A recall petition citing inconsistent police work has set its target on Bent County Sheriff David Encinias.

A recall petition citing inconsistent police work has set its target on Bent County Sheriff David Encinias.

Re-elected to serve an addition four-year term in 2015, Encinias is bearing the brunt of frustrated Las Animas residents less than one year into his new term who have had their homes broken into or fear break-ins given the recent rise in home invasions.

"I'm not saying that the sheriff is fully to blame for all of the crime going on in our community, but we have to start somewhere in order to reclaim our city," said Randy Losey, the petition's circulator before an approximate 20 people in attendance at City Hall last Tuesday night to discuss the organization of a neighborhood watch.

Losey, who says his shop, located in Las Animas, has been broken into twice, claims neither instance was handled properly by the sheriff's office. "I've done the majority of the police work myself," said Losey. "I found my own stuff in Rocky Ford and was able to find out who took them there. The police here haven't followed through with anything."

Encinias refrained from making comment early Tuesday morning, rather urging all residents to attend a community meeting organized by his office on March 2 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting, according to Encinias, will focus on local break-ins and the procedures followed by the Bent County Sheriff's Office in the aftermath of a break-in. The sheriff will be available to answer all questions presented by concerned citizens related to local crime.

According to Bent County Clerk Patti Nickell, Losey presented the recall petition to her office on Feb. 8. Losey will have 60-days from then to file the petition with the clerk's office with a predetermined number of signatures based on 2015 voter turnout from registered Bent County voters.

Following the filing of the petition, a period of protest would then be given to Encinias, if he so desired, to contest signatures or the manner in which they were garnered.

If the petition is approved, a recall election will be scheduled separate from any other primary or general election at which point registered voters will be asked to approve or reject the recall and, if approved, elect Encinias' successor.

A separate election would cost the county approximately $3,000-$4,000 according to Nickell.