The most pressing Law Enforcement issue facing our Sheriff’s Office is the significant staffing shortage. We have dozens of vacancies between our many divisions (operations, detention, patrol and civil). During my 15 years at the Sheriff’s Office, morale has never been as low as it is today. With all the staffing shortages, we continue to see veteran staff in all divisions leaving for other departments. That means the resources spent training these veteran staff members has left with them. When these veterans leave, it creates a strain on the current staff often burning them out, denial of time off, and creating a crippling overtime expense. As Sheriff, it would be one of my top priorities to improve and modify our recruiting practices to attract, hire, and retain qualified candidates, while not lowering our standards or jeopardizing the public’s faith in our agency.
This effort seeks to maintain that all employees of the department are performing at their highest levels of physical and mental health. Law Enforcement Officers face an average of three traumatic experiences in every six months of service. By creating a culture of self-care and supportive counseling, both the Officer and community benefit as a whole.
Law Enforcement must be agile and able to respond to ever-changing circumstances. As a result, we have to focus on improving our training and technology. Training should be one of our highest priorities. The department and staff must be capable of responding to events quickly and effectively. I will strive to increase the Annual Advanced Training for all members within the department.
The strategic development plan focuses on infrastructure, equipment, personnel, and programs. Some examples of this plan would include solar covered parking, which we can be used to support the incorporation of hybrid and electric vehicles into our fleet. Another example of this plan is to provide staff with the latest equipment, such as body cameras and other technology to better serve the public.
Create a board that would consist of members from our diverse community who will be able to communicate the direct needs of its citizens. The board would have the opportunity to meet regularly with the Sheriff, discuss topics of interest and concern, be a conduit for information to the communities, and provide input on initiatives and policies relating to the office’s relationship with the community.
It will be my goal to shift Yolo County toward collaborative criminal justice policy-making and the implementation of correctional and community-based programs. These programs will be designed to reduce inmate recidivism rates, ultimately driving down crime and jail population. Programs such as “Choose Your Path” will give inmates a hands-on learning environment which will help them become a productive and reliable employee, attend self-help groups such aa AA, NA, and anger management. Educational services would provide various vocational programs including, carpentry, custodial training, landscaping, food preparation, small engine repair, dog handling, and facility maintenance. Social services would provide consistent mental health assistance, parenting classes, and connections with housing services. This program focuses on the individual and provides them with the tools and skill sets necessary to succeed within society.