Submitted by Contributing Author, Sempervirens
Let me add these reasons to those of MarstheUsurper about why Laurie Smith wants to retain her job.
She enjoys the warm and pleasant interaction she enjoys with her staff. I know she laughed alongside them when her long-time political consultant Rich Robinson referred to her sworn staff as Keystone Kops. She didn’t want to ruin this rollicking good joke by publicly rebuking Robinson or stating that she doesn’t share this opinion. I know that I am still laughing.
She loves her staff and thinks so highly of them that she compares them with some of the most successfully oppressive regimes of the 20th century. As Raiderfan pointed a few weeks ago in this space, she referred to the DSA members as, “Soviet Union jackbooted thugs.” What rarefied company of which to be compared! Smith must see her role in that comparison as that of Josef Stalin who purged so many of his army officers in the late 1930’s, there were not enough qualified ones left to lead when Hitler invaded in 1940. Sound familiar?
She enjoys the steady stream of visitors to her office who come in just to “chew the fat” and share their concerns about the department. That give and take is just one example of the warmth that is Laurie Smith. She even reminded all us about that open door policy at the end of the NBC Bay Area report when she encouraged all of us with concerns to please come and see her. I just hope the line isn’t too long when it is my turn.
She enjoys spearheading a good investigation. Not those insignificant criminal ones like Audrey Potts or Sierra La Mar. The more challenging ones of catching her staff leaking stories or perceived acts of insubordination.
She likes to plow new ground in law enforcement. Just because no law enforcement agencies in the United States kennels police service dogs is no reason not to spend $2,000,000 to build a kennel at Elmwood. I don’t know why no other chief or sheriff has thought to spend $2,000,000 as a way to avoid paying a canine handler a few hundred dollars a month in FLSA-required payments. It should pay for itself within the first hundred years. We should all stand in awe of her boldness in completely ignoring the importance of the bonding between handler and dog that is the industry standard. The “Scooby Memorial Canine Storage and Training Complex” will elevate Laurie Smith among the other Silicon Valley leaders who thought “outside of the box” and led their organizations to new heights. Like her friend, Carly Fiorna, who did such great things for Hewlett-Packard.
She likes to help struggling businessmen. For example, she knew of a car dealership that was having difficulty selling gas-guzzlng mega-SUVs. The Sheriff loaned them a light bar and had one of her deputies spend an entire day cutting out two Sheriff’s stars to mount on the doors She then had one of her captains drive that distinctively marked Hummer to a Saratoga Chamber of Commerce event and park it along with other Hummers that there to promote sales. That same captain spent the night activating the light bar in order to attract attention to the vehicles that were for sale. She was so concerned for this man’s business that she ignored the fact that it is illegal to loan equipment to a private business and using your office to sell cars is a violation of accepted police ethics. Sadly when that same businessman was investigated for financial improprieties, she pretended to not know him. Implausible Plausible Deniability at its best.
She likes to help veterans. She helped the deputy, who was assigned to do the initial planning for STAR1, was trained by the factory to fly that aircraft and then flew it here when it was delivered. She then called the general in charge of the California Air National Guard to find a way that she could get this deputy out of his pending deployment to Iraq. Sadly he chose to ignore her and follow the ways of a warrior to not stay behind while your brothers and sisters go off to fight. After returning with all that experience flying and commanding others in combat, she helped to keep him from being bored by the mundane task of flying a police helicopter and sent him to Patrol. Not too long later she again helped prevent him from making the mistake of being a sergeant. After all with 20 years as a deputy and combat command experience, how could he compare himself to other candidates with five years on the department? She again threw caution to the wind and ignored the law, this time the Federal one that prevents an employer from punishing a reservist for serving his country. She also helped this deputy to learn his lesson about what can happen when you don’t obey her wishes.
Too bad the rest of us don’t have as much fun at work.