I first met Slade Ross when he began working for the Teton County Sheriff’s Office in Jackson, Wyoming approximately 20 years ago. During that time, I had the opportunity to work with Slade in many different capacities such as patrol, SWAT, investigations, detention and in supervisory roles including mid line supervision to command staff responsibilities. I quickly learned that Slade was a man of integrity, a committed family man, a strong team member and a servant leader with vision to improve the agency and a sincere desire to help those around him. Slade worked hard to fulfill his roles as a subordinate and a leader. We both had the experience at one point during our careers of either being supervised by or leading the other. I found him to engage with the same enthusiasm in either role and display determination and motivation to serve at the best of his ability.
Slade never forgot what his purpose really was when he got to patrol and that is to serve those he is entrusted to protect. One night while we were both working patrol, we were dispatched to an alarm call. When we arrived, we noticed the garage door to the residence was open, it was well below freezing and a water pipe had burst, flooding the residence. We did what we could to shut off the water, contacted necessary resources and met with the family as they returned home. At this point, our official function was over, but Slade and I noticed the family desperately attempting to save photo albums, cherished family keepsakes and non-replaceable items. We quickly jumped in (literally into a foot of freezing water) and began assisting the family. I will always cherish this memory because it was the right thing to do and Slade and I didn’t even have to discuss what to do, we just responded to a need rather than leaving with the attitude that it was not our problem.
I have observed Slade interact with many different situations over the years. Some of these situations were heartbreaking, some confrontational, some very demanding and some quite humorous. No matter the situation or the people involved, Slade treated everyone with respect and dignity. He sought peaceful resolutions and was able to mediate many difficult and sensitive conflicts to a mutual agreed upon outcome. He utilized the same skill set when dealing with internal employee issues. He had a great desire for those he lead to become the best version of themselves and he was eager to praise their successes and he addressed their failures with insight of how to fix the situation. He worked very closely with those he supervised and lead. He wanted them to succeed and he wanted to make the Teton County Sheriff’s Office the best agency possible.
I believe Slade has what it takes to be an excellent sheriff. He has great experience either working in or supervising almost every area of law enforcement. He has taken his training seriously and attained as much as possible to include graduating from the prestigious FBI National Academy, which is an executive leadership training for future sheriffs and police chiefs. Most importantly, Slade knows how important the community is and he strives to be available and approachable by all to address issues and to make sure the agency is responsive to the needs of the community.
Kelly Wells Sheriff, Caribou County, Idaho