Division leader new undersheriff for Mesa County
A longtime Grand Valley lawman has been named Mesa County undersheriff serving under Mesa County Sheriff Rebecca Spiess.
Capt. Rusty Callow, formerly a division commander in charge of law operations at the Sheriff’s Office, was appointed undersheriff effective June 25 by Spiess, according to an internal department email from Spiess sent that same day.
“I doubt that there is an event or circumstance that Rusty hasn’t experienced,” Spiess wrote in the June 25 notice. “Those who have had the pleasure of working with Rusty will agree that this appointment makes perfect sense.”
Spiess added, “Recently, District Attorney Pete Hautzinger recognized Rusty as one of the most ethical officers he has ever known — if not the most. I would agree.”
Callow, 58, has more than 32 years experience in law enforcement over a career including stints with the Grand Junction Police Department and Palisade Police Department, where he served for a period as acting chief. Callow is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the Southwestern Law Enforcement Institute.
Spiess’ email says he’s attended more than 1,500 hours in specialized law enforcement training.
Callow over recent months gave public support, shown in a series of letters to the editor published by The Daily Sentinel, for the candidacy of Republican county sheriff candidate Steve King, now at the center of controversy.
Now the subject of a criminal investigation, King was fired June 6 by then-Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey from a temporary job at the Sheriff’s Office before an internal affairs investigation concluded King falsified a timecard and committed a series of code of conduct violations.
Spiess, who headed the internal affairs investigation of King, released King’s internal affairs file to the newspaper on June 24 pursuant to a Colorado Open Records Act Request that was filed by the newspaper on June 23.
Spiess was named sheriff after Hilkey’s departure on June 13.