Elected Official Spotlight: Joe Pelle

Elected Official Spotlight: Joe Pelle


The Boulder Chamber celebrates Sheriff Joe Pelle for his service to Boulder County over the past 20 years and thanks him for his outstanding partnership with the Boulder Chamber. As part of the celebration, we wanted to catch some of Sheriff Pele’s closing thoughts and reflections as he prepares for a much-deserved retirement.  

When asked "Why is Boulder's business community important to you?" Sheriff Pelle stated, “The business community is the driver of our local economy and of course a vital source of funding for the public safety services the sheriff’s office is required to deliver.  Healthy and thriving businesses in Boulder County are therefore essential to public safety and our way of life in this county!”  

Sheriff Joe Pelle is a Colorado native, growing up in Boulder. He has 43 years of public safety experience and has served 5 terms, (20 yrs.), as the elected Sheriff of Boulder County. He became interested in a police career at an early age and was a member of the Sheriff’s Explorer Post as a teenager. In January of 1980, Sheriff Pelle went to work full time as a Deputy Sheriff and held progressively responsible positions in various assignments with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and in the Boulder Police Department, until he ran for Sheriff in 2002 and took office in January 2003. Joe has a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Colorado, and a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Public Administration, from Metropolitan State College. He also has attained numerous professional certifications. 

During his tenure, Sheriff Pelle led a full-service public safety agency of approximately 450 employees and hundreds of volunteers through 20 years of change and challenges. There have been major improvements in facilities, staffing, training, and equipment over the course of those years. The department and the community have been especially challenged with natural disasters including several major fires and a historic flood. Through the efforts of Sheriff Pele and his team. We have weathered those experiences well. And if you ask Sheriff Pele what makes him most proud, it’s the establishment of “Character First” as the working motto and bulwark of the Mission and Vision statement for the Sheriff’s Office. 

Sharrif Pelle has been married to his wife Stephanie for the past 43 years. He has two grown-married children and four grandchildren in the area. He is looking forward to his retirement, which becomes official on January 10, 2023, and the chance to spend a lot of time with his family and hobbies. 

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