Feb 10th – Jim Bodoh – Letter to the SUN

Recognizing Mike Le Roux – submitted by Upper San Juan SAR – Chairman, Jim Bodoh

I’ve been a member of Upper San Juan Search & Rescue (USJSAR) for over ten years and chairman since 2016. Upper San Juan is the Search & Rescue team for Archuleta county and we operate under the authority of the Sheriff’s Office, specifically the Office of Emergency Management. We also perform rescue missions in Mineral county, usually on Wolf Creek Pass because of our proficiency at High Angle rope rescue and north into Hinsdale County because we can get there much faster than the SAR team coming from Lake City.

In 2014 USJSAR performed a back-country rescue on Kirsten Le Roux who had been injured in a horse back riding accident. That was her husband Mike Le Roux’s first exposure to USJSAR and after that experience Mike immediately joined us as a general member. In the summer of 2015 Mike worked as a seasonal Wildland Firefighter crew member. When the fire season was over he joined the Sheriff’s Office as a detention officer, then the Office of Emergency Management and in 2016 became the Director of Emergency Operations for Archuleta County.

Since Mike became the Director of Emergency Operations, USJSAR has made huge improvements in the training we provide our members, the quality and quantity of equipment (Mobile units, UTV’s, snowmobiles, rope rescue gear, radio’s) available to us and the motivation of our members. Mike’s involvement was not limited to what he could perform sitting behind a desk. For the past 5+ years, Mike has participated in almost every mission the team has been called out for and he’s attended almost every training, often conducted the training himself. 

Unfortunately (for USJSAR) Mike Le Roux is no longer the Director of Emergency Operations for Archuleta County, but is now the Undersheriff, so his involvement with USJSAR will be significantly reduced.  Mike’s passion for USJSAR is so intense that I think he will miss us almost as much as we will miss him.

At our business meeting on Jan 20th we presented Mike Le Roux with a plaque, thanking him for his many years of service and dedication to USJSAR. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Jim Bodoh

Upper San Juan SAR – Chairman

Jan 6th – Press Release – Candidacy Announced

January 6, 2022

Mike Le Roux is announcing his candidacy for Archuleta County Sheriff in the 2022 election. Current Sheriff, Rich Valdez, has announced that he is not seeking reelection. Le Roux was installed as Archuleta County Undersheriff on Dec. 20, 2021 after previous Undersheriff Derek Woodman was hired as County Administrator by the Board of County Commissioners. Le Roux holds his Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) certification, obtained in 2020.

I believe that to be a successful Sheriff requires community collaboration and cooperation across the board. A good leader within our remote, rural county must look for every opportunity to synchronize the activities of all relevant stakeholders to achieve a common purpose, and to foster a culture of combining of efforts in effective mutual aid,” Le Roux stated.

Prior to being appointed Undersheriff, Le Roux has been the Director of Emergency Management for the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office since 2016 which coordinates the county’s emergency response to wildland fires, search, rescue, and other county-level emergency incidents. In this position, Le Roux has been responsible for real-time, high pressure response coordination requiring him to both manage and function in multi-agency (state, federal, tribal) environments, mobilizing resources and assigning priorities as required, often across county borders and with wider State assets. In his Search and Rescue (SAR) function, he oversees a not for profit governance board of seven individuals and between 30-50 volunteers at any time.

“I value an approach based on education, training, experience, ethical practice, public stewardship and continuous improvement. I get things done because I’m driven, determined, flexible and disciplined. I am a natural problem solver, who enjoys finding creative and innovative approaches to solving challenges, and I feel fulfilled when I see something left even better than I found it. I have always lived with a philosophy of pushing myself outside my comfort zone, and I’m good at adapting quickly to changing conditions and have the ability to make calm and agile decisions in the field,” Le Roux commented.