Town Square

County union supports candidate to oppose sheriff in 2014

Original post made on Jul 16, 2013

Unions representing deputies and correctional officers today announced members voted in a "landslide" to endorse a candidate to oppose Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith in the June 2014 election.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 9:32 AM


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Do Palo Alto residents vote for the County Sheriff?

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Posted by Concerned Deputy
a resident of another community
on Jul 16, 2013 at 8:51 pm

The reason the DSA is choosing to endorse someone other than the incumbent Sheriff in 35 years is because the person we have chosen to endorse is Kevin Jensen. Kevin has earned the respect of those that work with and for him as a person, a law enforcement officer, and as a leader. He is a person of integrity and has an unwavering desire to do what is right. He has proven time and time again that he cares about the people he serves, as much as the people he serves with. Please do not take my word at face value, ask any Deputy who works for the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office why we have chosen to endorse Kevin Jensen; I assure you that you will get a sincere, heartfelt reason why Kevin is the right person for the job. I am not one for dirty politics, pointing fingers, or name calling. I tell it like it is, wether the truth hurts or not. It is time for change.

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Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 16, 2013 at 9:59 pm


Yes, Palo Alto residents vote for the County Sheriff. There are 15 cities in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto is one of them.

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Posted by Casey
a resident of another community
on Jul 16, 2013 at 10:13 pm

The Sheriff was extended an offer to speak to the CPOA members. The letter was hand delivered to the Sheriff and you can see a copy of it on the SCC Correctional Peace Officers Facebook page. They offered her the opportunity to speak to the membership regarding her future policy plans in the middle of the week the election was being held; they made the offer for her to speak approximately 2 weeks before polling started. The sheriff chose to not even respond to the invitation to speak.

This is the type of disrespect and misrepresentation that the deputies and correctional deputies are tired of. They try to do the right thing and she acts like she never knows what happens. Perhaps she is so oblivious to the happenings in her office that she truly did not realize that the letter handed to her and the conversation at the time was an actual invitation to speak. Perhaps she just didn't care enough to listen to what was being said or read the letter.

Capt. Jensen has shown nothing but respect for those that share ideas, make suggestions and yes, even complaints. He has acted as a leader while with the Sheriff's Office, the DOC and again with the Sheriff's Office and has earned the respect of everyone he works with.

Ask yourself what you know about the Sheriff, or the her office. Ask yourself how often you see any mention of the activities of your law enforcement agency in the news, good, bad or indifferent. Ask yourself what kind of community policing you've seen that other communities enjoy. As a citizen, if you're honest with yourself, the answers to those questions should make you wonder why some one who has 15 years in office deserves another term as a shadow who has clearly not worked well with what appears to be 95% of her employees.

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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2013 at 9:27 am

> Palo Altans vote for Santa Clara County Sheriff

Hmm .. the following link reports on the 2010 Sheriff’s election. There are only about 200K votes reflected in the totals, with probably 1+M registered voters in the County. There are easily 37K-40K registered voters in Palo Alto, along.

Web Link

Sheriff Laurie Smith also appears to have been re-elected by a wide margin, according to the unofficial results. Smith received 112,654 votes, or 62.2 percent of the vote,

Since the Santa Clara County Sheriff does not have any direct jurisdiction in Palo Alto, why should Palo Alto be allowed to vote for this office?

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Posted by Wycombe94306
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

While the Sheriff's Office does not have primary patrol jurisdiction in Palo Alto, it does have jurisdiction in the unincorporated communities throughout the county, as well as LA Hills, Cupertino and Saratoga. Additionally, it has jurisdiction with VTA related issues, the Courts, including the Palo Alto Courthouse, County Parks, and also the Jails. All of these serve the residents of Santa Clara County, including Palo Altans.

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

The two postings by people claiming to be deputies seem to be taken from the same talking points, and hardly constitute much in the way of endorsement for their candidate, nor a reason not to vote for the incumbent.

Both of these men (presumably) claim that “morale” is low. Well, recent surveys show that more than half of the workers in America hate their jobs, and so it’s probably fair to say that “morale” is bad all over America. What makes the Sheriff’s Deputies any different? If elected, how will the “morale” of the Sheriff’s Deputies change so that the public will be better served?

The Sheriff’s web-site lays out pretty well the scope of the department, its budget, and the number of sworn, and non-sworn, employees that report to the County Sheriff:

Web Link

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office has a staff of approximately 1,800 sworn and non-sworn employees and a budget of approximately $307.8 million. The Sheriff's Office serves the communities ofCupertino, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of the County. The Sheriff's Office also maintains contracts with the Valley Transportation Authority and the Santa Clara County Parks Department for law enforcement services. With a total County population of approximately 1.9 million people, the Sheriff's Office has a service population of approximately 197,000.


So .. what makes the current Sheriff’s performance in this job unacceptable, and what experience at managing an outfit the size of the County Sheriff’s Office does the union-backed candidate have?

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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside
on Jul 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Thanks to the public union for providing a rare public service. Anyone they endorse can quickly be identified as someone to vote against.

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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I have to agree with Joe Davis. I am not a big supporter of the current sheriff, but now that I know the unions are supporting her opponent I will vote for the incumbent. For all local elections my #1 barometer is where the unions stand. If they support a candidate, I have a heavy bias for the opponent.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Taxpayer is spot on. If the public unions like something, it has to be bad for everybody else.

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Posted by Kevin Jensen
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I know that I will never be able to participate in every discussion related to the 2014 Santa Clara County Sheriff's election; however, I read this thread, and I will try to give some brief comments, because there are some very honest expressions stated here that are probably symbolic of the sentiments of people throughout the County.

Yes, it's really me. I appreciate the comments made here. I have been married to the love of my life for thirty years, have three children, and five grandchildren (+ 1 just like our own).
When I was hired, I was a young husband and father of two who made a meager salary - and hoped that someone would take a chance on me. When I finally made it through the testing process, I promised that I would be one of the best investments that Santa Clara County has ever made.
As my career in law enforcement progressed, I started college classes, earned my BA and MA from Saint Mary's of Moraga with a 4.0 gpa in both Management and Leadership respectively, and grew both as an employee and as a person.

I have a bio coming out that shows the many assignments, supervisory, management, and exec management positions I have held. A brief list includes: Patrol, Investigations, SWAT or SERT Team, Internal Affairs, Community Services/Reserves Divison Commander, Court Security Division Commander, Stanford Captain, Assistant Chief of the Dept of Correction, Administrative Coroner, and now Risk Program Manager for the CA UASIs (terrorism prevention, mitigation, response, recovery) throughout the state.
I am currently the President of the FBI National Academy Associates for the state of Claifornia.
I am dedicated to being a lifelong learner, and have been blessed to have recognized the value of self reflection, humility, integrity, mutual respect, and accountability. I truly believe in the values that are so often spoken as catch phrases.
I have been an association board member, and a manager/exec manager for approx the last ten years.
As Asst. Chief, I operated under the practice and belief that while unions and management have some inherently different roles, there can be great relationships and success when operating in an environment of fundamental fairness, mutual respect, good faith bargaining and discussions, systemic thinking, and the big picture rational perspective that includes all available relevant information. We did not always agree on the ultimate decision, but I believe we worked through issues because I helped create an environment of trust.
I respect the views of those who posted here. My hope is that we can all keep open minds during the upcoming process. I would like the opportunity to help you discover why so many have supported me, and why I would best serve the county as iyour next Sheriff.
I have been so disappointed by politics, and sometimes wonder if someone can gain elected office without guile or compromise, but My family and I believe it is worth the attempt - and I will do my best to honor your time and effort in the decision-making process. Please ask about both candidates to anyone you know in police, fire, city/county offices, the County Police and Fire Chiefs,etc...I believe our reputations will assist you.
So much for brief!
Many thanks for taking the time to read this,
Sincerely, KJ

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Posted by Kathy Atkins
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Sheriff Deputy Involved Domestic Violence, My interactions with the Santa Clara County, California Sheriff Department and Sheriff Smith Directly, My son Joshua died by Hanging at the age of 10 after years of abuse. Please take a moment to read and share my story, Thank you, Kathy
Web Link.

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Posted by valerie Howeth
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Why can't we get a new Sheriff not Kevin either.There's gotta be another one.A New good one.That is good!!!!NEEEEWWWWWWWThis one isn't working good enough any more.We need all she doese but More!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Portola Valley

on Jun 5, 2017 at 12:23 am

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