What’s the point really? I think the will is gone internally to save the sheriff’s office; to many have reached the last straw. I think hearing people with close political ties to the sheriff and Cindy Chavez that echoed the “keystone cops” call, like La Raza, are going to be on the Blue Ribbon Commission is depressing. Remember La Raza was key in pressuring Cindy Chavez into being the deciding vote against contacting ICE, even for an illegal immigrant that held a gun to a child’s head and later killed the mother after being released. That Delores Cordell, a woman who did everything she could to gin up complaints against SJPD for her to investigate, even stooping to putting requests for complaints against police in local water bills, is likely to be a part of this is disheartening.
These are people that stood silent against us, ignored our endorsements of other candidates, ignored votes of no confidence and continue to this day to praise the sheriff. Do you really think any of them are going in with any intent other than to work to find deputies guilty of anything they can? The board is going to let them hear everyone’s public complaints — because none of them understand how a jail is run, so they’re going to fashion their new premier facility on the basis of those who simply do not like jails and have, either through family or their own experiences, had bad experiences there. A bunch of special interest groups rather than experts in creating safe jails are going to tell us how they would have it done. I can’t help but think of cities like Oakland and Baltimore and what happened when they put activists in charge of their cities — not a lot of good.
Nevermind there are national standards, experts on jails, studies that can point to every problem and tested and proven solutions to them. Clearly the experts aren’t as smart as the activists, and none of them will outsmart a Santa Clara County politician bent on saving their job.
…And Cindy Chavez. I don’t understand why we court her. She’s a friend of the sheriff first, beholden to the sheriff for the political support that got her elected second. As a supervisor not once has she attempted to determine why the CPOA and DSA voted three times against the sheriff. Not once has she or any other supervisor made a serious and real effort to ask why. Now Cindy stands out there telling the media they’re going to create a premier jail.
She’s kidding right? Why should we trust her or any other supervisor who has, even as the bodies started piling up, taken the sheriff’s word for everything? That we’re all disgruntled employees? That we’re all bad people who don’t like the sheriff because she’s a “strong woman”? I have to ask you Cindy, when you so wholeheartedly jumped behind the sheriff 5 years ago to run the jails wasn’t she supposed to fix the problems? Did you even pay attention to the details or lack thereof, i her plan? Or did you even care? Haven’t you been part of the process approving budgets, staffing cuts, and turning blind eye to the decreased training? When are you going to realize it’s the sheriff’s job to create a “premier” facility, she’s failed, you put your signature on it, and today you are standing there picking up the pieces again? Aren’t you, Cortese, Wasserman and the rest of the BoS tired yet of destroying your own credibility protecting this poor leader?
I have to say deputies, it’s time to get in the life boats and row. This whole “fix” is going to be a nightmare of activist wants and demands — none will be to protect you, make you safer, give you the tools and support you need. Rather it will be a way of placing blame on your actions for following outdated polices that have not been reviewed or updated in years – presuming there even is a policy in place for any given issue — we still haven’t seen one regarding the use and training of the FN 303. You will be held accountable to training you have not received. Best practices? What’s that other than lip service? Really the only practice we’ve seen here from the sheriff and the supervisors to date is do more with less.
And you in enforcement, if you think this group won’t eventually turn it’s activist eye to you, don’t kid yourself. After they proclaim themselves everything expert in jail reform and administration, they will surely become the next best thing to unregulated body cameras on you 24/7.
And you younger guys, you have no gripes, you have no issues with the sheriff — look down, you’re wearing a red shirt my friend. You are disposable. A lieutenant makes the wrong call at a major incident, you’ll pay the price. To much attention is being paid to one of her captains or her brady cop of a spokesman, you’ll be the distraction. She needs a deputy to throw under the bus to protect a captain and prove she disciplines her people — you’re it my friend. She’ll don her uniform for the cameras and do whatever she has to do to protect herself and the chosen ones.
You’ve seen her do it. You’ve also seen her cast every possible insult at you through her political machine — the deputies don’t like answering to a woman, the deputies are so crooked they don’t want a leader who will discipline them, the deputies are keystone cops, the deputies are too dumb to think for themselves are an being misled by the corrupt unions, the deputies just want more money. She has no respect for you and she has no loyalty to your career no matter how honorable and good you’ve been. All it takes is you being human and making any kind of mistake at a time that’s convenient for her.
She plays her game so much so to protect herself that I can’t help but wonder if the supervisors are even aware there is a huge gap in evidence and practice that may cause plausible deniability in one of the in custody deaths. Enough so that it could cause the DA heartache in getting this into court. And that the sheriff may have cut the investigation short and could have lost evidence that could have mitigated this gap because again, the sheriff runs investigations poorly. We’ve gone over this again and again. She and her chosen interfere in what they don’t understand because none of them have ever done the job. There could have been evidence that may have helped convict or exonerate the three deputies charged — but we’ll never know because she’s was more interested in hanging someone out to take the heat off her than she was in truth and justice.
While everyone is patting themselves on the back and handing out more political favors and power to their favorite local activists on this supposed Blue Ribbon Commission, they should probably start to hedge their bets. My bets are they throw Hirokawa out the door by the end of the year or shortly thereafter as the latest scapegoat even though he was never allowed to make a decision.
And deputies, since the Board of Supervisors have made their intent clear to save the sheriff from herself yet again, do you dare stay? When you’re nothing more than a potential IA statistic to cover the sheriff’s flaws here and you could instead work in an agency that takes their mission, and you, seriously? Remember what I said, that shirt may look tan, but it is red.