Our Voice: Moore's experience best for county
by Press Editorial Board
May 16, 2014 | 2673 views | 6 6 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The San Joaquin County sheriff is going to face some very real issues within the next few years — issues that bear directly on the safety of everyone in the county.

Though we believe Sheriff Steve Moore is the best equipped right now to tackle the issues, we have some concerns.

Moore is a proven quantity when it comes to balancing his budget. He has helped his department weather the worst recession in recent history and done so without laying off deputies. Moore also has the experience to run such a large organization — and while the San Joaquin Deputy Sheriffs Association has decided not to support his re-election, when you consider his fiscal history, that seems to signal that he can make tough decisions.

With all of that said, some pressing issues exist now under Moore’s administration that must be addressed.

• Some of the problems facing our jail system today are not of Moore’s making. Because of the State of California Public Safety Realignment of 2011, people sentenced to non-violent and non-sex offenses serve their time in county jails instead of state prisons. That has left San Joaquin County Jail overcrowded and the sheriff’s office with little choice other than allowing some criminals back on the street to make room.

Moore has said that he was not allowed to put grants he secured into use to build a new jail. He now hopes to find money to build prefabricated detention facilities. Of course, when funds are available, Moore said it would take 18 months to build them. He also said he planned to add bunk beds to existing jail cells to double the population. That seems less than ideal and potentially even risky for correctional officers.

Though he did not create the overcrowding at the jail, the county needs a more immediate solution — not down the line, if and when funding is available.

• The staffing of communities in the south county is worrisome. The sheriff said average response times are down to about 13 minutes, from what he said used to be about 25 minutes. When we asked about coverage in Mountain House — with which the department has a contract to provide police service — he said that plans to increase deputy service in Mountain House and other south county areas had to be abandoned when the economy worsened.

Moore did say that the most often-reported complaints in Mountain House were animal nuisances and other quality of life issues, but he added that some residents imported a gang presence when they moved into the community from the Bay Area.

Moore also said he hopes to one day duplicate the Community Car program — assigning a deputy directly to a community, which he said has been successful in Morada — in other communities in our area.

The rural areas that surround Tracy rely upon service from the sheriff’s department, and we hope the sheriff understands their need and improves our coverage soon.

We believe Sheriff Steve Moore offers the best opportunity for local residents and endorse his campaign for the Primary Election June 3.

 
Comments
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victor_jm
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May 21, 2014
I would be wary of any Tracy Press Editorial Board endorsement. In fact, I suspect they are all democrats who further endorse the feeding of cows to dogs, though you would think their liberalism might enlighten them about the reality of legal cruelty in this country.
behonestguys
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May 16, 2014
jeffreyrink,

Unlike you, I was born in San Joaquin County and have lived here for 24 years. Most people don't know this, but Mr. Withrow's campaign consultant is Allen Sawyer. Us long time residents remember that Mr. Sawyer (who was at the time an official in the Grayd David administration and an attorney) being indicted by the Feds a few years back, along with former Sheriff Baxter Dunn, Monte McFall and former San Joaquin County Supervisor Lynn Bedford for political corruption for trying to shake down a power company that wanted to build a power plant at the Port of Stockton. The Feds had the goods on Sawyer, so he pleaded guilty to a felony and did time, as did former Sheriff Dunn. This should cause all honest citizens who lived through the Dunn-McFall-Sawyer-Bedford fiasco to question Mr. Withrow's moral values and judgment in having an ex-felon running his campaign for our County's top law enforcement job. Just for that reason alone people should vote for Moore.
behonestguys
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May 16, 2014
Sorry, meant to say Gray Davis administration, as in the former governor of California.
hunter1301
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May 20, 2014
I am one of the primary whistle blowers who cooperated with the FBI that put Dunn behind bars. Moore was Baxter's handpicked assistant sheriff during the time Baxter was under indictment. Enough of that. As far as Moore being fiscally prudent, what a joke. According to the Grand Jury, he spent $9 million on jail design plans. Moore disputes this figure. Obviously an audit should be done. Modular design plans would have cost around $40,000. If anyone wants to send me a Facebook friend request, I will be happy to share with them documents I have received from County Counsel showing that Moore gave MILLIONS of dollars to consultants to design a jail that never was built. Ten escapes this year, including some nice fellas with over 20 years of state prison hanging over their head. Pat Withrow has real experience, and personal integrity.

hunter1301
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May 20, 2014
By the way, my name is Frank Gayaldo. Anyone who wants to know the facts is free to Facebook friend request me or call me at 209 327 0759. I will debate anyone, anywhere, anytime about this sheriff's race. I have twenty years of law enforcement experience, including working for city, county,state,federal and bounty hunting experience. Like I said in my previous post, I helped put Baxter Dunn behind bars. I don't play games, and I cannot stand corrupt or incompetent cops. Happy to debate anyone anytime. Pat Withrow has the respect of the rank and file because he is genuine, kind, and has the leadership skills,knowledge,and integrity to do the job right.
jeffreyrinek
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May 16, 2014
Dear Editorial Staff, Thank you for the opportunity to make a comment. While you endorse Sheriff Moore for his budgetary efficiency, I believe that you have failed to consider that in his own words he did not spend $8.5M of his budget. There is a difference between budget efficiency and ineffective use of the budget. Consider School Resource Officers (SRO). How many SRO's does Tracy need, because they do not get any unless the city, or locale pays for half the cost. Would $8.5M have placed SRO's in the schools. I think so, and what is more cherished as a resource than a child. How about victim recovery. Sheriff Moore recovers victims like discarded trash to save money, even when he could have recovered them with honor and respect for free. Where does human compassion figure into your endorsement. Is the dollar worth more than the life. If it does, then Sheriff Moore is the choice. If life is more important, then Pat Withrow is the choice. While I am not a resident of San Joaquin, I have direct personal experience that Sheriff Moore puts dollars ahead of victim recovery. Maybe your endorsement should reflect the anguish and suffering of the victims at the hands of Sheriff Moore!


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