Sheriff | Eagle County
Sheriff James Van Beek was elected in November 2014 and is proudly serving Eagle County and its residents. A Colorado native, Van Beek was born in Denver to Dutch immigrant parents. He has worked and raised his family in Eagle County for more than 25 years.
As an honorably discharged United States Army veteran, Van Beek has more than 27 years of serving his country in one or more uniforms and more than 23 years experience of law enforcement and leadership experience, both locally and internationally, with an understanding of diverse cultures and speaks multiple languages.
He embarked on his law enforcement career in 1989 with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office working and assuming various roles that included a patrol deputy, field training officer and detective.
International experience took hold in the fall of 2000 with his first tour as a civilian police officer serving the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. There he was tasked, along with other professional police from around the world, to build and develop a full-time working police service consisting of local nationals.
Back stateside in the spring of 2002, Van Beek resumed full-time work at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office with an understanding that a return to Kosovo was envisioned. The obligation was satisfied in the fall of 2003 where he fulfilled the role of chief of operations and station commander. Van Beek remained in Kosovo until his return to Eagle County in the fall of 2005. Yet another international call-to-duty was answered with a mission to Afghanistan to help establish a democratic police force there. This tour lasted from 2006 till 2010.
Now back in Eagle County, Van Beek’s primary goals are to help establish a more positive and visible connection with the entire community.
One portion to help facilitate reaching this goal was the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office hosting the annual Eagle County “La Academia Polica,” a Spanish language “Citizens Police Academy.”
A citizens’ police academy fosters and helps build positive connections between local government staff and citizens, as well as an understanding of what law enforcement’s roles are, giving a clear understanding of procedures, practices and the law as it applies to everyone, and to facilitate a positive dialogue between law enforcement and the community, cementing relationships and communication between the community and staff that will endure long after the class is over.
Van Beek is looking forward to the many opportunities and challenges in law enforcement in the upcoming years and working alongside the community to overcome obstacles, forge new paths and make Eagle County not just a world-class destination, but a world-class community that we can all call home.
In the spring of 2016, Van Beek was selected to join the ranks of 1% of the law enforcement officers in the United States and graduated from the 264th F.B.I. National Academy.
Sheriff Van Beek remains active within the community with a continuous focus and efforts to improve restorative justice programs and decriminalize mental health issues. In addition, he sits on several local boards to include the Eagle County Emergency Responders Fund, a 501(3)c designed to provide assistance to Eagle County First Responders “when our heroes need some help” as well as spearheading a modernization of the infrastructure for Transports Across Colorado, which is a ride-sharing program to move inmates across Colorado saving the taxpayers millions of dollars every year.