Moffat County Sheriff-elect Tim Jantz said he's close to naming an undersheriff, and on Monday afternoon, he moved another step closer by interviewing a candidate for a second time.
He has a short list of three candidates, one of whom he considers the frontrunner.
"We're just solidifying some things," Jantz said. "I've met with some people, and we've talked about my philosophy and the direction the public wants us to go."
Jantz, a Republican, defeated two challengers in the Nov. 7 general election to earn the sheriff's position. On Election Day, he said he would name an undersheriff by the end of the month.
On Monday, he said he doesn't plan to deviate from that timetable. An announcement probably won't happen until after Thanksgiving, he said.
"I want to give people some time," he said, "and a chance for the dust to settle a little bit."
The Sheriff-elect said he's taking input from community leaders and colleagues at the sheriff's office about undersheriff prospects. Jantz said he's considering their input, but the final decision is his.
"I have my own direction," he said. "But, what we talked about all along is that the sheriff needs to be a representative of the people of Moffat County. The decision will be made based on a combination of things."
Who will join Jantz at the sheriff's office is a question that followed him throughout the campaign. During the campaign, he vowed to pick an undersheriff who is outside the roster of current or former sheriff's office administrators.
"People have asked for a new direction," he said. "That was big in this campaign. The public has asked for some things. I'm trying to meet and accommodate that."
Jantz, 45, a sergeant at the sheriff's office, takes office Jan. 9. He said he and current sheriff Buddy Grinstead have made tentative plans to discuss transitioning from one administration to the next.
"Hopefully, we'll have a smooth transition from his to mine," Jantz said.
One challenge for the incoming sheriff is addressing law enforcement efforts against methamphetamine use and trafficking in the area.
Jantz said he's begun building a collaborative plan that includes officers, including patrolmen to administrators. He said his plan includes maintaining the local drug task force, Greater Routt and Moffat Narcotic Enforcement Team, and providing more training for patrol officers on trends in drug trafficking.
"It's a combined effort with the officers, administrators and GRAMNET, kind of in the manner that it's been, but expand on it with the patrol staff."