updated 1:17pm, 11/21/2013

Can you imagine going to work one day and no one sees you. Your supervisors walk by you like you don’t exist.  If one of them does happen to catch your eye, they offer no reaction, certainly not a good morning.

Imagine having your office moved to a satellite office to handle a project that no one cares about.  You’re notified of schedule meetings, but sometimes when you drive all the way from your satellite office to the main office, no one is there.  They moved the meeting, assuming it was ever really scheduled at all.  Your peers laugh, because this is the few times you’re recognized — when they think they’ve made you look foolish.

You offer ways to improve the office when you show up for “real” meetings.  They brush you off, ridicule you or glare at you, all depending on the mood of the day and the order of the day from above.

Then one day, you discover, as administrator level personnel, you have been removed from all the administrative email lists.  All the email lists.  You are notified of nothing that may be relevant to doing your job, increasingly making it difficult. When you bring it to those above you, they just nod their heads at you.

This is the outline of the story of Kevin Jensen as he has finally verified as the working conditions his peers and supervisors created for him to work under, since even before he decided to run for office.  This wasn’t even because he was running for Sheriff against her, it was all happening long before he even decided that he would run.

The project “no one cares about” is  the Bay Area UASI.  UASI, What’s that?  I did a little digging, is the federal program that was created to help regions be better prepared in the event of a terrorist attack.  It is the program that Boston Police Department attributed their ability to deal with the Boston Bomber too, providing the equipment, training and understanding how to coordinate a large-scale effort.  UASI, offers funding and access to a variety of training and new equipment through government funding of this program.  But remember, this office doesn’t want training and new equipment, not even for free through federally funded grants apparently.  She SO wouldn’t even consider free money unless the Sheriff can make a  show of it as an effort of her personal “hard work”.  The rest of us are a bunch of incompetent fools who can barely manage to put their uniforms on day-to-day, never mind bring granted funded items to the office successfully.

This is, in brief, Kevin Jensen‘s story, but this is not only his story.  I’ve talk to people at all levels who have wrought the ire of the Sheriff from Captains on down.  You become invisible to her.  You become invisible to those who reside on the 4th floor.  You suffer the institutionalized oppression that I spoke of in an earlier blog that is so much a part of the management of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.  You can see a recent example of this in the comments under a congratulatory post I made… an administrator, who chooses to remain unnamed, gloating about how he expects people to come back to the Sheriff with their tail between their legs, so to speak.  A weak-minded attempt to crush the spirit of those fighting for something better in the hopes my followers will back off.  They won’t.

And sergeants, the sergeants of this office are considered nothing more than chattel that are regularly undermined, ignored and circumvented.  We’re probably back to hearing the infamous expression that one of our now infamous contractors was known for, “Follow the COC!” COC, chain of command.  Oh how funny he thought that was in his juvenile glee, telling people to follow his COC in his own mind because of the rank he held in the office.  I’m sure we can all figure out the childish joke without me getting offensive.  The problem is, while the office has a paramilitary structure (as our administrator commenter pointed out in their defense of their following bad orders from above) that demands the chain of command be respected, both ways.  All but on the way down at the sergeants level.  Sergeants in all areas have told me stories of their management being undermined.  Showing up for work and finding out one of their guys has been reassigned for the day, not being consulting on decisions involving the team they manage… just flat-out ignored as part of the Almighty “COC”.  Sergeants, from what I’ve been told, are considered almost completely unnecessary and are totally disrespected in regards to their capabilities.

Sergeants who dare to try to find ways to mentor and improve those deputies under them – they’re hated.  They simply do not understand their place.  They do things wrong, even when they do nothing wrong.  Helping deputies to better do their jobs and creating a better work environment for them!  How dare they!  If they learn their lesson, they become lieutenants and captains.  If they don’t, they’re ignored, much as Captain Kevin Jensen was.  Captain Kevin Jensen was respected.  They don’t understand why.  They don’t have it in their capabilities to understand respect breeds respect.

I guess when you consider the requirements that were offered to one deputy who asked what they needed to do to promote, you can understand why.  After being frustrated in promotion, working hard to prove himself as a competent and worthwhile deputy, he asked someone far above the rank of deputy “what do I have to do around here to promote.”  The answer?  “Don’t do anything.  Just answer your calls and don’t do anything more.”

The less you do at whatever rank you are in, the more likely you are to be promoted.  Why?  because you won’t question the sheriff and her henchmen, you won’t try to press “new ideas” and “better ways to do things” on them.  You won’t attempt to work well with others.  It’s the first test to how well they’ll be able to mold you to what they want, not to what the office needs.  If you can follow one simple offensive order like “do nothing,” you prove that they will likely be able to ask you to do much uglier things as your career progresses through the ranks.

And still, even when they see you, you will be invisible to them.

UPDATE:  I was just reminded of a very important point that should have been included here, I believe.  Irony is never lost in the Sheriff’s Office these days.  I recently did a blog about how the sheriff had just sent A/S Skip Shervington to Israel to “learn” about counter-terrorism.  Yet I have gotten the UASI story from no fewer than 4 sources about how the UASI activities have been for the most part pushed aside.  They have 2 special teams that participate in the Urban Shield program “most years.”  But they do not work with other agencies, they do not apply for grants for training or equipment on a regular basis.  They have allowed the county to take a back seat to other Bay Area agencies when it comes to large crisis preparedness – but the sheriff and Skip Shervington have been to Israel.  Oh, rumor has it that there was some UASI money used… to send Captain Mark Eastus to Israel.  But from these three trips, I can find NO ONE who has seen the benefit of this “knowledge” these three gained trickle down into actual policies or actions or training within the office.


12 thoughts on “Invisible

  1. I had the honor of working with Kevin Jensen as a deputy, I was a C/O. Then as Sergeants and when he came back as a DOC Captain. Then when he was interned to the coroners office and the special job in SF he was never once negative. We spoke honestly with each other. Kevin is an example of a LEADER. He put all the negative behind him and only looked forwards at the positives.

    Retired Sgt p. Navarrete


  2. Subzero again?…..AR15 training?…..for everyone??…..Really. Don’t you think it would be prudent to teach all badge staff to use AR’s?…They are Department issued safety equipment, not specialty tools. How about the CO , who was rushed into service as disgraced Supervisor Shirokawa’s driver/bodyguard?. This CO was taken to the range, force fed training and given an unmarked SO SUV to drive the BOS member to and from work. Why?….the CO was his friend and neighbor. So lets grab a guy from the jail, toss him into Glock training, put him in civilian clothes and “poof” he is now a trained bodyguard. Didn’t anyone from admin think this was a bad idea. We now have a DOC Lt now supervising SO personnel in P&T. There are some “sketchy” things going on, and have been going on over the last few years. So, Subzero, if things are so great why are most Police POA’s and the DSA and CPOA supporting Kevin Jensen?….is it because he makes poor personnel decisions?..puts untrained people in specialty spots?..brings back contractors who were poor examples of leadership?…..No the Sheriff is making these decisions. It’s time for change. You know it and so do those you work with. Get on the right bus.


    • The best thing that has happened to the sheriffs office in the last few months was the retirement of that (assuming) DOC Lt. Decasas.(P&T) she destroyed that place….I’m sure that retirement party could’ve been held in a phone booth. Good riddance.


  3. I have been here over a decade and have not heard anything about these Israel trips nor received any current information or training related. I have to travel outside the county to actually get current and relative training. The last training I was given by the sheriffs office came from a VHS tape!!!! You can imagine how current the training was….


  4. This is a common practice at the Sheriffs Office. The punishing grounds such as Transportation for LTs and court holding cells for deputies. Out of sight and a place one can not better themselves. They do this because usually the person is a threat and they don’t want you to be in a position to gain knowledge, have an impact, influence, or be in a position to expose their corrupt ways. These actions are typical for any dictator, no education, freedom or the ability of free thought, all archaic ways if controlling people.


  5. “I personally know that if a leader is strong enough, smart enough, and has the ability to have others follow then he/she will be rewarded.” You mean like how Ted Atlas was treated.


  6. Training? New equipment?

    Are you too blind to see all of the changes our department is experiencing? New state of the art tablets in brand new patrol vehicles? AR15 classes for not only experienced deputies? Two patrol deputies starting the formation of a gang unit? Not to mention a dual purpose K9?

    Please Casey Thomas spare your false statements for someone else. Oh yeah, forgot to mention the alleged sgts that are making attempts to lead their deputies. I personally know that if a leader is strong enough, smart enough, and has the ability to have others follow then he/she will be rewarded.


    • Did I hit a nerve there? Leaders who are smart and strong enough to be followed will be rewarded? Is that what you tell yourself when you ask yourself why you were promoted? Is that what you believe you were giving to Captain Jensen, just rewards for being a real leader? Because I think the proof is on the table that the office feels he is smart enough and intelligent enough to follow. I note you left out one important trait. Kevin Jensen is RESPECTED enough to be followed. Strong-arming others into following you is not leadership and again respect is something that the administration seems to not understand. From what I hear, every time a RESPECTED leader shows their capabilities in your office, everything that can be done to crush them is done. It makes the 4th floor and the captains VERY uncomfortable to know that there are people that are respected and can be taken at their word, so everything that one can do to undermine their word is done. How is that being “rewarded”? To see those above you tell others behind your back that you don’t know what you’re talking about or how to get anything done or that they’re just not liked by the administration so they should be cast out?

      You know the truth. You can say whatever you want or worse, whatever your directed, but you know what I’m saying is the hard, cold truth of the matter and the reason that 90% of the DSA wants nothing to do with the current administration.

      Oh, and the election year scramble to make it look like you’re doing something for the public to attempt to mitigate the damage of people going public — do you *really* believe you can call that ‘change’? I’m sorry.

      I’ll let the deputies who follow me (I must be smart and strong!) address the “new equipment” and “training” they’re seeing. They seem to be doing a good job pointing out your rose-colored glasses today.

      PS – you really should tell the sheriff she’s allowing you to set a bad example by posting while you’re on duty without repercussions. Yet another example of the lack of leadership, respect and consistency within the upper ranks of the office.


    • You got to be kidding subzero. The best thing deputies can get from admin is their morale back and there’s only one way that will happen. Unfortunately, we won’t know until next June if we get that back. If it doesn’t work out for the good guys….oh well at least we have two new gang guys and tablets in cars.


    • Tsk, Tsk, Tsk…..There you go again subzero, spewing forth more of the Sheriff’s propaganda. We are not blind to what the Sheriff has “given” us. Failed promises and cheap parlor tricks during an election year are not something to hang your hat on. Has anyone else noticed all these “opportunities” suddenly appear? It wouldn’t have anything to do with her miserable failure during her tenure in office, would it?

      Since you provided examples of her “Changes” she is responsible for let me add a few more to your list. You forgot, an administration built on lies, deceit and subjugation. Where bullying and keeping the “line level staff” in their proper place through fear and intimidation is the norm. Referring to her own people as Keystone Kops and stating that the DSA can do nothing to unseat her. Her apparent limitless ineptness in promoting her “Best & Brightest” into leadership roles. Her inept and total failure to offer guidance and support to her troops and her continued inability to conduct timely and well orchestrated investigations during high profile cases. Her outright childish behavior when dealing with outside law enforcement organizations as well as her own troops. Of course I’d be remiss if I failed to mention her continued “blind eye” towards her immoral, unethical and in some cases, illegal behavior of her chosen Admin. These are the things our department is experiencing as whole. Not your false bravado and the reality you see through your rose colored glasses.

      Regarding your minute list of “accomplishments” it’s actually quite laughable. What tablets are you referring to? The ones that are supposedly “coming soon”? These wouldn’t be like the state of the art report writing system we are STILL waiting for is it? Our brand new patrol cars…..what, all 5 of them? Have you seen (much less driven in) what we are forced to drive? Cars with inoperable controls, broken seats, broken code-3 equipment, broken computers (or not even in the car), broken spotlights/take down lights, inoperable heaters/AC, cars with 130,000+ miles, faulty or no interior lights, missing mandatory supplies for the trunk, faulty cameras, cars that shake/rattle and groan when the gas is pressed or the brakes applied, cars with faulty steering and broken seat belts. These are just a few of the things that come to mind off the top of my head and I’m sure there are lots more.

      AR-15’s for Deputies….what a joke. The Sheriff doesn’t even trust the Deputies to which these are assigned. They can’t take them home like their Glock but must instead keep them locked up at work. I’m not even sure having an AR-15 would even count as a perk. These are simply a necessary tool in order for us to do our jobs. You know, like handcuffs and pepper spray. You do remember those, don’t you? I’m sure you had plenty of opportunity to fire the AR-15 and other toys at the special range day with Alden Smith and so you must think they are extra special cool, but to us on patrol, it’s just another essential tool.

      The two Deputies on our newly formed Gang Unit are a good start. I guess the really important thing is that now the Sheriff FINALLY admits there is a gang problem within our County. I wonder what changed her mind?? The real applause should go to those that are in Spec Ops for putting a good plan together and selling the Admin on it. I feel it’s worth mentioning that the 2 Deputies that were selected are both excellent cops and will do well, but even they know there is one Deputy who was excluded (even though all involved in forming this unit know he should be included) simply because he fell out of favor with the Sheriff and her minions. Shame on you Sheriff Laurie Smith, John Hirokawa and Carl Neusel for depriving the citizens of Santa Clara County of a Deputy who would make a real difference in this unit. Instead, you simpletons chose to make up some bullshit rumor and deny him this position. Yet another example of why we can’t wait till you leave!

      Finally, our dual purpose K9……….Good dog and great handler. The Sheriff had Zero involvement in getting this. The Deputy attended training on his own time (a recurring theme here at our office) and the dog was paid for not by the Sheriff, but by a grant. Interestingly enough, other Deputies that were lied to about a revived canine unit and spent the time applying for it only to find out that IF they could provide their own dog, then maybe they’d be able to join the K9 unit. So now it’s the Deputies responsibility to go to training on their own time and $$ AND provide their own dog that will be housed at Elmwood and cared for by criminals? Brilliant!! What idiot in our office came up with this plan?? Inmates caring for a law enforcement dog that was purchased/provided for by the Deputy. Back to our new dual purpose K9. I heard he was at the recent Hero’s run, but for some odd reason he did not demonstrate his dogs ability. Instead, that honor went to a civilian company that is trying to get a contract with the Sheriff to supply future training and/or dogs. Again, what idiot thought that up? Lastly, on the first night where our new dual purpose K9 was set to go 10-8 on patrol what do you think happened……..give up? The only K9 patrol vehicle available to the the Deputy was….yep you guessed it…broken. Completely worthless. Not even serviceable to go out on patrol. I’m not sure how long it took to get the vehicle up and running or even it they did.

      Yeah subzero….we’re all aware of the “progress” our immoral, unethical and leaderless Sheriff and her admin have provided to us. Please sir, can we have some more????

      As for your definition of what it takes to be “rewarded”, none of you shills, cowards or cheats reward any of us. None of you are strong enough, smart enough or courageous enough to have others follow you ANYWHERE!! You got where you are through deceit, backstabbing and lies. I changed my mind. I know where we’d follow you. How about out the door on your last day at this department just so we can watch you drive away in your OWN vehicle and never to be seen/heard from again.

      KJ for Sheriff, 2014!!


    • Subzero – I bet you think WWF is a real sport too. Those who are smart, strong leaders, and I will add those who have in the past actually loyally supported Sheriff Smith, are not only not rewarded, they are discarded like so much trash and banished to whatever assignment she deems to be the doghouse. Only the people she is currently using to commit unethical behavior are rewarded. As soon as a person stops being of value to her latest crusade, she conveniently forgets the faithful service they have given her and labels them “the enemy.” Rather than basing her opinion of them on the facts of their past performance, she listens to her newest sycophants who are more than willing to tell her lies about others to advance their own careers.


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