I was born and raised in San Diego County. I’m proud to be a lifelong resident. I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be a police officer and I’ve never questioned that decision throughout my career.
I’ve been in law enforcement for 35 years, with 33 years at the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. I have worked all over the county, including our backcountry, and have been involved in nearly every aspect of law enforcement. Since I started my run for sheriff, I’ve heard from and have met with thousands of San Diego County residents.
People are concerned about the growing opioid and methamphetamine epidemics. They see the number of officer-involved shootings and wonder what leadership is doing to prepare deputies to de-escalate dangerous situations. They wonder how the sheriff can claim that crime is down.
People are surprised to learn about the number of hepatitis cases in our jails, or the sheriff’s refusal to implement CDC standards for disease prevention and women’s health. Or that our crime labs don’t test all rape kits. Or that extremely high rates of inmate violence and suicide are not being addressed by the sheriff.
Scandal after scandal has eroded public trust in our department. Sexual harassment by an assistant sheriff. A growing perception that the deputy accused of sexually harassing and assaulting 15 women was protected. Shady meetings between the sheriff and a foreign national linked to illegal campaign donations.
The sheriff’s failure to respect the “core values” of our department has left a trail of victims and lawsuits costing San Diego County taxpayers over $24 million at last count. These issues do more than degrade the quality of life for our residents, they make us less safe and contribute to the growing mistrust between residents and deputies.
Our brave women and men in uniform strive to do their best to serve and protect. I understand what a day in the life of a deputy is like because I was one. The current sheriff never served as a deputy, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, or commander. I am the only candidate in the race for Sheriff to climb the ranks.
I’ve been with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for 33 years and I believe that we’re in a state of stagnation due to a reactive and outdated policing culture. We are not keeping up with emerging strategies to combat increasingly sophisticated criminals, nor building the community partnerships that keep our communities and our deputies safe. I am running for Sheriff because I believe we can turn things around.