I had been searching high and low for Sheriff Laurie’s endorsements from last election. She’s skinned down much of her personal website and while I got some of the pages saved, I missed the endorsements page somehow.
Persistence however, does often pay off and I was sent a copy of her handout from last election that included the page of her endorsements.
Now keep in mind at this point and as we go forward in this blog post, we are talking about a leader in the Law Enforcement community, a Sheriff, a person who would under normal circumstances take a little pride in the support of the bread and butter of her professional whole.
Kevin Jensen has gathered the endorsements of the DSA, the CPOA and virtually every major law enforcement organization in the county, other than San Jose PD at this time. He has used this accomplishment as a reference to his commitment and capabilities in law enforcement as well as his leadership skills. That he is respected by the law enforcement community in the county as an honest leader with a fresh approach that is much needed is a primary point of his campaign.
Sheriff Laurie Smith however is the consummate politician and the choice of the endorsements she chose to tout during the last election shows this. Sheriff Smith did not easily gather law enforcement endorsements last time. She had to compete hard to get her own agency’s endorsement and there were several organization which only endorsed her because the Santa Clara County DSA asked them too. Then there were the handful that outright endorsed someone else.
You would think that this would incite her to put these endorsements at the forefront – that she had support from her professional community in the job she was doing. After all these were hard-fought wins in some cases. But this was clearly not to be the case.
At the bottom of the page is the handout that B.T. Smith passed out to all present at a Republican function on March 1, 2010, just weeks before election day. The second page is a list of endorsements and as you can see… not a single law enforcement endorsement is listed on the endorsements page. No DSA, no CPOA, no single agency or member of the law enforcement community is listed on her endorsements, even though they supported her at that time. The Education endorsements, even the Water District endorsements made it on the list. But let me emphasize – not a single law enforcement endorsement was important enough in her mind to include.
The first page of her handout is just as telling — her work in the Sheriff’s office as a Matron/Deputy/Sergeant gets a 3 line brush over and her actual accomplishments in the role of Sheriff as it applies to the office – nil. Her husband and daughter received nearly a much space.
She states she’s won “awards and citations” but again, for what? Serving on a commission somewhere or implementing a real program with a significant and notable impact? We’ll never know, not at least from the manner in which she lists her credentials. Why do you think that is?
Perhaps her history in the office is a clue as to why she puts her political role far above her role as Sheriff. She simply does not understand what the job truly entails even after all these years. Glad handing politicians is easy, especially when your family does most of it for you. Making a smooth-functioning, advancing and improving law enforcement agency continue on a true path, much, much harder.
See, despite the Sheriff’s online resume making such claims as.. oh wait… she makes no claims other than she worked at the SO. Even on her resume she fails to list the titles she held in her 20+ year career prior to becoming Sheriff, never mind any specific assignments, duties or notable accomplishments as an employee of the office.
You can see also how seriously she takes training on her resume…an incredibly short list for someone in a career for so long.
You can find out a little more about what Sheriff Smith believes she’s done in the office on her “Meet Laurie” page. Again, there is very little in regards to anything she has done at or for the Sheriff’s office directly. She states there that she “…has spent her entire professional career with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, working and attaining command status in virtually every division, including jail, vice, intelligence, narcotics, patrol, and detective. She was promoted to Assistant Sheriff in 1990 and served more than eight years in this capacity as second-in-command of the Sheriff’s Office.”
Let’s pause here and have a little truth in advertising. Sheriff Laurie is claiming she attained “command status in virtually every division”? What exactly does “command status” mean? Well, technically this is true. As the Assistant Sheriff, she did have command status of every single division. However, Assistant Sheriff Laurie was never Lieutenant Laurie, nor was she ever Captain Laurie. Laurie did not truly “attain command status of virtually every division” in the manner she is trying to present.
Now there is a lot of noise about how Sheriff Laurie got from Sergeant to Assistant Sheriff — noise I won’t address here and hope that my followers will also refrain from in comments — but the fact remains, jumping from Sergeant to A/S eliminated a vast swath of experience needed to understand how to directly supervise a division, but more importantly what is needed by her now subordinate lieutenants and captains to ensure they can successfully direct their commands.
Given her lack of interest in touting the law enforcement endorsements when she was able to still get them, we can probably assume she has the same level of interest in whether or not her staff has the tools to do their job unless it somehow applies to her political façade.
It’s refreshing that Kevin Jensen doesn’t attempt to hide his career path, assignments, promotions and accomplishments. After all, why should he, he’s dedicated nearly 30 years of his life successfully rising through the ranks on hard work and dedication to his job and the success of those around him if his endorsement are any indication.
Just more reasons to election a new sheriff.