My name is Keith Barth and I’m running for Sheriff in Santa Cruz County in the 2020 election. If you were to ask me what are the most important qualifications for a Sheriff, I would say two things: experience and integrity. You want your Sheriff to have the experience and skills to do the job, and you want a Sheriff who is honest, fair, and dedicated to serving the public interest. A Sheriff who has those two qualities is a Sheriff you can trust.
I have 23 years of experience as a law enforcement officer in southern Arizona and 12 years of experience as a Justice Court judge in Santa Cruz County. In both law enforcement and as a judge, I’ve always been committed to treating people with respect, listening to everyone to get the facts, and making decisions that best serve our community. In my 35-year career. I’ve received specialized training in criminal investigations, domestic violence incidents, traffic safety, and several other areas within the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Office.
Why I Am Running For Sheriff
I believe that quality of life in any community begins with effective public safety. I will apply my experience and my values to make sure we continue to have that in Santa Cruz County.
I don’t underestimate the law enforcement challenges we face in getting the job done. We are one of four border counties dealing with issues related to drug smuggling, human trafficking, and dangerous border crossings. I’ve been a border county law enforcement officer for most of my career; I want to bring that experience to the job.
As your Sheriff, I will focus on the needs of victims as we enforce the law, like victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. These victims, and victims of other serious crimes, need understanding and assistance from law enforcement as well as from prosecutors and the courts.
The Sheriff’s Office is here to help with everyday life problems. One-third of our calls are public assists, welfare checks, medical emergencies, or checking out suspicious circumstances. I will continue this commitment to serve citizens with these day-to-day struggles.
Resources for the Sheriff’s Office and other county agencies are limited. We need to be creative in making efficient use of the resources we have and leverage them through partnerships and innovation. It is also critical that we have a healthy and respectful working environment in the Sheriff’s Office where everyone remains motivated and dedicated in serving the public.
I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the youngest son in our Catholic family. I moved to southern Arizona when I was 19 years old and I’ve been here ever since. My family and I love all that we have here in Santa Cruz County. My wife Beth and I are devoted to our five children, students and young adults who live in the area. Santa Cruz County is our home.
I have done my best to be a community leader in my career and in volunteering with non-profit and community service organizations. I have been the president of the Mountain Empire Rotary Club and the Youth Coalition in Patagonia. I have served on the boards of the Santa Cruz Performing Arts association and the Mingus Project based in Nogales. When I was a judge, I coordinated a program to have Department of Corrections prisoners do community service maintenance work in the community, which gave these inmates a way to do productive work and was a real benefit to the community.
I hope you will take a little time to learn more about my priorities and plans if I am given the opportunity to serve as your Sheriff. And I invite you to give us your contact information so we can keep you posted on our campaign. Please join me in keeping Santa Cruz County a safe and great place to live!