DENVER (KDVR) – The attorney representing the family of Christian Glass is calling for the resignation of Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers.

Glass was killed in June after he called police for help when he hit an embankment in Silver Plume. Glass told the dispatcher he had a knife. However, he refused to get out of the car when officers responded. After more than an hour, an officer broke a window, Glass grabbed a knife and a deputy shot and killed him.

“Clear Creek County has absolutely no defense and they only have blood on their hands,” Qusair Mohamedbhai, one of the attorneys representing Glass’ family, said.

Crisis team recommended 2 years ago

He said the family is particularly disturbed to learn about a grand jury report from August 2020, which recommended Clear Creek County “identify mental health resources, whether in or outside the county, that can immediately be made available to law enforcement to assist those individuals in mental health crisis.”

The report details the death of Darrin Patterson, who deputies shot and killed in May 2020. The grand jury found the deputies were justified in their use of force but said Clear Creek should implement resources for individuals suffering from mental illness “in hopes of preventing another tragedy like this.”

“This has made it worse. The [Glass] family is just, their loss is devastating. The fact that the government knew there were deficiencies…and they were completely ignored,” Mohamedbhai said.

County leaders talked mental health in 2021

Recordings from multiple county commission meetings in 2021 show mental health and the idea of creating a crisis intervention team was part of the conversation among county leaders.

It was just a grand jury recommendation, but I’ve taken it pretty seriously on our side,” Sheriff Rick Albers said in a July 13, 2021, meeting. “I don’t know if it could have prevented [Patterson’s death] but we’ve got to give these people all the chances that we can to get them the help they need and stuff.”

However, in the same meeting, Albers expresses his concern over funding for the program.

“I don’t see how we could afford it alone,” he said, suggesting Clear Creek team up with Gilpin County to pool resources. “The average cost of just one, a therapist or a response, is like $77,000 for one. That’s a big chunk of money for us.”

‘Christian Glass should be alive today’

While the county may have discussed the issue, Mohamedbhai said Glass’ family is upset that Clear Creek has not been able to fulfill the recommendation after two years.

“This is devastating news to know that Christian Glass should be alive today, for so many reasons,” he said. “They chose intentionally not to invest in trying to save the lives of our community members.”

On Wednesday, Albers sent a press release saying, “It is with respect for our community that we, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office, inform you of our cooperation and collaboration with the Clear Creek County Commissioners in the research of a development of a Crisis Response Team for our county.”

It is unclear what Clear Creek County’s timeline is for developing the crisis response team.