I was raised in Amador County, and have been a longtime resident of Calaveras county. I see a similarity between the two in the law enforcement.

Tonight (and I notice, near the end of the month) my wife was pulled over by a sheriff’s officer for having “dim” lights illuminating her license plate on our family car. Fully four sheriff’s officers showed up immediately to respond to this dire miscarriage of justice, lights flashing, radios blaring. She was removed from the vehicle, and had demands on her to search it, lest the tow truck or drug dogs arrive. While the black uniforms invaded her privacy (OVER A DIM PLATE LIGHT), other officers demanded she pull up the sleeves of her sweatshirt to confirm she had no track marks. One officer even asked after the amount of nose blow tissues in the car, during cold season. All of this in front of our 12-year-old daughter. My wife was very kind, cooperative and truthful with these officers, and yet was treated like a cold, hard criminal.

She was held on the side of the road for almost two hours before being released.

I drove to meet them after half-an-hour or so to pick up my stepdaughter while they went through whatever process they would commit so much of their time to. As I greeted the officers I was told to “Stay right where I was.” As if my apologetic presence was some kind of a threat. They demanded my ID and ran my license plates as if I was some sort of criminal as well, even though all I had done was say “hello” to them.

Eventually I was commanded to take my stepdaughter and leave, and wait on the (maybe?) notification I would get on what would happen with my wife.

Here is life in authoritarian Calaveras County: four sheriff’s officers for 674 residents, making one well-armed officer of every 168 residents in a place that has effectively zero murders and rapes every year.

If the county can’t make enough off property and sales tax, tough cookie. The way to get revenue is not through jack-booted thug tactics and terrorizing citizens of this county.

Is this about protect and serve or collect revenue? It’s weird that we can’t fund our school systems or roads or water supplies properly.

Reassess your priorities Calaveras County Sheriff, or be voted out.

Zachary Wiedenhoeft,

West Point


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