Desperately Seeking Positive Press

The last 4 years of hibernation has been rough on the Sheriff, she’s out of practice. All the dismissive remarks she’s gotten away with in the past aren’t working any more. Some members of the press are daring to ask real questions, with her refusing to make a statement, hiding behind a PIO who is desperately spinning social media like this office has never seen before.  I guess we can tout that as a “technology development” for the Sheriff since she’s currently suffering from The Emperor Has No Clothes syndrome in regards to the rest of her claims about improvements.

So since she can’t go to the members of the press who still want a statement about her interview with Tony Kovaleski of NBC Bay Area News, she’s running to her old standbys, the bought-and-paid-for Mercury News, and some new soft sources like the Los Altos On-line to pretty her up for the public and maintain her “popularity” as some would like to call it.

So what has she been saying to these sources — how far the office has improved under the Sheriff? Not really. Most practices, equipment, technologies and policies were either in place or just coming into place as she took office nearly 16 years ago with little to no improvement on much of what already existed. Maybe she talks about the development of new concepts such as predictive policing? No, that kind of wishy washy thing is for other agencies.  A comprehensive training system to ensure the highest level of training at all times for all deputies?  No, but the SO does now have an increasingly neglected Law Enforcement Academy.

The Sheriff instead has been reliving her glory days about how she broke the glass ceiling for women (yet has done little to nothing for the women in her department, a good majority which are supporting Kevin Jensen in the next election) and how she helped puppies at the Christmas in the Park event – despite the controversial use of inmates at an asbestos- and black mold-ridden jail where her workers are saying there is an increasing concern regarding cancer diagnoses with her staff at this facility.

Don’t get me wrong, the sheriff being a part of her community and breaking ground for women 20 years ago is important stuff.  It is relevant to be a part of your community and contribute to the betterment of those who live around you.  But right now, considering the shape of her office, it rings a bit like Nero’s fiddling while Rome burns.

There are serious problems in the Sheriff’s Office. Many of those problems are of her making through poor promotion practices, her lack of engagement in the department she runs, her practice of refusing to create office policy leaving deputies wandering aimlessly so in the event something does happen, she can say they were appropriately “in” or “out” of policy as she needs, to cover herself.

The sheriff sends people out to my blog to “defend” her actions – saying that we have new technology, new cars, lots of training and more – yet they’re arguing nothing more than straw houses when it comes right down to the reality of the office.

Is she scrambling to put out a few extra training moments to a few visible people?  Yes.  Is she suddenly updating email programs and other legacy software in an attempt to say she’s “modernized” the office?  Yes.  But the reality is, what she has done doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of what the office does day-to-day.  You can run a campaign on an election year scramble to “improve” things, but you can not run an office successfully with that type of strategy.

Time for some one to apply a consistent hand of leadership to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office… Kevin Jensen for Santa Clara County Sheriff in 2014.

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14 thoughts on “Desperately Seeking Positive Press

  1. I agree sung is a major problem. He is a full on criminal. I think many of you know what I’m talking about…

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  2. I read the comments about the PIO and have to add my 2 cents. Every PIO that has ever held that position was hand picked by the administration. Its a shoulder tap job that always leads to promotion. Look back at those you can remember. US Hirokawa was one. It’s tough to not be a hater when you see who gets promoted and how it occurred. The current PIO is a good guy in a tough spot. As for emperor Sung, you all know him, unqualified, zero leadership skills and not respected by any of those who work for him. They can dress you up as a Captain, but everyone laughs. SJPD didn’t fail to hire him, he failed to make grade.

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  3. Okay, everyone who missed the point and turned this into being about the motivations of the PIO… stop… go to http://www.kevinjensenforsheriff.com/#!donate/c42u and donate $50 to the Kevin Jensen campaign. When you’re done, come back and finish reading my post here.

    This isn’t, wasn’t about whether or not the PIO is doing a good job, bad job, appropriate job or other. This was about how media is beign addressed by the Sheriff, including via the job of PIO, which has just suddenly become an actual Public Information Officer job for possibly the first time in more than a decade. And it’s all about the Sheriff. For example, the Christmas in the Park campaign…yes, I’m calling it a campaign.. the inmates have been building items for this program for years. They have worked hard. It’s part of the vocational program, they’re learning a skill, they have worked hard on this every year. You never heard about it though. The Sheriff couldn’t take credit for the program implemented under the D.O.C. The sheriff had no interest in such events at a personal level because there was no benefit until this year with an upcoming election. Suddenly it’s an election year and you would think that she just developed the entire Christmas in the Park program on her own, this year, and built everything with her own hands. This is just one example of the POINT of this particular blog… not the PIO… not that the public is FINALLY getting information from a position that should have been providing information all along, but the the fact that the information is sheriff-centric and is suddenly coming out like someone just took a dam out upstream.

    Thank you for listening and I’m sure Kevin thanks you for the donation you made before finishing my post. 😉

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    • When the PIO makes a statement like “I’m going to beat Sung to the AS position” I will question the motivation. A person that truly did not want to be placed in a position to choose ethical choices vs career advancement would have passed up the position and taken another route. It doesn’t matter if he is trying his best at the job. It’s the “I’m going to get mine attitude.”

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      • Fly Guy, I don’t disagree. My point wasn’t to argue if he is or is not ethical though, simply that he is just another brick the wall that she is building and our focus needs to be on taking her out of office, not debating the position of every brick. We need to remain focused on the eye of the storm and not the big winds made in an effort to confuse things..

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        • Understood, but if more individuals stood for principle rather than just conforming, these problems would be less prevalant. Repeatedly history has shown, when enough individuals stand up rather than conform …change happens. It takes two to tango. Imagine that! If there weren’t any individuals that would just do it even if they disagreed with the motives. There are many examples ie. scammers. The end justify the means that is not what cops stand for. Hence the “I’m going to get mine” attitudes.

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          • I agree 100%. It’s time people start standing up for what is right, not what they can get. And those who’ve been afraid to stand up for fear of a target being placed on them — the only way to get through this is to win this and the only way we can do that is if we all stand up together and defend each other.

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  4. Just when you thought the emperor was promoting good cops to her administration in Oberst and Lera….you find out who was the third and wonder what he has done in his career to assist the emperor in his career.
    I don’t think he had more experience than the HQ patrol Captain when he was promoted for things he did for the emperor.
    At least he’s a better person and not disliked by all personnel.

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    • I agree with your comments. This was actually the first Captain’s promotion where I didn’t feel like spewing vomit!! I agree that Capt. Zach may not have as much patrol experience as the others, but he will be infinitely better than the other idiots who have two golden bars. Having worked with all 3 of them in the past, they were good men then and hopefully they remember where they came from and what it’s like to actually “Do” the job. If they remember that and work with honesty & fairness then our department will be better off. Please, don’t let the vipers head at the top inject you with her poison.

      I do take umbrage with one of CT’s statements. Regarding the current PIO, imagine the situation he’s in? Imagine being a simple Sgt. and having to enter that “Den of Sin” each day. You either tow the line or that rope will be used to hang you!

      Like him or not, the PIO is a good guy in a crappy situation and forced to deal with liars, cheats and criminals on a daily basis. I actually have sympathy for him, not anger.

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      • BP, feel free to take umbrage. I’ve talked to a lot of people who agree with you about the PIO being a good guy. A number of them have also expressed disappointment as to the degree of change in his position and the level he is willing to go to in taking a pro-active role to protect her since her interview about Aldon Smith. I Let’s just say he’s made his bed at this point and made it clear to a number of people. I agree, he’s in the den of the dragon and it’s an awkward place to be. Let’s hope that Kevin wins and his compass is brought back to true north. There are a few people that still have that potential, as long as she loses.

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        • Boiling Point is right. It’s not the pio’s fault. Yeah so he chose to accept that position but he can’t tell her no can he? If he’s given an order then what’s he suppossed to do? I think it’s more of a reflection of our current sheriff and her messed up policies than blaming it on a guy who’s just trying to do what he’s ordered to do. I hope he does get to be his old self after she’s gone.

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      • BP that is a load. PIO knew what he signed of for and he has his own motivation. He’s no different from the others. Don’t let that smile fool you.

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        • I figure I’ll jump in and add my $1.50’s worth of input. Yes the pio knew what he signed up for. He signed up to represent our department in high profile situations and to speak with the media when necessary. Just like all the other pio’s in the past. He’s doing his job, that’s it. You can’t fault the guy for doing what he’s suppossed to do. I bet he’d do his best no matter who is the current Sheriff. It’s not like he’s done a bad job. He’s just done what he’s (as you put it) signed up for. Would any of us do the job differently? I think we should keep the focus on the Sheriff and her administrators. I don’t think a regular sergeant counts as admin. Just my thoughts.

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        • This PIO is tame compared to one of the worst control freaks ever to hold this position. Does anyone remember Rick Sung when he was the PIO? Man o man, talk about a micromanager!!! I remember him getting his grubby little fingers involved in EVERYTHING just so he could “control” people and events. He would actually try and take over investigations in order to manipulate them for “His” press conference. I think his time as PIO was where he got his nickname “Kim Jong IL”. He acted just like his little hero the dictator. Anyway, he’s our problem. Not this current PIO who’s just trying to do a good job in order to avoid the wrath of the 4th floor. This PIO didn’t pay/bribe his way into a detective spot. Then pay/bribe his way into a Sgt’s position by having all those “Admin Eat Free” dinners at one of his restaurants. Then using his “influence” within the Korean community to garner support for Laurie Smith in the last election. Then continue his contribution to Sheriff Smith by performing…”questionable” practices in order to get his latest promotion. Another commenter on a separate blog was right when they said SJPD failed to hire him because they saw the writing on the wall. A scared pathetic little man trying to garner power the only way he can. Get a badge & gun and force people to do what you want. Anyone who I heard had the displeasure of working with him will tell you he hasn’t changed at all in that regard. He’s just paid more now and we’re ALL are paying for it.

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