Beginning with my upbringing and ending with working closely on a day-to-day basis with former Sheriff John Robertson as I performed my duties as Undersheriff of Napa County for a three-year period, I have acquired the skills and qualifications necessary to assume the role of Sheriff of Napa County.
Both my parents instilled in me a drive and passion for justice, hard work and fairness. From my father I learned not to judge a person or situation rashly, to take the time to hear people when you can. My mother taught me about respect and about the strength it takes to be an independent thinker.
After graduating from Justin Siena High School, I attended Chico State University. While I was a standout football player at Justin, it is obviously a small school and subsequently I did not receive any attention from college programs. Even though the odds were against me, I walked on and earned a spot on the inaugural freshman football team at Chico State and was one of the few freshmen called up to varsity at the end of the freshman season. That taught me that determination and hard work are sometimes more important than anything else. Ultimately, I had to go to work to support myself in college and earned a degree in Public Administration with its emphasis in Criminal Justice.
After college, I began my twenty-seven-year career in law enforcement. I began at the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, where I was a Deputy assigned to the custody division at the main jail in Redding. From there I returned to Chico where I worked as an officer with the CSU, Chico Police Department. During my tenure there I was selected to participate on the Critical Response Unit which was a team whose purpose was to serve high risk search warrants, provide dignitary protection and disaster response as a mutual aid team to the other Northern California CSU campuses. During my tenure there I was selected to be a team leader.
In 1998, I returned home and began working for the Napa County Sheriff’s Office. Within two to three years, I found myself as the County’s primary violent crimes detective as well as the President of the Napa County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. As the President of the DSA, I was able to successfully negotiate several successor agreements that satisfied both the deputies as well as the County and also established good relationships with department heads, the CEO and the Board of Supervisors. I gained the trust of the deputies due to my hard work, relationships and knowledge and served in that role until I chose to step down after approximately ten years.
My other assignments at the Sheriff’s Office included a succession of leadership roles. I worked my way up through the ranks and served as a supervisor of the Investigations Bureau, Community Services Bureau, a Patrol team and as the Sergeant in charge of the deputies assigned to the Town of Yountville. While assigned to Yountville, I was essentially the Chief of Police, interacting with the citizenry as well as the Town Council as their liaison with the Sheriff’s Office.
In 2016, I was promoted to Lieutenant and oversaw several bureaus of the Services Division: Records, IT and the Civil/Coroner Bureau. While in that role, I had the opportunity to learn about many things that were not operationally related to the Sheriff’s Office but nonetheless served me well later. During the Tubbs Fire, I was assigned to the Incident Command Post and was responsible for all law enforcement services during the “B” shift or night shift. This included being responsible for approximately 100 law enforcement officers and acting as a liaison with the Cal Fire incident management team as well as ensuring that the needs of Napa County were being met from a law enforcement perspective, including looter patrol and evacuations.
After a year and a half in the lieutenant role, I was promoted to the Operations Captain role and shortly after that, was appointed to the role of Undersheriff by former Sheriff John Robertson.
I served in the role of Undersheriff of Napa County for a period of three years. In that role, I was the Chief Operations Officer of the Sheriff’s Office, making high level decisions that ensured the office was moving forward in the direction it should have been. I was responsible for managing approximately 145 people and 40 million dollars. This includes all divisions and bureaus of the Sheriff’s Office, including the contract with the City of American Canyon. I was responsible for risk management; personnel issues, including discipline, and contract issues. I was also active during the LNU and Glass Fires. During the Glass Fire in particular, the Sheriff’s Office entered into Unified Command with Cal Fire and other agencies in Napa and Sonoma Counties. I was assigned to represent Napa County as an executive level decision maker, primarily determining evacuation zones as the fire advanced and directing resources as the fire was controlled in order to allow our residents to return home as the affected areas were made safe.
I am very well qualified to assume the role of Sheriff. Throughout my twenty-seven-year career, I have repeatedly been selected to assume leadership roles and have done so successfully. Aside from the experience and education detailed above, I have hundreds if not thousands of hours of training, which includes graduation from Northwestern University’s School of Police Command and Staff. Additionally, I possess California Peace Officer Standards and Training Certifications at the Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Management levels. I have also participated in community programs, such as Leadership Napa Valley as well as Napa Rotary. In fact, both of those organizations have asked me to participate on their boards (which I do) and I am scheduled to be the next President of Napa Rotary. Should I be elected, I will hit the ground running and bring you a strong Sheriff, someone who is an expert in the law as well as operations, believes in this community and will be able to give you certain answers and great service.