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In response to the shooting death of a 22-year-old man in his car by police, a new citizen advisory board has been selected to evaluate the policies and practices of the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office, the county said Thursday.

The chief of the Idaho Springs Police Department, a mental health care provider and a former county commissioner are among the six residents on the board, which will report to the sheriff each month, according to a news release. The board met for the first time Wednesday and is tasked with developing recommendations for the sheriff’s office, which will present the board’s work for community review. 

“We recognize that community trust is the cornerstone of our ability to serve our community,” Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers said in the news release.

The announcement comes almost five months after police officers fatally shot 22-year-old Christian Glass inside his car after he became stranded in the small mountain town of Silver Plume and called for roadside assistance. 

The shooting has called into question how local law enforcement agencies respond to 911 calls involving someone who is having a mental health crisis. Clear Creek County is one of 40 Colorado counties that do not have a co-responder program, in which a mental health professional joins law enforcement on police calls.

The sheriff’s office announced last month it is working with county commissioners to research the development of a crisis response team. The commissioners, which met last month to discuss the development of a co-response crisis intervention taskforce, face a November deadline for a co-responder grant and a December deadline for a behavioral health grant. 

The Colorado Sun previously reported that both sheriff’s deputies who responded to Glass’ 911 call were trained to identify signs of mental distress. All of the county’s sheriff’s deputies are required to take a two-hour training on de-escalation and must repeat the course every two years.A grand jury is reviewing the shooting this month and will decide if the officers involved will face criminal charges. The Colorado Bureau of Investigations is reviewing the shooting, along with federal and local agencies.

Delaney Nelson

Delaney Nelson is The Colorado Sun's 2022 Medill School of Journalism Fellow.