One of the most significant political races to be decided in San Luis Obispo County this year is that for sheriff. The race includes six candidates, whom I’ve considered carefully: their educational levels; previous or current law enforcement experience; and most importantly, their command experience. Ultimately, command authority determines effective law enforcement, officer morale, department cohesiveness, and the public perception of fairness.
Our sheriff’s department is now represented by two distinctly different union groups who have expectations and goals I believe will ultimately clash, causing dysfunction within the department. Moreover, there’s that dirty little secret; the melt-down of the sheriff’s department at its highest levels during the past few years. Secret tapings of conversations, covert internal investigations, he said/she said accusations, lawsuits, costly settlements, the list goes on.
I want to elect a sheriff who is ready to lead. Just one candidate has the proven, seasoned experience demanded of the high office of sheriff: Joe Cortez, the past police chief of Pismo Beach.