by Casey Thomas with contributions from MarstheUsurper and I Alí̱theia
Or this weekend, we could change it to Dive Teams, Helicopters and Motorcycles in honor of Sheriff Laurie Smith and her incredible lack of priorities, lack of respect for her new employees, and absolute insult to her claims of being a budget conscience sheriff who makes solid budgetary decisions – like flying a helicopter over a festival because o a challenge vs. not spending overtime to investigate sexual assault cases.
But I get ahead of myself here; let’s start at the beginning.
First off, I want to thank the DSA and CPOA board members for sustaining a presence at the Tet Festival and to CPOA members for stepping up and volunteering their time to get out there and get the message out to the communities at the booth. This is just the beginning of what it’s going to take to reach out to the community. Hopefully, next time we’ll be seeing some members of the DSA, outside the board, put in an appearance to fight the good fight. Change takes a little bit of effort and risk on everyone’s part, people.
Mostly this piece today is to address some startling revelations that have come to me over the past 48 hours. Our Sheriff apparently got wind late, late last week that Kevin Jensen would be appearing at the Tet Festival and the CPOA/DSA was pulling out a few stops to get out in their community to build relationships and ask for a change in leadership that would continue to support the building of those relationships.
From all appearances, when the information about the Tet Festival came out, the Sheriff showed no interest in reaching out to this community or being a part of this event. And why should we believe this year would be any different given she had never before bothered to reach out to the Vietnamese community and attend this event in the 16 years she’s been Sheriff? While other above mentioned parties have been preparing for weeks, a bit of digging on my part with my sources indicates that the Sheriff started a mad scramble to put on a full-blown show a week before the festival.
The least of the Sheriff’s efforts were that she actually went out and got what appears to be a brand-spanking new uniform. Rumors were that a recent appearance by her in a uniform, her uniform was embarrassingly incomplete. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t put the thing on for years at a time. People were so impressed by the fact that she finally showed up somewhere in a uniform that I got no fewer than 3 messages containing the below picture proving she does actually have a uniform and it does actually fit and is actually complete now. I’m guessing here, but it looks like this image may have gone viral among Sheriff’s Office personnel.
If it all stopped there, there really would be nothing for me to say here. Big deal, a uniform and an appearance during silly season. But the Sheriff just can’t reign her hubris in; part of her efforts apparently demanded a grand showing from the office, not just her in uniform. It’s my understanding at least 3 special teams were ordered to be present (the Dive Team, Motorcycle Unit were present and Bomb Squad), on overtime, in uniform, with equipment for show within less than a week’s time of the festival. She also managed to get Search and Rescue volunteers to appear on behalf office and paid personnel to staff a recruiting booth. More taxpayers dollars spent for the Sheriff’s campaign, though indirect enough that it’s damn difficult to prove, given all the surrounding circumstances it’s hard to believe this was anything other than a campaign appearance by the Sheriff.
As some of the more cherished friends of the Sheriff have learned, what is an appearance by the sheriff, without an appearance by her helicopter? Now this comes 3rd hand, and I wasn’t present for this, but I’ve had 2 sources tell me about it now. If anyone has video, I would LOVE to post it. The Sheriff, at the goading of another department, had her helicopter off the ground and flying over the Tet Festival wishing everyone a Happy New Year from the Sheriff’s Office.
All this for an event she’s never bothered with before with less than a weeks notice to personnel in her office to get this together. The Sheriff can plan a party!
But the biggest insult in all this did not come at the Tet Festival, but several days before.
There has been a lot of commentary about the lack of presence and participation by the sheriff at her office and this overblown public appearance comes just days after blowing off the graduating ceremony of the latest Correctional Deputy Academy. This failure and one of the most telling actions of her lack of pride, lack of respect and lack of caring for her troops occurred Thursday, January 30, 2014.
Even though this date, January 30, 2014 was chosen by Sheriff Laurie’s administration many months ago, and even though Sheriff Laurie claims to have great pride and respect for her department and holds her people in such high regards, Sheriff Laurie did not appear to swear in her 44 new Correctional Deputies. Sadly, she could not even bring herself to find a couple hours, in all the rush of party planning, to attend the ceremony welcoming the 44 Deputies into her, “Flock.”
Sheriff Laurie was too busy with preparations for her big fete at the Tet Festival on February 1, 2014.
Sheriff Laurie exemplifies a bad shepherd and an even worse sheriff. January 30, 2014 was a date that the Sheriff and her administration picked, yet she lacked the common courtesy to show up and wish her newly hired deputies luck in their new careers or even a simple welcome to the family.
It is, as we all know, time for a change. Support Kevin Jensen, it is time for a leader with heart and compassion. It is time for a Sheriff with respect and pride for the uniform and for the people who proudly wear it every day serving the people of their county.
The juxtaposition of these two incidents epitomizes why it’s time for a change in leadership.
It is time for Sheriff Kevin Jensen.