Ron Trowbridge is the Undersheriff of Prowers County, Colorado, located at the extreme southeast corner of Colorado, with a population of fewer than 20,000 souls. He decided to attend a training session in La Junta on April 1st, along with about 2o others, to learn about Sovereign Citizens and the risk they present to law enforcement. He couldn’t believe what was being presented by Colorado State Trooper Joe Kluczynski and wrote a letter about his experience.
When The Blaze contacted him to verify what he had written, Trowbridge amplified his comments:
It was a very very fast course. This guy spoke at a very fast rate and he used a PowerPoint as he was going through it. The first part … was on what causes people to lean towards the sovereign citizen movement.
He had a list of groups of people who are likely or who are sovereign citizens. One was Christians … these are the people who take the Bible literally … these are the people who think that America was founded on Christian principles.
The thrust of Kluczynski’s remarks, and apparently those of the Colorado State Patrol, is to “be careful of these people” as Trowbridge put it. Here’s the relevant part from his letter:
While Kluczynski emphasized that sovereign citizens have a right to their beliefs, he was clearly teaching that the groups he had listed should be watched by law enforcement and should be treated with caution because of their potential to assault law enforcement. (emphasis added)
Kluczynski explained why he believed these groups were dangerous saying they were angry over the election of a black president. When someone in the group suggested the failing economy was probably much more to blame, Kluczynski intimated that those who are not going along with the changes in America will need to be controlled by law enforcement. (emphasis added)
Kluczynski even later questioned some of the troopers present if they were willing and prepared to confiscate “illegal” weapons if ordered to.
What’s unsettling is not the fact that Kluczynski was a representative of the CSP but that he got his information from Homeland Security.
When the CSP finally returned calls from The Blaze, this was their response:
A law enforcement training class offered by the Colorado State Patrol on April 1, 2013, in southeastern Colorado has come under scrutiny from one of its attendees, a local county undersheriff. The specific assertion was that the Colorado State Patrol would target members of certain religious or political ideologies.
We have spoken to several officers who attended this same training and have verified that none of them interpreted the instructor’s comments in the manner described by the undersheriff. We regret that he misrepresented the training material in a way that clearly is not the position of the Colorado State Patrol.
The Blaze also received a response from the Department of Homeland Security:
The training referenced in the Undersheriff’s letter was not done in coordination with DHS and no DHS training materials were part of the prepared presentation.
Of course not. A final note: Kluczynski told the group as he was ending the session that he is leaving the CSP and going to work for the DHS.