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Letter: What Difference Does a Sheriff Make

Napa Valley Register | April 26, 2022

If you live in county supervisor districts 2, 4 or 5, there isn’t much to vote on come June 7. So, does that mean we should just sit this one out? Not on your life! For the first time in many years there is a competitive race for county sheriff. And sheriff, as one of the mandated offices mentioned in the California constitution, is a very important and oft overlooked elected position. In the past I’ve never paid much attention to the vote for sheriff, but this year is different. I do not know either of the contestants and I didn’t have a clue as to their policing and administrative philosophies. To find out, I contacted both campaigns and asked the same question: “What is your policing philosophy and what difference does it make if your opponent, rather than you, is elected sheriff”? I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted directly by both candidates. Oscar Ortiz and I chatted on the phone for about half an hour and Jon Crawford and I sat across a table from one another for about the same length of time. The differences soon became apparent.

Mr. Ortiz was extremely affable and spent a considerable amount of time telling me how his experience differed from Mr. Crawford’s. But he could not articulate what difference that made. Similarly, questions about policing style philosophy went unanswered. Mr. Crawford, on the other hand, clearly articulated why his experience would make a difference. He also was clear on his policing style. When asked how he would, for example, police a Black Lives Matter demonstration as opposed to a white supremacy demonstration, he was quick to say he would treat them both the same. Mr. Crawford came across as “a cop’s cop,”: Direct, fair and unswayed by any considerations other than the law. I am certain that I do not, and that I will not, agree with all of Jon Crawford’s approaches to being sheriff. I suspect we’ll sit on the opposite side of the table once more. But I also know that he will listen and that he will use his good judgment as he acts as sheriff. I urge you to vote for Jon Crawford to be the next sheriff of Napa County.

David Campbell


View Original Publication: Napa Valley Register