Message to Deputies

I have worked for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for nearly 20 years, on the street and from behind a desk.  Over the years I have worked with many of you; either as a subordinate, peer, supervisor, or manager.  It would be impossible for me to single out one mentor, because many of you have had some type of influence on my career and may have even helped mold me into the professional I am today.  It has never been a secret, that one day I hoped to lead this department as your Sheriff.  After many years of thought, prayer, and support from friends and family, I have decided that day has come.  It will be a long and trying election cycle, but I am confident we can do it together, and we will be better off because if it.

I firmly believe in the concept that we are all “deputies.”  Some of us have different positions, wear different hats, work in very different communities, and may even have different rank.  But, bottom line, we are all “deputies.”  We all come to work every day with a specific assignment.  Each assignment is necessary, and when combined, we are able to fulfill and complete our mission.  This has never, and will never be a job for just one person.  It is extremely difficult for one person to make a difference in an organization.  We must all work together, with a common goal in mind, in order to make that difference.  With that said, without common goals, and without the right leadership, we simply exist as a Department.  Nothing changes, nothing evolves, nothing we do can make a difference.

Many people have asked why I am running for Sheriff.  A short answer:  I want to be the catalyst that allows us to make a difference.  Some people run for Sheriff out of a narcissistic need to be in a position of power, or maybe some strange alter ego that secretly wishes they were born 100 years earlier.  I do not have any need for self-efficacy.  I love my life, I love my job, I love being a “cop.”   I simply want to provide a common goal, foster the environment needed for success, and get out of your way as we make a difference in our community, and our Department.  We are one of the largest agencies in the state; I want the rest of the state to recognize us as the best.

The citizens of the County of Riverside have given us an incredible responsibility.  We have the power to take away someone’s freedom and to use force to ensure compliance.  Citizens expect us to use that power wisely, fairly, and consistently.  As your Sheriff, I will expect nothing less of myself, and of you.

However, as your Sheriff, I will also expect you to use that authority.  I will expect you to be very pro-active in your work.  That means I want you to arrest people when it’s appropriate, but find other solutions when it’s not.   Sometimes, an arrest might not be the answer.   I expect you to use common sense and judgment.  I expect you to treat every suspect with respect, and show every victim the compassion you would expect shown to your own grandmother.  I will expect you to come to work every day to “fight crime” to the best of your ability.  I expect you to understand that arresting a suspect is only part of the goal of making our communities safe.

As your Sheriff, I will expect our Jail staff to treat every inmate with the dignity they would expect shown to one of their own relatives.  That means that while our safety and jail security is our number one priority, respecting the rights of others, and showing respect and compassion to others is equally as important.

As your Sheriff, I will expect that every supervisor, manager, and administrator follow my lead by remembering where we came from and by actively engaging in the mission of our department.  I expect you to lead by example, mentor, and actually care about the troops you lead and the citizens you protect.  I expect you to remember we are all “deputies.”

I also expect every member of the Department to adhere to, and believe in our vision, our mission, and our code of conduct.  I believe we are held to a higher standard and I expect you to live your private lives as such, not just professionally.  Your integrity is not something that can be turned on only when you come to work.

As your Sheriff, I promise I will be the leader you deserve.  I will be right next to you, literally and figuratively.  I will be at your stations, I will be in your patrol cars, I will be with you on your beat.  I will be a functioning part of our department.  I will not ask of one of you, something that I would not do myself.  This will be my internal daily goal, not something that occurs only in the year leading up to each election!  As your Sheriff, I promise I will act like a leader, not a Politician, I will never use department personnel as chess pieces in a battle of ego’s with the Board of Supervisors.  I promise, as your Sheriff, that I will never compromise your reputations or my integrity, morals, and ethics, for personal or political gain, endorsement, or votes.

As your Sheriff, I promise you an environment that fosters positive change, one free from fear and intimidation.  I promise you that while we may not agree, every idea, comment, or criticism will be respectfully considered and discussed. Your voice matters!  I promise you that personal opinions, rumor, and past discrepancies will not be held against you when considered for special assignments, transfers, or promotions.  I promise you a Management and Executive Staff that relates and is concerned about the mission and the needs of Department personnel and their ability to effectively protect their communities.

As your Sheriff, I promise my executive staff that I will value and trust your opinions as much as my own.  I promise I will encourage your thoughts and ideas, your expertise, and your help even if they differ from mine.  I promise you will be allowed to lead your divisions without scrutiny, and always without fear of losing your job simply because I had a bad day, or that you campaigned for someone else.  I will trust your ability to lead your troops.  I believe that an executive level staff operating in “at will” positions is a great system.  It fosters positive growth, accountability, and cooperation, while ensuring everyone is mindful of the Department and its Mission.  I also believe this system, headed by the wrong person, cripples the entire organization.  I promise you that I WILL make a difference in the way we do business.

Fighting crime, good police work, and community service go hand in hand.  When you are mindful of this, work hard, make good arrests, and are responsive to the needs of the community, you will always have my full support.

With your support in this election, we will finally have the direction and the leadership to make a difference, and be recognized as “the best” in our profession.