Battle for Sheriff
A Change For The Better
Old Central Jail -- Male Intake -- 0300-ish
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Watch the video of this event at the following link: YouTube Channel
Check out more candidate details here: https://votersedge.org/ca/en/ballot/election/103-ede1a9/address/null/zip/92040/contests/contest/23066/candidate/156327?&date=2022-06-07
View Sheriff candidate statements to the Union Tribune's questions of May 8, 2022 here: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/story/2022-05-08/2022-election-q-a-with-charles-chuck-battle-candidate-for-san-diego-county-sheriff
- Throughout the United States and in San Diego County, citizens and lawmakers are calling for increased transparency from law enforcement, particularly when it comes to use of force incidents. What practices would you implement or continue in the department to foster transparency on department practices and use-of-force incidents?
To the extent that a particular use-of-force were to become the subject or focus of public attention, I would follow the protocols which currently exist and are in place. The department must conform with the requirements to disclose such information to the public balanced against the due process rights of sworn staff as well as such rights as are enumerated under the Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights. Information related to a fresh, and/or, as yet, wholly uninvestigated incident(s) may be delayed until sufficient facts have been gathered by department investigators from which management staff could avail themselves of such proper inferences, conclusions, or of any articulated justifications having been offered up by involved staff, related thereto, which are not otherwise prohibited to be released publicly by any of the above potential requirements of applicable laws.
- The San Diego County Jail has one of the highest rates of inmate deaths, with a recent audit finding evidence of negligence from deputies in ensuring inmate safety and wellbeing. What are some actionable ways you would work to address this crisis?
Of course any inmate death is tragic. However, not every inmate death is preventable, no matter how careful, dutiful, or diligent sheriff’s staff may be. Great care is taken by sworn, professional, and by medical staff to ensure inmates detained in our various detention facilities are released in the same condition in which they arrived. While “negligence” is a term we might assume we understand, there is a context to every such application of that term we must first evaluate to test if that term actually fits the circumstances we are contemplating and addressing.
Logic dictates and any critical thinker would therefore expect the larger systems in the state would naturally have more of everything. The “audit” seems to be suggesting -- on the one hand -- that those other counties with smaller inmate populations – who are reportedly doing more than is minimally required by state law in handling and caring for their county’s inmates -- are doing good while we are not? That’s the implication. Is our county – by contrast – “negligent because of this?” Is fully complying with those procedures which are minimally required by the state, not doing enough? Can we realistically and objectively label performing to such minimum standards as are required by state law, “negligence?” I don’t think so.
Nor, is a charge of “negligence” made dispositive simply by an auditor having observed video of a deputy, or even of deputies, walking slowly past a window to a cell or module without knowing further what exactly the deputies may have perceived in terms of verifying signs of life which may well have been visible to them within that cell or module as trained observers. Deputies are trained early on to observe the rise and fall of a sleeping inmate’s chest to confirm signs of life. That might take as little as a second or two. After hundreds of such “drive-by” viewing experiences, deputies become quite proficient at quickly discerning even such subtle movement as that. Deputies are only human and as such, are certainly not infallible. Over time, someone will inevitably make a mistake.
Couldn’t an individual deputy simply open each and every cell or module door every time to make sure? Policy prevents deputies from doing this without notifying and getting additional staff for safety and for security purposes. Every time staff opens a cell door they create for themselves a double-bind situation. The question then becomes, why did staff open a cell, when they could have simply looked for and observed signs of life through the window, thereby creating for themselves a situation where force then had to be used on the inmate, even if their original intent was to more thoroughly check on the inmate’s welfare. This explanation is not to say a sheriff should not investigate further. It serves only to demonstrate why people with detention’s experience, like myself, might be better at looking objectively at a potential detentions crisis to ascertain what might be done to improve our game.
There are limitations as to what amount of funding a sheriff’s department can realistically expect to get from a Board of Supervisors -- in any case. Imagine a county sheriff asking for additional funding from the BOS to pay for that which amounts to staffing, things, and services which exceed those things and services state law has deemed are minimally required. Do we expect a sheriff might know up front any such requests made to a responsible BOS for “extras” -- not mandated by state law -- are going to be non-starters for reasons which should be obvious?
Nonetheless, as sheriff, such perceptions cannot be allowed to remain unanswered. I would convene a Jail Inspection Team comprised of one well-experienced sergeant from each of the department’s detention facilities and task them with thoroughly inspecting each detention facility, tracking a hypothetical inmate through the system from intake through release. I would expect to see a list of recommendations from these subject matter experts detailing what can be done each step of the way to improve how we might better monitor the health and well-being of an inmate while in custody.
- Crime increased in nearly every category in San Diego last year. If elected, how do you plan to address the recent rise in crime?
Law enforcement professionals understand that rising crime and a lack of proactive policing are tied at the hip. You want less crime in your community? You ask your police to do more proactive policing.
Leadership cannot invoke proactive policing in even hot spots, unilaterally. Leaders must get buy-in from the community, first. Especially in these times, leadership has to have a meeting of the minds with our community leaders.
There are certain givens in policing: No matter how nicely they are asked, some criminals will not comply or cooperate with police attempting to exercise lawful control over them. Criminals who will not comply with lawful commands to submit to arrest provoke police into using force to gain their compliance. Defying police by physically resisting or assaulting officers will certainly result in some type of force being used to gain control of them for the safety of all involved.
When communities tire of being crime victims, all they need do is to convey to their law enforcement agencies they are ready to support the police in their areas with proactive enforcement, even if that proactive enforcement means uses of force will rise correspondingly. You cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs. Proactive policing creates complaints because criminals know that when they complain often enough, at least some leaders will blink and stop their cops from being proactive, making the criminal’s life far less daunting thereafter.
- Several cities rely on contracts with the San Diego County Sheriff's Office to provide law enforcement services. What are some of your goals for improving services and preventing crime specifically for contract cities?
Contracting for law enforcement services with the county sheriff is expensive. It is however more cost effective than having to run a small police department from within a small city. Again, a city must acknowledge that the cost of fighting rising crime is not just dollars, it’s acknowledging that with stepped up proactive policing to reduce rising crime, there will be complaints, claims, and litigation generated by those doing the crime some of whom will -- when caught – predictably, violently interact with police who are interfering with their choice of livelihood and getaway. Safety is a trade off. How safe do you want to be?
- The Sheriff's Department can now refer mental health emergencies to a Mobile Crisis Response Team. Do you believe this resource creates a safer and more improved situation for both officers and the members of the public, and why? Do you believe this is a step in the right direction toward future improvements in the department's interactions with those with mental illness?
Having this sort of mobile team on call is a great idea. I cannot agree it would be safer for everyone involved to send these folks in, either first, or alone, as opposed to sending peace officers to assess the immediate threat to such unarmed service providers and clearing the scene for them. Irrespective of the benign intent of non-police service providers, those suffering from mental issues may still present as imminent, deadly threats to first responders of any kind.
- What other issues or challenges do you think the department faces or what reforms need to be made?
The department doesn’t need reforming. The community needs to be reminded of the importance of the role they play in affecting the way law enforcement is conducted, or not, in their county. Sacramento, through one bogus legislative tweak after another, has diminished, marginalized, and gutted the law enforcement community’s ability to proactively fight crime in our local communities. The legislature through their poor decisions have made it increasingly more and more difficult for law enforcement to protect the public. The community must vote these dangerous politicians out and elect instead people who will vote to care for the safety and the welfare of the citizens they are supposed to be representing. It's up to the people to stand together. If the people want to live in safety, they must vote us back into a law and order society. Safety and justice for all is achievable. Promoting and supporting proactive, effective, and responsible law enforcement from our law enforcement professionals in each of our local communities is the logical first step in taking back control of our safety.
May 22, 2022 Update
Regarding the homelessness issue:
Supervisor Joel Anderson made a presentation a few days ago to a local ladies Republican group where I was in attendance. He mentioned a program he was pushing which would dovetail with a program the governor was pushing the acronym of which is C.A.R.E.. The governor unveiled a new framework on Thursday called CARE Court, which aims to connect a person struggling with mental illness with a court-ordered CARE plan. Each plan could be ordered for up to 12 months and extended an additional 12 months if needed. It would be managed by a care team in the community and include interventions and support services, including medication and a housing plan. The upshot was the proposed legislation would provide satellite mental health offices around the county making it easier for LE to deal with these folks. Sounds like a plan to me...
Lakeside VFW Turnout
Many good people turned out to collaborate on the upcoming vote. I met many enthusiastic community members, some of whom advised me, they had already voted for me for sheriff. One gentleman from Imperial Beach raised a very good issue with the presenter, Carl DeMaio. Of the three, hot-topic issues currently before the voters, he suggested number 4 should absolutely be the uncontrolled border.
That prompts me to remind you, the voters, that the sheriff in a county holds executive power and can set up a court, empanel a jury, and form a militia or posse if necessary to protect the rights of those he represents. All it takes to take control of our border, here, is to have a community that wants that control to be taken. A sheriff should act according to the desires of the community, not just out of a desire to flex his authority.
One sees there are "local" options now open on the table for the people with the right sheriff occupying this office.
May 24, 2022 Update
Why we need a strong sheriff. When the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act (Brady Bill) was enacted in 1993, sheriffs in several states refused to enforce it and sought to strike it down as unconstitutional. Sheriffs Richard Mack of Graham County, AZ and Jay Printz of Ravalli County, MT filed a lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court. And in a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled sheriffs weren’t required to enforce the law because it violated the Tenth Amendment.
Writing for the majority, Antonin Scalia said the decision was based on the fact that the Founding Fathers created a powerful local government as a check against an oppressive federal and/or state government. Quoting President James Madison, he said:
“[T]he local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere.” (Federalist 39)
Scalia understood that the Founders knew the dangers of an arbitrary, confiscatory, centralized government, and he pointed out how they designed a system of divided power to ensure the checks and balances necessary to protect our liberty. The people of this and every county deserve the very best sheriffs. They need a sheriff who will obey his sacred oath to defend and to uphold the constitution. A sheriff who will stand between the people and ALL potential usurpers of the people's constitutional rights. Don't be fooled by the lying politicians claiming sheriffs do not have sufficient oversight. These usurpers lobbying to shrink and to marginalize the powers of the county sheriff do so for their own nefarious purposes. They wish to diminish the powers of a county sheriff, not because of a lack of oversight, but because they fear a strong sheriff has all the power needed to absolutely protect the rights of the people, under the constitution, within the county. Keep your sheriff's strong. Protect yourselves from unconstitutional, state and federal overreach...
May 25, 2022 Update
Our iconic, William B. Kolender San Diego County Sheriff's Museum is in imminent danger of being shut down. The Sheriff's Museum preserves and promotes the history of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department for the enlightenment and education of visitors of all ages. Please contact your county supervisor and ask if there is something they can do to prevent the loss of this part of our legacy. The museum honors the rich traditions and history of the men and women who have served this county with pride.
May 26, 2022 Update
Compare the sheriff candidate responses to Q&A's here: https://thecoastnews.com/primary-election-interviews-with-san-diego-county-sheriff-candidates/
May 27, 2022 Update
May 30, 2022 Update
As we honor the memory of our fallen military heroes we should remember the solemn oaths they took, and for which they voluntarily and unselfishly both risked and gave their lives; they served and sacrificed themselves to support and to uphold the constitution defending it and this nation against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. We find ourselves at a pivotal moment in history. The people in this election cycle must win back the rule of law, as was contemplated under the constitution. If not, we stand to permanently lose our constitutional republic and the freedoms our unique form of government was designed to give its people. If we do not take back control from those whom we have seen have and would further deprive us of our liberties with their thinly veiled, socialist-communist approaches to ruling over us instead of representing our interests, we might never have another chance at saving the America we grew up with and the America for which these brave war heroes died bravely defending, for their progeny, and ours. Taking back control of our government starts with we the people at the grass roots local level. Please vote accordingly, and may God bless America on this Memorial Day and everyday...
June 2, 2022 Update
News 10 ostensibly did stand up interviews of ALL six of the sheriff's candidates who agreed to be interviewed. I saw three candidate interviews with a note at the end of the video directing persons go to their home page 10news.com to hear from the rest of the candidates. The rest of the candidate interviews seem to be missing? What could have happened to the other three? Channel 10 said they did a poll of some 614 people from which they posted a breakdown ostensibly of a candidate by candidate percentage ranking. This is not the time for astute voters to be taken in by missing candidate interviews nor by MSM taking it upon themselves to rank candidates based on such miniscule poll numbers. Do your own research on the candidates. Compare our education, our backgrounds, and what we've said to you in our position papers, and in the various Q&A sessions. As one candidate mentioned not everyone in this race has earned a bachelor's degree. It's difficult to imagine a 21st century public electing a sheriff who doesn't have at least a bachelor's degree in a criminal justice related field to lead a 21st century department with a 1.1 billion dollar budget. And, as you know, a four-year college degree earned with honors implies one didn't just phone it in. You, the public, deserve and need an educated, professional who will do his best to be your next sheriff...
June 4, 2022 Update
Better late than never. Channel 10 NEWS with greatly redacted interviews of these candidates here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFkbgUP1C1k
June 4, 2022 Update
Thinking outside the box: The problem in Uvalde, as we are coming to understand it, is that the shooter, once in the locked down classroom, had the advantage of this ideal construction working for him, instead of against him. There was a steel door encased within a steel framing and the door swung out. The cops could no more breach the steel door from the hallway side than the shooter could have without special tools and training. Fire personnel have been both teaching and breaching concrete and cinder block walls for a very long time. They breach a wall in order for themselves or for others to be able to crawl or squeeze through a break in a wall in the event they are cut off from an escape route while inside a burning building. Police don't need to breach a cinder block wall so that the breach is large enough for a person to crawl through, rather, they need only to breach holes that penetrate both sides of two opposite walls so that the muzzle of a rifle can be inserted and sweep an area. Another pair of holes on those same adjacent walls could provide viewing ports for observers to locate the threat for the rifle personnel. With lasers mounted near the ends of the rifle barrels, the observers could simply direct fire by telling the rifle staff to sweep left, right, up, or down and hold. With a coordinated action, such access ports could be punched through a cinder block wall in a matter of seconds. A threat would be confused as to where to target a threat. This gives the attacking force an advantage as they will be behind concealment and or cover and while the threat may be able to crouch and cower, he cannot hide. Equipment needed: Weighing in at 10 pounds, the Halligan tool, named for the FDNY Deputy Chief who designed it, is a hybrid prying bar, adze, and pick. This tool could easily be carried in the trunk of every patrol car in America. With it, a trained person could quickly breach a cinder block wall in the fashion described above. This is why cops debrief. Not to focus blame, but to improve our tactics...
June 6, 2022 Update
Okay. If you're smart, and if you've been doing your own due diligence research on the seven, sheriff's candidates, you have no doubt learned from this which candidate is the most qualified to take this department to the next level. A formal, college education and detentions experience can only be gotten the old-fashioned way; one has to have worked at both to have earned that knowledge. No outsider has the ability to come in and run this office -- better -- without a formal education and that hands-on detentions experience. This candidate has a well proven track record of doing this, that, and the other thing, not because they were easy, but because they were hard, to borrow a phrase from President JFK. Having succeeded at always being number one in everything I have attempted is a quality you need in a sheriff who is your last line of defense against state and federal actors who might one day seek to weaken or to outright strip you of the last of your constitutionally guaranteed rights. Vote for who can and will do the best job as sheriff for ALL of the people in this county. Vote Chuck Battle for sheriff in 2022...