Strong enforcement of the law is the top priority for our Sheriff’s Office. Preventing and responding to criminal acts is the cornerstone of public safety in any community. What are my priorities and approach for enforcing the law? Let me emphasize three points:
- I am a strong advocate of community policing.
- I will give priority attention to serious crimes and the needs of individuals who are victims of these crimes.
- I am confident that partnerships and more collaboration among all public safety agencies in Santa Cruz County, police and fire, can lead to improvements in public safety operations.
Community policing is an approach to law enforcement that sees the police as an integral part of the community. Community policing begins with a commitment to building trust and mutual respect between police and communities. In Santa Cruz County, this requires outreach to all our diverse regions and constituencies, understanding and connecting with the needs of each one. Engaging with communities, and collaboration with the people that live and work in these communities, results in better law enforcement and a safer environment.
Our public resources for law enforcement should be focused on serious crimes, especially crimes that have devastating impacts on victims. For example, domestic violence and sexual assault can result in trauma and hardship with long lasting effects. As a judge I served on the Arizona Supreme Court committee to address the issue of domestic violence and how all criminal justice system agencies can better serve these victims. As your Sheriff, I will focus on victim services working alongside County prosecutors, the courts, and non-profit organizations.
Partnerships and collaboration across all public safety agencies in the county are critical to effective law enforcement. Dispatch communications, mutual assistance protocols, and response to natural and manmade disasters are examples where operations are improved by collaborating with public safety partners.