Sheriff Byerly graduated from the Pueblo Regional Law Enforcement Academy in 2002 and earned a Criminal Justice degree in 2006. While working at the highly regarded Canon City Colorado Police Department for 12 years, Sheriff Byerly was assigned to several different roles within the organization including Patrol Officer, Detective, Patrol Sergeant, and Administrative Sergeant. In 2014 he was elected as the Sheriff of Custer County and assumed the office in January of 2015.
A native of the Colorado mountains, Sheriff Byerly and his wife Lynette were raised in nearby Rye. After 8 years of service in the United States Navy and two tours during the first Gulf War, they returned to Colorado and have lived in Custer County for 20 years. They have two sons Ryan and Lane.
Sheriff Byerly states, "I am blessed to live in such a wonderful community where people still take the time to say hello and wave as they drive by". He enjoys the mountains he calls home as he spends as much time as he can looking for the next best place to fish and hunt.
Undersheriff Hill graduated the Pueblo Regional Law Enforcement academy in 1995 after serving 8 years in the Marine Corps during the first Gulf War. He has 25 combined years of law enforcement experience in Southern Colorado. He recently retired from the Cañon City Police Department after 23 years. While at the Cañon City Police Department he served in many assignments including Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Detective, and Patrol Commander.
Sergeant Halpin began his law enforcement career in 1989 with the Colorado State Patrol. From 1992 to 1999, he worked as a road Trooper covering Fremont and Custer Counties. He was then assigned to the CSP Accident Reconstruction Team and promoted to the rank of Technician. Mike joined the Custer County Sheriff’s Office in 2008 as a Court Security Officer and Administrative Sergeant and continues to be a nationally certified accident reconstruction expert.
Sergeant Schoch graduated from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Law Enforcement Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, after an enlistment in the Navy and a deployment to the Arabian Gulf for Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He has over 12 years of law enforcement experience, his first 8 with Glendale Police Department, Arizona. While at Glendale PD he served multiple assignments to include Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer (FTO), Detective, Crime Scene Officer (CSO) and formed an Intelligence Unit to target prolific and dangerous criminals. He is married to a Custer County native, Stacey, and they have three children, Dylan, Dakota, and Devynne. He moved to Custer County in 2014 and has served as a Patrol Deputy, Detective, and Sergeant.
I was born in Colorado in 1969, graduated high school and joined the US Army right after graduation. I served in the Army as an infantryman from 1991 to 1995. While in the Army I met my wife Susan and married her in 1992, she is truly my best half. I was hired as a Colorado State Trooper in 1995 and served there for 25 years. Serving the State of Colorado was one of my most proud accomplishments, being a State Trooper was a true honor. I retired from the State Troopers in 2019 and shortly thereafter we moved to Westcliffe, Colorado. I had always wanted to serve a small Colorado town but it never worked out, until now.
An opportunity showed itself after I was asked to put on the uniform one more time. It was not in our plans but working for an American Sheriff became very appealing to me, so I decided to try a different uniform on. I love this community and look forward to serving my fellow residents. We live in one of the greatest counties in the State of Colorado and both Susan and I are grateful to be here.
Sergeant Dickinson is a Colorado native, born in Salida and growing up in Pueblo where he graduated from South High School in 1990. I moved to Westcliffe in 1996 to help my parents build their house while working at Westcliffe Petroleum and Valley Fuel. My wife and I moved to Oklahoma where I became interested in law enforcement. In 2001 I became a certified bail enforcement agent and continued my career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. In 2005 I was employed as an Installation Entry Controller for the USAF. All the while raising 2 boys, we ended up moving back to Colorado in 2010 so I could pursue my interest as a Bondsman. I worked security at various places while operating a bail bonds business. I have been married for 21 years and have two adult boys. In 2018 I was offered a position as a Detention Deputy with the Custer County Sheriffs Office.
Paula Mankel started her career with the Custer County Sheriff’s Office in November 2015 after having served as Records Clerk with the Cañon City Police Department for 13 years. In 2006, Paula earned her “Master Certification” through the Colorado Certified Records Network and has maintained the certification since that time.
Paula is a long time Colorado resident living in Fremont County who enjoys crochet, riding a motorcycle with her husband, and has recently discovered the joys of traveling with a camper. She has two adult children and is a proud grandmother.
Paula is an absolute joy to have in the office. She never fails to have a smile and a silly remark for everyone. She is a dedicated member of the office who is always ready to step up and help. Paula is most known for her assistance thinning Custer County’s deer population and her office slinky.