What is the Acceptable Price of Public Safety?

Updated 3/13/2015, 11:35am

Screen-Shot-2015-03-12-at-4.12.02-PMWe have a child molester facing a life sentence on the loose in our community, the search is going on for a week.  It’s being conducted by SJPD, an agency that has been telling us for months they don’t have staffing to handle day to day issues, and the Sheriff’s Office, who may have extended this search unnecessarily with yet another poor decision regarding overtime versus public safety.

We’ve discussed the problem the sheriff’s office has had with OT v. investigations. The De Anza rape case where the captain refused to allow detectives to go out on overtime, meaning the immediate crime scene, suspects and witnesses were not dealt with in a complete and timely manner, leaving gaps in evidence that led to unanswerable questions that prevented prosecution.

We had the Lehigh cement plant where the public got lucky. The sheriff herself ordered her SERT team home despite their opposition and explanations as to why it was a bad idea. She didn’t want to pay anymore overtime, even though an armed killer was still on the loose she deemed this not enough risk to the public. Other urban areas have conducted these searches for violent shooters on a rampage and you don’t see them shut down operations for the night because it costs to much.The community got lucky… the suspect didn’t manage to flee, didn’t enter anyone’s home and take them hostage, kill anyone, or manage to kill officers who happened upon him by sheer luck.

We went over this ad nauseum during the election about how the sheriff failed to make smart decisions, putting money as a higher priority then containing and catching dangerous criminals who had allegedly committed violent crimes.

We told you it was only a matter of time before it happens again. The sheriff refuses to advise her captains to make better decisions, she refuses to conduct after action studies to see if the office’s actions could be improved upon in these cases, something you find at all successful departments. She has proven over and over she doesn’t care, despite her repeated attempts to gloss over all these incidents and promise exceptional response in the future, she still fails to do the right thing.  We even have the Mercury News already engaging in either failing to investigate facts or aiding and abetting another coverup for the sheriff on this case.  I’ve been contacted by several furious sources that it appears this story is being rewritten, we can only assume Herhold is a tool who simply doesn’t know any better despite obvious clues she’s done this before.

But lets look at some of what has been imparted to me by internal sources.  The patrol captain, who just happened to be a sergeant, at the De Anza rape investigation, called off the search.  According to various news reports, by 11PM there were no indications of search activities. According to deputies in the Sheriff’s Office they were told to leave an apartment complex they had yet to finish searching despite having convincing information that he was confined within the complex. One source reports that a resident found him still hiding in the complex AFTER the perimeter was broken down and the search called off.  The overtime costs were more important than catching a child molester they may well have been able to catch that night had deputies been allowed to maintain the perimeter and finish their search. Who knows what this man has been doing to whom since he since escaped nearly a week ago. As I asked the public before, “next victim”

A criminal who puts children at risk is still at large after several days. His minor victim is currently being guarded by Bikers Against Child Abuse organization for fear he will come after her, as she will testify in court against him. The man was to go to court next month on 5 charges of sexually molesting a 9 year old and potentially faces a life sentence. He was classified as a minimum security inmate and was being escorted to the hospital for complaint of a minor medical issue.

The question is why a man facing a potential life sentence for what is generally considered a violent crime classified as a minimum security prisoner? It’s my understanding that the sheriff may have an agreement with Milpitas not to house certain high risk individuals at Elmwood — was this man potentially a classification that would have precluded him being housed in Elmwood so they misclassified him for their convenience sake?  We don’t know.  There are other possibilities as well.

So many questions, no answers.  Was he classified this way because of staffing issues? Is it because of prisoner count issues? Is it because of housing issues because they don’t have enough beds for high security inmates? If so, is this in anyway related to higher security spaces being used AB109 prisoners?

Whatever the reason this time, we’ve seen the Sheriff fail to appropriately act in numerous cases involving children.   Why isn’t the media asking these questions? Why am I, yet again, the only one wanting answers to the hard questions in this county?

Despite the crimes and potential sentence, a man with literally nothing to lose was classified as a minimum security prisoner and then escorted to the hospital by a lone correctional deputy. What is the transportation policy for these prisoners? Cuffs? Leg shackles? Waist chains? Electronic control devices? Was any extraordinary measure taken for this prisoner above and beyond what would be taken for the guy being held for a minor, non-violent offense?

Have the correctional deputies been trained as needed? Do they have the appropriate equipment to transport these prisoners? Why aren’t the correctional deputies speaking up about these clear risks to their well-being?  We know from the AB109 issues we discussed previously that staffing and training issues have resulted in both minor and serious injury.  Is this a far deeper and more persistent problem than we know?

It’s also my understanding from several sources inside the jail that transportation is a part of a number of security issues that they have been trying to get the sheriff to address for years.  There are several reports from Grand Jury investigations that have shown Elmwood falls down on the job. These reports can be found in my blog post here. and sources tell me that the issues going back for a decade still have not been addressed.  Herhold should learn how Google works, or look back more than a year, or cultivate a source other than the Sheriff and her approved shills on the 4th floor for a change.

And not to belabor the point of poor decision making, but wasn’t it a child molester that was accidentally released last year? I was amazed to see the Mercury News indicate there had been no escapees last year, despite the sheriff allowing another child molester to walk out.  The don’t know because the sheriff’s office refused to properly organize a search or notify the public, instead quietly placing an corrections captain with no training as a deputy on the street in law enforcement to watch the suspects house? A release that happened during the election, so the sheriff failed to notify even her own patrol deputies and other surrounding community agencies of the release. Again the community got lucky and they didn’t even know there was a potentially dangerous predator among them.

Just how many more times before our luck runs out because the sheriff is either trying to hide information to protect her reputation or save money while unnecessarily placing the public at risk. She does realize, it’s called Public Safety for a reason, right?

UPDATE: It seems that the Mercury News has yet again blocked me.  I’ve done nothing over the past weeks to elicit this block, I’ve not even really posted very much over the past months.  Perhaps they hunted me out to block me in the event I might post on a major story regarding the Sheriff? I would like to believe that’s paranoia, but really, is this the first time the Mercury News blocked me unfairly for commenting against the Sheriff?  No.  But I got a red banner this time instead of the orange last time… disqus change or did I get a higher threat rating this time? 🙂

blocked again

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4 thoughts on “What is the Acceptable Price of Public Safety?

  1. Pingback: Crime Stoppers and Deputy Sheriff’s Association Offer Reward | Casey Thomas' World

  2. PlusOne, it seems no matter how many times we point these things out to the press they don’t care. I was just mailed with the information that at least on person attempted to contact a couple of media outlets (none being the Mercury News, both were TV news stations) and both confirmed the accidental release of a child molester with the office, but neither, that I’ve been able to find, ever covered the story that this person was loose.

    Yes, these incidents happen everywhere, but the question is, has the Sheriff’s Office done anything to implement better policies to further reduce risks? It sounds like the answer is not at all.

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  3. On the same day that this happened, the Main Jail “accidentally” released a probationer who had been arrested two days prior by his P.O. The P.O. spent days tracking him down because he’s a high risk transient. Finally found him last Wed and booked him on the Probation hold. Dude shows up in the lobby of APD on Friday morning. Huh?! P.O. calls the jail. Put in touch with sergeant and then captain, who offer profuse apologies all around. Hope he doesn’t kill someone before we find him again. Who’s training the staff??

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