Summit County Sheriff's Office Command Staff
Undersheriff Peter Haynes, Operations Commander Tom Whelan, Detentions Commander Jake Straw, Support Services Commander Chris Walton and Animal Control Director Lesley Hall.
Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons
Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons leads the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, where he directs the work of 73 dedicated law enforcement and civil employees in their duties to serve the residents and visitors of Summit County, Colorado. He first joined the organization in 2006 and has served as Patrol Deputy, Detective and Operations Division Commander.
FitzSimons was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where he was an avid surfer, skateboarder and competitive marathon runner. He joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1990. From 1990 to 2005, FitzSimons served in various patrol assignments, the Special Problems Unit, the Gang Unit and undercover narcotics work.
During his tenure with LAPD, FitzSimons was promoted to the ranks of Patrol Sergeant and Detective. In those positions, he investigated complex murders, robberies, sex crimes, crimes against persons, gang crimes, burglaries, thefts, frauds, embezzlements and narcotics violations; he also conducted covert surveillances and personnel complaint investigations. FitzSimons participated in responses to numerous historic incidents and events, including the Los Angeles Riots (1992), Malibu Wildfire (1993), Northridge Earthquake (1994), O.J. Simpson Murder Case (1994), Malibu Floods (1995), North Hollywood Shootout (1997) and Southern California Wildfires (2003).
FitzSimons was elected Summit County Sheriff on November 8, 2016. FitzSimons has spent his career building and maintaining partnerships and collaborative relationships with numerous local agencies and organizations, as well as state and federal agencies.
In 1990, FitzSimons married his wife Lena; the couple have two grown children who also call Summit County home. Sheriff FitzSimons has traded his surfboard for skis, but still enjoys skateboarding. He is an avid outdoorsman who also enjoys hiking, mountain biking, trail running, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
FitzSimons has served as a technical consultant in the film industry on numerous projects, including "Street Kings," "End of Watch," "Prisoners," "Sabotage," "Nightcrawler," "Fury," "Southpaw," "Stronger" and "Bright."
Undersheriff Peter HaynesPeter Haynes was born and raised in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, where he enjoyed skiing, riding bikes, and playing soccer. He started his Law Enforcement career in 1987 and worked for the Simsbury Police Department from 1988-2008. Haynes served in various roles with the Simsbury PD including Patrol, Community Relations, Recruitment and Training, as a Team Leader on a Regional SWAT team and on a Regional Undercover Drug Task Force.
During his tenure with the Simsbury Police Department he was promoted through to the ranks of Patrolman First Class, Corporal, Patrol Sergeant and Training Sergeant. Haynes feels fortunate to have worked with a very progressive police department and in so many different roles.
While working for Vail in the corporate world was a wonderful experience, Haynes is very excited to be returning to law enforcement and serving the citizens of Summit County.
In 2001, Haynes married his wife Shannon and they have two children. One in high school and one who is off at college. They all enjoy Nordic skiing and Haynes also serves as the President of the Summit Nordic Ski Club, a nonprofit helping kids at all levels of Nordic skiing. Haynes also enjoys backcountry skiing, riding road and mountain bikes, hiking and trail running and now watching soccer, either his son in college or any professional teams play.
Operations Commander Tom Whelan
Tom Whelan was born in Anchorage, Alaska but raised in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. In 2004, Tom moved to Summit County to enjoy everything this county has to offer. In 2004, Tom began his career in Law Enforcement when he came to work at the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Detentions Division as a Detentions Deputy. In January of 2008, Tom attended the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Academy then began working in the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Operations Division where he held various roles, including Patrol Deputy, Field Training Officer, Field Training Coordinator, Patrol Sergeant and Operations Lieutenant, before being promoted to Operations Commander. Tom is also a member of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.
Tom oversees the Patrol Section, the Criminal Investigations Section, the Special Operations Section and the System-wide Mental Awareness Response Team (SMART).
Tom married his wife, Karla, in 2009. They have a daughter, who is current enrolled in college in Denver. Tom enjoys riding his bike any chance he can and has recently taken up Nordic skiing. Tom also enjoys working out to stay fit and keep his mind clear, along with camping and spending time with Karla and their two dogs.
Detentions Commander Jake Straw
Commander Jake Straw is the Detentions Division Commander overseeing jail operations, STARR (Strategies to Avoid Relapse and Recidivism), and the Court Security Section of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to the appointment to Commander, Jake was a Detentions Deputy, Patrol Deputy, School Resource Officer (SRO), Field Training Officer (FTO), and Patrol Sergeant, who oversaw the SRO and Traffic Safety Units. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Jake attained a Masters in Elementary Education in 2010, and had a short career as an educator before moving to Summit County.
He and his wife moved to Summit County together to find adventure and start a new life. Jake began his law enforcement career with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office in 2013 and never looked back. Since then, Jake and his wife have started a family with the birth of their daughter in 2021.
An avid backcountry skier and snowboarder, Jake is also a local musician who has played in several groups within Summit as a drummer, percussionist, singer, and harmonica player. Growing up in New England, he is a diehard Patriots fan and loves a good “lobstah” (lobster).
Jake is honored to be a part of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, an agency that is dedicated to the protection of this amazing community, and the progression of what it means to be a law enforcement officer. Jake wishes to thank his family, friends, and community partners for the support throughout his years of service.
Support Services Commander Christopher Walton
Commander Walton, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), United States Army, born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA is a combat Veteran with 22 years of service as Military Police Officer and Paratrooper. His notable assignments include Provost Marshal, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Multi-National Division North (Tikrit, Iraq and Fort Campbell, KY) and Commanding Officer, 108th Military Police Company (Airborne), (Fort Bragg, NC). He served four combat tours including Operation Provide Comfort-1991, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003, 2005, and 2009, and is a two-time recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and six-time recipient of Meritorious Service Medal. He is a former United States National Park Service Ranger-Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, following his retirement from active military service and move to Estes park, CO in 2011.
Chris began his service in Summit County Sheriff’s Office in August, 2020 as a Records Clerk, and was selected to be the civilian Commander of the newly formed Support Services Division in November, 2020. He currently oversees Professional Standards (Implementation of Senate Bill 20-217), Evidence, Records, and Civil Services.
Chris and his wife of more than 30 years, Maria, a current Ph.D candidate, returned home to Colorado in July of 2020 following four years in Virginia Beach, VA to be closer to their family. They have a daughter Casey, and two wonderful grandchildren, Zoe and Tucker, who continue to reside in Virginia Beach. They are excited and proud to be residents of Summit County and enjoy all the outdoor activities it has to offer.
Animal Control Director Lesley Hall
Lesley Hall is the Director of the Animal Control Division. She oversees the animal control officers, who enforce Summit County animal control resolutions state statutes, as well as the Summit County Animal Shelter, which houses stray pets and operates a very successful adoption program.
Animal Control has 10 staff, more than 100 volunteers, a pre-K-12 humane education program and a Summit County Animal Response Team that trains to respond to disasters. The shelter takes an active role in promoting animal welfare by working with several other Colorado and out-of-state shelters as transfer partners. The shelter houses approximately 824 animals each year, 71 percent of which are adopted; 22 percent are redeemed by their owners.
Hall has worked for Animal Control since 1988, when she started as an Animal Control Officer. She was promoted to Animal Control Supervisor in 1993, and to the Director position in 2010. Hall grew up in Independence, Ohio, with a strong interest in pets and wildlife and a desire to live in the Rocky Mountains. With these goals in mind, she earned a bachelor's of science degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management from the University of Wyoming and a commission as an Army Second Lieutenant. During her college years, she worked as a ranch hand outside of Cody, Wyoming. After graduating, she worked for the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Wildlife International Inc. Hall served in the Colorado Army National Guard for eight years, obtaining the rank of Captain.