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The Issues

John Hirokawa believes that the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office owes it to the people that we protect everyday to enact immediate and bold reforms to our justice system. The department has made a number of mistakes recently that cannot be repeated, caused by leadership acting with political expediency in mind, instead of public safety.

John is the only candidate for Sheriff with the experience and passion to make these changes and he has made key reforms the centerpiece of his campaign. He knows that there must be a clear direction on how to address the current difficult situations and challenges – and that the policies and directives we enact must be efficient and sustainable.

As Sheriff, he will make it his top priority to implement a series of reforms to address the recent problems within the department, including:

Creating a safe environment for both inmates and the staff who care for them, especially those inmates with mental disabilities. He will work to improve facilities to better serve our population and make sure our staff has the proper training to deal with all types of people and situations.

Ensuring that jail facilities have proper staffing levels to meet their ever-changing challenges. That includes housing alternatives for mentally ill inmates and others with special needs who are better served in housing areas that have treatment programs.

Instituting a full review and reevaluation of staffing needs, training and structure of enforcement bureau staff, including reviewing policy in key areas such as “use of force.”

Providing staff with better guidance and training – it is essential that every staff member receives proper training to handle difficult situations and challenges.

Building a collaborative effort to create independent oversight of the entire department. All stakeholders, from rank and file to inmates rights groups to community leaders, who have an interest in department operations must be involved. But that kind of input and oversight can’t happen when the leadership of the Sheriff’s Office does not respect or listen to the opinion of everyone involved.