interview with News 5, Elder gave high praise for his current undersheriff Joe Breister who came out of retirement to join his administration during the first term.
“Joe Breister as the undersheriff has done an absolutely phenomenal job helping me make the changes that I needed to make,” Elder said.
He added said Breister only planned to come back to work for another 4 years. In his second term, Elder wants to expand regional cooperation with the police department by creating shared facilities for emergency management, evidence storage, and dispatch. He believes there’s no better man for that job than Pete Carey.
“I think it’s important that our community knows that I’m more interested in keeping our community safe and intact by keeping the level of experience that he provides local.”
Elder explained that Breister gave his notice of retirement on Tuesday. He offered the job to Carey that same day and Carey accepted.
The job vacancy was not posted and there will be no additional search for candidates. The job of undersheriff is what’s known as a direct appointment position. Colorado law allows elected officials to appoint a limited number of employees to positions in a manner that doesn’t follow typical government hiring guidelines.
Carey will have a starting salary of approximately $126,000 per year.