1. What are the most important issues or challenges facing the Sheriff’s office at this point and the foreseeable future, and how would you address those issues and challenges if elected as Sheriff?
DiBasilio: At this time, staffing is the most important. Agencies across the country are struggling to hire qualified employees. We are currently losing staff to agencies who pay more. Our staff is underpaid and over-worked because people are leaving. I have implemented a change in our hiring program that is working and will continue to strengthen our numbers of staff. Until the BOS gives all county employees comparable salaries, attrition will continue. I will continue to work with all staff in an effort to obtain raises to decrease attrition.
Garrahan: Retention of personnel and improving low morale are the two most important issues right now. We must reduce attrition and keep people at the Sheriff’s Office. Low staffing impacts morale and vice versa, creating a vicious cycle. This is what we currently have at the Sheriff’s Office.
Strong leadership is the first step in addressing these critical issues. As Sheriff, I will set a tone of professionalism and pride in the organization. By my words and actions I’ll ensure all the people I’m working with throughout the Sheriff’s Office know they are respected, valued, and doing important work. They will be recognized and rewarded for their good work.
The Sheriff must be the strategic planner for the organization in order to facilitate the best and safest possible working conditions for employees. Those employees are then able to go out and do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
Stevens: Many of these questions are relative to issues I have raised during this campaign. The most pressing issue facing the Sheriff's Office is recruitment and retention. Not only deputies, but correctional officers are leaving the Office. Although salary and benefits are always an issue, the deputies are receiving a 15% pay increase this calendar year, yet they are still leaving. Why? Historically, we focused on hiring new recruits from the academy, and little to attract lateral officers (those with prior experience) to our county. Deputies come to Calaveras, get great experience, then leave for other jurisdictions. We are losing those experienced deputies to other agencies after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to recruit, train, and employ them here. Then they leave. We are now seeking 10 more cadet positions to put into the academy. I have been advocating hiring professional firm to recruit deputies to come to Calaveras County at campaign debates. The county is now doing this. I have plans that will assist our employees in investing in the county, (not just the county investing in the employee), that have proven to be effective in other counties.
2. Does the Sheriff’s office currently have adequate staff and resources to properly handle law enforcement responsibilities as well as Jail and Court responsibilities? If not, what additional staff or resources do you believe are necessary to do an appropriate job?
DiBasilio: No. Staffing levels are low at this time, however, the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office are dedicated to protecting the citizens of this county and are going above and beyond to improve public safety. I have implemented changes and improvements to our hiring program. The changes are starting to show progress which will add the additional staff to improve public and staff safety.
Garrahan: The short answer is no. To accomplish any task properly you need 1) people to do the job, 2) the proper equipment for the task, 3) the training to use the equipment and complete the task, and 4) money to pay for it all. Out of those four, the people are the most important link.
The current staffing of just three to four deputies and correctional officers on duty at any one time is absolutely unsafe for those personnel and the public. Overtime is rampant and people are often working many shifts in a row, sometimes without days off. This can lead to unsafe conditions and liability issues for employees and the County.
As part of my five year plan, I want to increase deputy and correctional officer staff by ten percent within two years and then another ten percent by the end of year five. I project a minimum of eight deputies should be on duty during the busiest times of calls for service from the public.
I will also actively recruit reserve deputies to supplement the ranks. These deputies will cost the County nothing except for training and equipment and they will help improve staffing in the short term.
Stevens: The Sheriff's does not have adequate staffing, on patrol and in the jail to address the existing calls for service. At the beginning of this fiscal year, there were 24 unfilled positions. This is deputies, correctional officers, dispatchers, professional staff, etc. These positions have always been funded, they were just not filled. Deputies with prior jail experience are being assigned to back fill shifts in the jail due to mandated minimum staffing levels in the jail that are tough to meet. The funding for these positions is and has been in place. When people call the Sheriff's Office, they want a deputy, not a three-hour response. This is due to the lack of adequate staffing. Again, this is a recruitment and retention issue. I would like very much to retain the deputies we have, and recruit more deputies, especially those with experience. I am an advocate for training deputies in specific fields of expertise; this not only promotes the deputy’s skill set and benefits the Office, but it benefits the community at large. I currently conduct complex criminal investigations, and it is this experience I bring to the office and will promote.
3. How much funding or other resources has the Sheriff’s office received each year from the Federal government during the past four years, and how do you expect that to change in the next four years? What do you believe the Sheriff can do to increase the amount of Federal funding or other outside resources during the next four years?
DiBasilio: When grants become available, the Sheriff’s Office evaluates each grant based on the need and the grant criteria, i.e., matching funds requirements or specific criteria for spending the funds. If the grant fits the Calaveras Sheriff’s Office needs, and we can meet their criteria, we apply for the grant. To increase Federal Funding, we work with our local, state and federal partners on short and long term projects. We maintain statistics on how those funds are spent and the benefits or results from those funds. We track all Federal funding that comes available on an ongoing basis. We currently have Federal grants from the DEA, US Bureau of Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers, and the USFS to name a few.
Garrahan: The Sheriff's Office received approximately $488,000 in Federal dollars for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-2014, $623,000 for FY 2014-2015, $613,000 for FY 2015-2016, and $711,000 for FY 2016-2017. Funding received by the Sheriff’s Office from the Federal Government dropped dramatically in FY 2017-2018 due to the transfer of the Office of Emergency Services to the County Administrative Office.
Under the current Sheriff, Federal revenues will remain flat. If the Sheriff's Office does not have its Anti Drug Abuse Justice Assistance Grant renewed, Federal funding will actually be reduced.
I will increase the amount of Federal funding the Sheriff Office receives by re-negotiating supplemental law enforcement service contracts to reflect real costs of providing services, working with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) under the COPS Hiring Grant and working with the US DOJ to receive funding though the Second Chances Act program (in part, a recidivism reduction effort).
Stevens: The Sheriff's Office receives funding from a number of outside sources. One of the most significant is the AB443, which Calaveras receives $500,00.00 a year; this can be used for salary, equipment, etc. The Sheriff's AB443 account balance as of March 1st 2018, was $947,328.36. Other outside funding sources include the Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Fund] (SLESF), which is for "front line law enforcement.", $147,000 a year. The Sheriff's Office also receives State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) funding, which is usually less than $10,000 a year, which is reimbursement for housing illegal aliens in the jail.
The Sheriff receives funding from California Boating and Water Ways for patrolling our waterways, and Federal Drug Enforcement Agency for drug enforcement. The Sheriff's Office also receives funding from EBMUD, Bureau of Land Reclamation (New Melones), Army Corps of Engineers (New Hogan Lake), United Stated Forest Service for patrol and enforcement services in their areas of responsibilities. These funds are not County General Funds money. Funding for law enforcement is not a significant issue in Calaveras County. As your next Sheriff, I will keep these funding sources, and seek to bring in other outside funding as deemed necessary.
4. Do you believe there are any expenditures that need to be made for critical equipment or other capital expenses during the next four years that are not already covered by approved budgets? If so, for what capital or equipment needs and how much?
DiBasilio: Yes. The Sheriff’s Office is looking at purchasing an armored rescue vehicle in the near future. Purchasing an armored rescue vehicle would keep our Deputies, students and employees safe during an active shooter situation. The Sheriff’s Office is requesting additional funding for more street patrol deputies to allow us to respond to calls faster. We want to arrive quickly to prevent crime and provide great service our residents. We are also trying to add investigators to increase the number of short and long term investigations we are able to work on at a given time. We want to prevent crimes such as burglary however, when they do occur we want to be able to deploy a team of detectives to try to catch the culprits and hold them accountable.
Garrahan: The Sheriff's Office must continually replace vehicles, particularly for patrol. The current budget for replacement is inadequate. High mileage vehicles pose a safety risk to deputies and the public as well as increase maintenance costs. The County should replace at least four patrol vehicles each year over the next five years. Each fully equipped patrol vehicle is about $60,000.
We will also review the various sections in the Sheriff’s Office to determine what equipment needs exist. We will then prioritize based on actual need and projected costs.
The County currently pays Cal Fire in excess of $250,000 yearly to dispatch county Fire Departments. We should consolidate that dispatching in the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center, at significant savings to the County. The dispatching could be more efficient and the money saved spent on other critical needs.
Stevens: The Sheriff's Office needs to continue to upgrade its patrol vehicle fleet. Recently seven patrol vehicles were purchased, but this needs to be an ongoing protocol every year. The Office needs an upgraded 'rescue' vehicle or SWAT vehicle; our SWAT team responds to several call outs, and specialized equipment is necessary. To keep our deputies and the public safe, this should be a priority. The existing funds within the Sheriff's Office have been availableto do this for some time. I am an advocate for body worn cameras; this reduces complaints against deputies and provides better accounting (sometimes) of an event. It also reduces some liabilities to the Office and the county. Equipment for high tech investigations are a must in today's law enforcement environment. Currently, I deal with some of these crimes and I know the value of not only having the necessary equipment to continue the investigation, but to have the personnel trained to complete the investigation. Sending out evidence to be forensically analyzed can be reduced in some cases if we can do this ourselves.
5. What are the best choices you believe can be made if you are required to reduce the costs of operating the Sheriff’s department at any point during the next four years due to County financial limitations?
DiBasilio: I cannot predict future choices that would be necessary during a financial crisis. Any decision made would have to be made based on the current department needs and the situation at that time. This is something the Sheriff’s Office was faced with back in 2008 with the economic downturn. Every area of the Sheriff’s Office is reviewed to reduce costs each year. Employees are the last resort.
Garrahan: The County has balanced its budgets at the expense of the District Attorney's Office, Probation Department, and Sheriff's Office for the past eight years. Most recently it has done so with Measure C funds. The Sheriff's Office realistically cannot sustain any more cuts.
If the County's financial situation were to worsen and cuts by the Sheriff's Office were mandated, I would recommend termination of service contracts and grants for which the county is not receiving full cost recovery (lake patrol contracts for example), elimination of vacant positions, elimination of the Narcotics Enforcement Unit, and reduce the number of beds made available in the jailto the bare minimum allowed by law.
These cuts would virtually eliminate any proactive enforcement such as drug investigations, and reduce the Sheriff’s Office to responding only to critical emergencies and high priority calls for service. The public must understand this is unacceptable.
As Sheriff, my obligation will be to present the Board of Supervisors with the most comprehensive budget requests and make them understand every dollar requested is absolutely necessary to provide any real level of public safety service. It would then be the Supervisors’ obligation to provide that funding.
Stevens: This would depend on the amount of reduction costs required by the BOS. As stated in Q2, there are significant funding sources available that are supposed to be used to supplement the operating costs of the Sheriff's Office which are not county General Fund expenditures. Public Safety is and always should be a priority, everyone agrees on this point. Reducing primary public safety services and layoffs at this point are unfounded and baseless rumors. There are significant salary savings from the previously mentioned unfilled employee positions, that money could be banked and utilized for other expenditures to save the existing line items already budgeted in a time of crisis. Calaveras County is financially solvent. I would refer citizens to the CAO's midyear budget report available online for further and more detailed information.
6. What will be your five highest priorities as Sheriff if elected, and why?
DiBasilio: 1) Improve staffing levels to ensure public safety and quicker response times. 2) Continue to work closely with the schools by adding school resource officers to keep our children safe. 3) Address the Opioid, Methamphetamine, Marijuana and other drug issues. 4) Develop special enforcement teams to deter and detect burglaries. 5) Continue the open communication and working relationships with the communities, businesses and our cherished Senior Citizens through the Neighborhood Watch, Volunteer Unit and Resident Deputy Programs.
Garrahan: First, work to retain the personnel we currently have employed and reduce the number of people leaving. We must stop being a training ground for new deputies and correctional officers who get a few years experience and move on to another agency. Focus on things such as pay, benefits, and the quality of life afforded by living and working in Calaveras County.
Second, establish functional Community Policing and Neighborhood Watch programs.
Working with the various communities throughout the county and establishing real connections and networks is essential to establishing trust in the Sheriff’s Office and reducing crime.
Third, crime reduction. Violent and property crimes are rising and we need to focus on all crime problems, not just cannabis. Crime analysis and prioritizing personnel deployment and investigations are critical to reducing crimes.
Fourth, reducing response times to calls. This ties in with retaining personnel and prioritizing shift deployments. More deputies on each shift equates to faster response.
Fifth, enhance the Detective Section so crimes are given the proper time and attention during follow up investigations. Properly investigated crimes, done in a timely manner, mean higher charging rates, more convictions, and increased public safety.
Stevens: My highest priority as your next Sheriff is public safety. Public safety is first and foremost in any community. The current staffing shortages are taking a toll on our deputies. Secondly, because of this shortage, recruitment of deputies and retention of deputies should be the next highest priority. The number of deputies on patrol directly affects response times, and unfortunately even in emergencies. We need more deputies. Third, the next highest priority is our quality of life; we are losing it. The commercial marijuana invasion has caused many people to suffer the loss of their quality of life they used to enjoy. The recent ban on commercial marijuana will help the effort in restoring our quality of life. I would consider the next priority of the Sheriff to be have fiscal transparency and responsibility. Managing the funds received by the Sheriff's Office is tax money paid by the people of this county. The public’s money should be spent wisely and efficiently. Lastly, a positive relationship between the Sheriff's Office, its employees, and the community is essential to an efficient agency. The community must have trust in its Sheriff's Office.
7. What is the appropriate course of action for the Sheriff to follow in areas where Federal and State law enforcement priorities or laws may be in conflict (for example, on Cannabis use and sale, or on providing assistance to Federal immigration enforcement)?
DiBasilio: The Sheriff is responsible for enforcing laws, Sheriff’s do not get to vote on or make new the laws. When the citizens’ vote in a new law or the Board of Supervisors enacts a law, that law is what the Sheriff must now follow. When there is a conflict between the laws the Sheriff will usually consult with an attorney such as County Counsel or attorneys that represent Sheriff’s such as the Attorney for the California State Sheriff’s Association. I currently work with both attorneys. I have also met with the United States Attorney to discuss federal laws involving crimes and conflicts between state and federal law. No other candidate has this experience in the race for the Calaveras County Sheriff. As far a Marijuana laws, the state allowed recreational MJ usage. The County approved cultivation then banned cultivation. The Sheriff will enforce those current laws. When it comes to immigration laws, the Sheriff must follow federal laws and comply with state laws. When a conflict arises in state or federal laws relating to MJ or immigration my role as the Sheriff is to make sure I am protecting the public and the residents of Calaveras County. While I certainly consult with attorneys, my duties and obligations to the public and their safety guide me during difficult times when state and federal laws conflict.
Garrahan: The Sheriff is duty bound to enforce state and local laws. The Sheriff has no jurisdiction when it comes to enforcing federal law. Therefore, I will follow and enforce current state and local laws.
It is up to the legislature and courts to settle conflicts in the law; the Sheriff cannot decide what laws to enforce or ignore because he or she agrees or disagrees with them.
A commercial cannabis ban will soon go into effect and I will enforce that law. If in the future the County enacts commercial cannabis regulation, I will enforce those regulations. I will always follow the law, it is that simple.
Prop 54 currently restricts, with few exceptions, communication and cooperation between state and local law enforcement and Federal immigration authorities. That is the law and I will abide by it.
I personally feel the law is flawed because restricting cooperation between any law enforcement agencies is potentially harmful to investigations and public safety, but it is not for me to decide the Constitutionality of the law; the courts will do that.
Stevens: As the Sheriff, I would have to follow and enforce state laws first and foremost. The Sheriff is employed by the people of Calaveras County, not the federal government. SB 54, which is the 'sanctuary state' law that was passed, places restrictions on certain communications between state / local law enforcement and federal immigration agencies. I believe this law will be rescinded as a result of the current lawsuit by the federal government. As far as other federal laws, I would welcome assistance from the federal government in enforcing other laws that affect our public safety and quality of life. I would welcome the assistance of the federal government for commercial marijuana enforcement. The same goes for human trafficking, child predator investigations, gang activity, firearms trafficking, environmental damages, etc.
8. What specific steps can the Sheriff take to improve relations between law enforcement and the community, and how important is improved community relations to effective law enforcement?
DiBasilio: We at the Sheriff’s Office will continue to work hard at improving department and community relationships. We will continue our Volunteer and resident Deputy Programs. Our staff keeps strong relationships with the community through ongoing trainings in public relations, being involved in community events such as job fairs, K9 show and tells, Boater Safety, the School Resource Officer program and many more. I encourage staff to get into neighborhoods and to get out of their cars and talk with our children, business community and senior citizens. This creates and open interaction where information can be shared. I also try to attend as many community events and possible and as the Sheriff I am very approachable and enjoy talking with our residents. I am not the overly tight rigid Sheriff. I am a Community Sheriff, part of the community, in good times and in bad. I did not spend my career in Oakland and I did not leave the county when things did not go my way. Here at the Sheriff’s Office we know how important relationships between the community and law enforcement are.
Garrahan: As your Sheriff I will instill a sense of public service throughout the organization. Very simply, the Sheriff’s Office exists to serve the people of Calaveras County.
Communication and service are the very essence of establishing and improving relations with the public. The Sheriff’s Office, from the newest member up to the Sheriff, must always work to earn the trust and respect of the public.
The Sheriff’s Office simply cannot be truly effective without good community relations and support. We will work to increase the support we already have.
One of my priorities is to establish real, functional Community Policing as the philosophy by which we deliver services. I know this works. This involves everything from deputies getting out of their cars to meet with business owners, to working with all aspects of the various communities to resolve crime problems and enhance the quality of life in our county.
Community Policing means helping to create and sustain programs such as Neighborhood Watch and understanding the Sheriff’s Office is part of the overall county community. It means me, as your Sheriff, attending various functions and meetings on a regular basis to stay in touch with what is going on.
Stevens: We first must re-establish trust between the Sheriff's Office and the community. To be effective, law enforcement needs the community's help in providing information, support and assistance in combating crime. I am an advocate of Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving. When I was a resident Deputy in Arnold, I received training in COPPS/POPPS, and from that point, I lived it every day. The philosophy behind COPPS/POPPS is simply to approach the problem or issue from another angle, with the goal being to solve the problem. Traditionally, law enforcement responds to calls and takes a report or other appropriate action that may be necessary, but many times the underlying problem continues. The problem itself has not been addressed, and this is the core of COPPS/POPPS-solving the problem. I believe that all deputies should have this training. There should be more community outreach. A requirement of the grants for drug enforcement include going to schools, service organizations and clubs and providing education to the public at large. In essence, we need to re-connect with the community.
9. How would you rank the relative importance of each of the following law enforcement challenges in terms of priority and managing the allocation of limited law enforcement resources? A. Violent crime; B. Domestic Abuse; C. Traffic safety (including driving impaired); D. Property crimes or fraud (theft, trespassing, vandalism); E. Illegal Cannabis production, sale or use; F. Illegal production, sale or use of other drugs, such as methamphetamine, opioids, cocaine or heroin; G. Animal Abuse; H. Violations of Environmental Laws or Regulations; I. Fish and Game violations; J. Firearms violations; K. Parole violations; or L. Any other significant category of criminal activity that has not been included in this list?
DiBasilio: It is difficult to say one type of crime is more or less important than another as if you are the victim, that crime is the most important. That said, A,B,F,J,D,E,G,I,K,H,C.
Garrahan: Violent crime, to include domestic, child, and elder abuse (not on the list). Crimes against persons must receive highest priority.
Property crimes to include rural area crimes such as theft of agricultural products or livestock (not on the list). Helping people keep their property safe is a priority.
Drug enforcement, to include all illegal activities involving illicit drugs, not just cannabis, methamphetamine, opiates, or other drugs. Involvement in these crimes is often associated with other non-drug crimes.
Traffic safety enforcement. While primary traffic enforcement responsibility lies with the CHP, deputies must be competent in traffic enforcement, not only for public safety, but because evidence of other crimes is often discovered during traffic stops.
Firearms violations. Not as proactive enforcement efforts, but for officer safety and because firearms are often involved in other crimes.
Parole violations. The CDCR and the Probation Department have primary jurisdiction but deputies will often encounter these violators.
Animal abuse. These are violations of state law and need to be properly handled when they occur.
Fish and game violations. Fish and Wildlife wardens have primary jurisdiction and we will cooperate with them.
Violations of environmental laws/regulations. Code compliance and various regulatory agencies would have primary jurisdiction.
Stevens: I would rank all of these as important to citizens, but the most important are violent crimes and domestic abuse. These crimes directly affect a person, their health and welfare as well as and their immediate families. Traffic safety would be next for the same reasons. Public safety is first and foremost. Anything that is threat to a person is of the highest priority. The other factors listed, property crimes, fraud, etc. is something that can have a far-reaching effects on most people, especially identity theft, like from cluster mail boxes. How long does it take to restore your credit, recover stolen funds, new social security card, etc. from mail theft? Methamphetamine labs; I am the only candidate running that has experience in Calaveras County in investigating and dismantling meth labs in Calaveras County. Illegal drug sales / distribution of drugs is just as prevalent now as it ever has been and should be pursued vigorously. These and the other listed crimes are those that affect our quality of life, and more often than not, if something affects our quality of life, then it is probably a public safety issue that needs to be addressed.
10. How important is good morale in the Sheriff’s department to effective law enforcement? What is the most accurate indicator of good morale? How can department moral be improved and maintained?
DiBasilio: Morale is an indicator of an organization’s condition at a given time frame. Morale in the Sheriff’s Office today is higher than it has been in 15 years. My staff has always gone the extra mile to continue support of our community and they will continue to work hard to ensure the best service and support to this community. I commend them for the extra hours, covering shifts and continued dedication to doing the best job they can.
Feedback from staff is the best indicator of morale. My staff that are leaving have repeatedly expressed they are leaving for lack of pay. I know as a whole, the Sheriff’s Office and the community supports me knowing I will continue to work hard to support them. A more competitive pay structure will not only help recruit but will help retain employees.
Department morale can be improved and maintained through open communications, a stable and supportive political and financial environment. The County’s finances have not always been stable. County employees who believe they may get laid off will not stay. County employees who believe the county does not support the employee with a good comparable salary and good police safety equipment will leave looking for support in those areas. To allow staff to express their concerns, I have an open door policy. I always want to hear what the public and my staff are concerned about. This helps make me a better Sheriff by being informed.
Garrahan: High morale is vital to effective policing, not just the law enforcement aspect of the profession. Morale is the confidence, pride, enthusiasm, and self-discipline one has in themselves, their organization, and their chosen profession. There is no real measuring stick for morale, but a true leader recognizes poor morale and knows how to establish high morale.
Perhaps the most accurate indicator of high morale is the way in which any member of the Sheriff’s Office goes about their duties. Are they confident, competent, professional, and effective at what they are doing? Do they take pride in their work, their team, and the organization as a whole? If the answer is yes to these questions, then morale is high.
Enhancing morale is often mischaracterized as “leading from the front.” While this may be true for front line supervisors, the Sheriff has his or her own job to do. It involves creating a work environment where people are supported to go out and do their jobs to the best of their abilities. That is how you build and maintain high morale.
Stevens: Morale is at a crucial low right now. Deputies are being called back from days off to work a patrol shift, and in some cases, are working a shift in the jail. Correctional officers are experiencing the same overtime burden. The employees are tired. There is little time off. Considering the low pay, what do they have to look forward to? The county has recently agreed to a salary increase, but despite this, deputies and correctional officers are still leaving. Salary and benefits are not the sole reason they are leaving. Many people inside the Sheriff's Office have contacted me, identifying one of the primary issues as being short staffed, along with the direction of leadership. Morale is a pivotal factor that many times determines if an employee stays with the organization or leaves. Employees need to know they are wanted, appreciated and respected. The low morale problem has been known for quite some time among the employees and the public, and it was not until this campaign season that I raised it as an important issue. I will mentor and provide a healthier work environment for the employees of the Sheriff's Office, acknowledging their efforts and hard work.
11. What in your talents, experience or qualities do you think make you the best choice for Sheriff in this election?
DiBasilio: The talents I bring to the Sheriff’s Office are my ability to communicate, not only with staff but with the community and other entities. I am actively in the community being involved in the Angels/Murphys Rotary, Friends of the Calaveras Sheriff’s Office, Valley Springs Area Business Association, Angels Camp Gun Club, State of California Sheriff’s Association, Calaveras Farm Bureau, Calaveras Cattleman’s Association, National Rifle Association and many more. I lead by example with high morals and ethics.
The experience I bring to your Sheriff’s Office from my past private business experience and all of the years with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office. This includes the past two years as your Sheriff. This combination has helped me in developing and implementing programs to enhance the ability of the Sheriff’s Office to keep our community safe and improve relationships both in the department and in our community. Some of the programs I have implemented or continued since becoming Sheriff are;
1) Rural Crimes Task Force
2) School Resource Office, another to be added in August 2018
3) Added Investigators
4) Inmate Worker Road Crew
5) Mental Community Health Triage Team
6) Marijuana Enforcement Team
7) New Recruiting & Hiring Team
8) Unmanned Aircraft (Drone) Team
9) Social Media Outreach
10) Expanded SAR, SWAT and Bike Teams
11) Surveillance Cameras in Areas Impacted By Crimes
12) Added to K9 Program
I have continued to build stronger relationships with our local Fire Departments, Cal Fire, CHP, Angels Police Department, and local Paramedics (AMR), FBI, ATF, Fish & Wildlife, HIDTA and numerous county departments.
I have owned and operated my own business. I managed multi-million dollar Hazardous Waste clean-up site contracts, budgets and managing hundreds of staff. As the Sheriff for the past 2 years I have completed two Sheriff’s budgets and I am completing my third budget. I have worked with current staff on grants and contracts I am respectful and value Sheriff’s Office funds as I know these are taxpayers’ hard earned funds.
My qualities of hard work, leading by example, engaging the public and my ability to think outside of the box, listen to my staff and communities input has been making steady and upwards progress in the Sheriff’s Office and community. I feel as a community Sheriff, it is important to be out in the community and personally help build and maintain the relationships with citizens and other entities. I am the best choice to continue as your Sheriff.
Garrahan: I have about forty years of policing experience. This includes thirty-one years working as a military policeman, a police officer, canine handler, narcotics investigator, SWAT sniper, police academy instructor, sergeant, lieutenant, and watch commander.
After retiring from the Oakland Police Department, I completed four years as a police subject matter expert for the U.S. Marines. This included two combat tours in Afghanistan with Marine infantry battalions and two years as a trainer/assessor at the Marine Combat Training Center.
I have been an adjunct professor at Delta College and am currently the Police Science Instructor at Calaveras High School. I have associate and bachelor degrees in Criminal Justice and a Masters degree in Criminology.
I am a proven leader who knows how clearly define issues, work with people in order to find workable solutions, and then get things accomplished.
I am also invested in my community. I am the president of the Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial Board and the vice chair of the Calaveras Consolidated Fire District Board. I am the Community Service Chair of the West Calaveras Rotary Club and the local coordinator Calaveras Marine Corps Toys for Tots. I am also a mentor in the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program.
Stevens: I have continuously lived here in Calaveras County for almost 30 years. I have over 28 years of law enforcement experience, 13 years of it in Calaveras County. I served 5 years in Amador County as a Deputy Sheriff. For more than 10 years now, I have served as a District Attorney Investigator in Amador County. My experience far exceeds that of my opponents because my experience and expertise is not only in Calaveras County, but from outside Calaveras County as well. I bring a unique background of not only working the frontline law enforcement side of our justice system, but I have experience of working on the prosecution side. I know and understand what a prosecutor needs in a criminal investigation to present a case at trial and prevail. My experience includes serving on patrol, a field training officer, a detective, a narcotics investigator, a search and rescue manager, hostage negotiator, resident deputy, crime scene and reconstruction expert, and I am a latent fingerprint examiner. My wife and I belong to several local service organizations for many years, because we believe in being involved in our community.
12. Have you received any campaign donations or loans for this race from anyone who is not a resident of Calaveras or any organization with its principal offices outside Calaveras? If so, who, what organization, and how much? What assurances can you give the voters that those who have loaned or donated campaign funds will not receive special treatment as a result?
DiBasilio: Yes. I have received donations from outside of this county.
Posey’s Hearing Aid Center in Jackson $500, resides in the county
Robert Lyons, Sonora $100
Richard & Maria Nannini, Pittsburg $160
Alicen & Tom Castles, Lake Tahoe $ 170
Two Eighty Eight Joint Ventures LLC $1000.00, owns a home in county
Anybody that has donated to me donated because they know I am the best person to continue as Sheriff, not because of any promises of special treatment.
Garrahan: To date, I have received one $250 donation from my old partner who lives in Hawaii. I have not received any other donations from people or organizations outside of Calaveras County.
As Sheriff, I will be fair and impartial to everyone who lives in, works in, or visits Calaveras County. I am a professional and not beholden to any individuals or organizations. I am beholden to the law and the public that I will serve as Sheriff.
Stevens: All of my campaign contributions are from residents of Calaveras County, except for a few co-workers and family members. Aside from two purchases at Lowes in Martell, and recent campaign mail literature, all of my campaign funds have been spent in local businesses in Calaveras County. When I launched my campaign on January 11, 2018, I specifically told the audience that as a peace officer, I am not beholden to any person or organization. As your next Sheriff, that will continue. I do not play favorites or give special consideration to any person or group. I placed this on my website, www.garystevensforsheriff.com. For more than 28 years, the public has entrusted me with the power and authority to be a peace officer, to take a position and make hard decisions. I have always taken my oath of office seriously, and always will. I ask for your support and your vote. Vote for Gary L. Stevens for Sheriff for a better Calaveras County.