The Sheriff’s Advisory Board (SAB), in theory, exists to help you. In some ways they do. They are there to give support to the office by donating items or money to buy items that the office may not be able to get otherwise. The cause is a good one and they have given the office many things — tactical gear, a patrol boat, a bomb suit helmet, the new SONAR equipment — that have helped, some of it potentially inaccessible without the efforts of the SAB. In return for their donations, they get tax right offs and the appreciation of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office. And that’s where it should end.
Here’s the problem as I have seen it and heard it explained by others. The Santa Clara SAB seems to be getting more than tax write offs for their contributions. And what they do, seems a little cloudy to me. I’m not impressed that the deputies are so often used to provide entertainment and to cater their events at the range. Not that they aren’t grateful for what the SAB does, but they are deputies and to expect them to dance at the demand of the SAB is demeaning. Particularly when the Sheriff and her 4th Floor Cadre are in the audience as well.
We have examples of two SAB members embroiled in illegal financial activities. We have one of them currently bragging about being an honorary deputy. I’ve heard a number of currently unsubstantiated reports about other activities that SAB members have been involved in that brought them to the attention of the wrong side of law enforcement that I’m looking into now as well.
This should be unacceptable to the Sheriff. Her’s is a position that should be avoiding conflict of interest, should be avoiding financial situations that look questionable, should be expecting those around her to not only be notable in our society, but without criminal record.
Instead, I find even more that casts doubt on this group in the soon to be held Hero’s Run. The Hero’s Run poster clearly states the beneficiary of the run is Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Pediatrics. However, buried in the print above the poster in Eventbrite it says the Sheriff’s Advisory Board is also a beneficiary. The Eventbrite page (downloaded copy) shows both in stark contrast to each other. I have it from two independent sources that there was a donation by the SAB to make this event happen. Both sources also stated that the sheriff initially intended to use the event as part of her election campaign until the DSA became major sponsors of the event and put an end to that. I’m pretty sure the SAB is supposed to be apolitical. Interesting.
I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be an SAB, I think that people who are able, contributing to the betterment of their community is a great thing. I think they deserve applause for making such a commitment. It gives their target organization more tools to do their job better while giving SAB members the return of a tax break. But the idea that it gives the members of the SAB some kind of special status allowing them to use deputies and/or tax payer funded resources to entertain themselves goes a little too far. That they become “honorary deputies”, a term no one seems able to define among my sources, is wrong. Even the hint that they may be using money indirectly to support the Sheriff politically when they clearly state they are a non-political organization should bring the wrath of the Sheriff down on them. After all, ultimately the ethics behind their actions reflect on her, and as the chief law enforcement officer in the county, she should be avoiding even the appearance of unethical behavior.
Not that she cares or understands the concept of ethics as we saw in her recent, angry interview.
See some of the fun the SAB gets to have at the expense of tax payers. They happily upload it to YouTube for all of us to enjoy! Rummage through the videos of CaptLarryWCarr for several SAB event demos, Visit Shawnta209 to see her enjoy “MP5 Fun!” over several years worth of BitW competitions. Dig around YouTube, there’s more. I won’t give them all to you since videos seem to magically disappear when I point them out. You would think they’re embarrassed or doing something wrong they way they disappear so quickly.