ISSUES & TOPICS

Mental Health

As a former employee and supervisor of the jail, I have experience managing inmates undergoing mental health issues of varying degrees. I believe it is critical that the Sheriff’s Office be equipped to evaluate detainees and inmates from the moment they enter a jail facility.  That evaluation must be done by trained medical staff and jail personnel assigned within the jail to ensure persons held in custody are properly managed consistent with their need.  To that end, I will ensure jail personnel receive appropriate training focused on dealing with persons experiencing a mental health crisis.

I will end the use of fear and intimidation that increased opportunities for failure in lieu of respect for all, accountability as a necessary component of trust, and quality training as a source of competence, confidence and the care we owe all we come in contact with. Line staff will then have the tools to assist mental health clinicians in caring for and managing those with mental health needs.


I worked collaboratively (in the past) with our Mental Health management and staff as assistant chief, and we will need to work together with county leaders to ensure we have a current and in depth audit of the operations and staffing of both deputies and mental health staff that informs, advises and recommends the true needs and resources.
I believe that many now realize that the cost of life and lawsuits are often much higher than any savings realized by underfunding the needs of those we serve. I will lead the culture change from the top on proper care and treatment of all – especially those with mental health challenges, and I will partner with those who champion front end mental health funding, from mild to acute, to avoid incarceration wherever possible.

Homelessness

I believe the homeless population should be able to count on the Sheriff’s Office for assistance and support when needed. To that end, I will ensure that Sheriff’s Office personnel who have contact with the homeless are properly equipped to address the unique circumstances and situations of our homeless population.  I will work collaboratively with allied agencies to ensure appropriate resources are identified and available when needed, that Sheriff’s Office personnel are properly trained and equipped to manage contacts with the public, and that the community is involved in assisting where possible.  I will ensure the Sheriff’s Office treats everyone with respect regardless of their residential or financial circumstance. We can do better aligning with faith-based and other community not-for-profit organizations to better assist our homeless community.  At the Sheriff’s Office we will create a homeless advocate program to help coordinate and assist as many homeless into diversion programs as needed. This will include coordination with mental health services, drug/alcohol rehabilitation and reintegration services, and with entities equipped to provide shelter.  As a community we will work together in making a difference to our County.

 

Drug use/addiction

It is more important than ever to care for people in our community that suffer from addiction and that we find solutions that are sustainable. I was born to parents who struggled with addiction to alcohol their entire lives. I lost a cousin many years ago to a heroin overdose, and my own family has faced the difficulties and helplessness of members suffering in various addictions. I believe that we need to focus on having treatment available in our communities and at every level in the justice system, have education available to young people, and hold accountable those who supply, distribute and sell harmful substances rather than focus solely on those suffering from the disease realized from choices made earlier in their lives. 

Crime Prevention 

I recognize the value of community education and engagement. Initial first steps will include an analysis of crime problems impacting our residents and an assessment of how to best involve the community in crime preventative measures.  This initiative will be accomplished online, through in-person presentations and via public service announcements. In addition to rising crime rates, the Sheriff’s Office is experiencing staffing shortages, along with the rest of the Country. After decades of the same approach, the underserved members of our community are the solution to this problem.  We need to reflect our community and encourage them to be part of the change that we all desire.  I believe that well-informed community partnerships, engaged in crime prevention, will go a long way in maximizing our efforts to make the county a safer place to live, work and play.

Gun Safety and CCWs 

I firmly believe that gun safety is the responsibility of every person who owns, transports, stores, handles a firearm or ammunition. I will ensure that the public is aware that the Sheriff’s Office is a resource for anyone wanting to know what options are available relating to firearms safety. 

 

In regards to the issuance of CCWs, I have made the commitment to a legal, responsible and fair process with regard to their issuance under the Second Amendment. I recognize how important this topic is to the residents and business persons of Santa Clara County. Unlike the current methodology, I plan to implement an issuance process which will be legal, fair, transparent and consistent. Given the recent SCOTUS decision addressing aspects of carry permits, I will be implementing a program consistent with our laws. This means an applicant must first meet all of the requirements set out by the California Department of Justice and the law.  Each application will be evaluated using a fair and transparent process and informed of approval or denial within the timeframe required by law. Independent oversight will be put in place, and neither political influence nor campaign donations will improve one's chances of securing a CCW permit.

 

If you have other questions about this subject, please feel free to contact my subject matter expert on this issue at advisor@kevinjensen4sheriff.com

Strengthening Public Trust 

As one who was afforded a career in law-enforcement despite having a father who was sent to prison for armed robbery, I feel extremely fortunate for having been treated fairly during the hiring process.  Throughout my career, I have seen law-enforcement as a profession accountable to the public it serves and as having the responsibility of earning and maintaining the public’s trust. I was an ethics instructor with the Sheriff’s Office for over 15 years and now teach managers on the importance of core values for developing personal and professional growth. I fought against corruption in the Sheriff’s Office for over 12 years and believe that we do not deserve a seat at the table of public trust until employees demonstrate trustworthy behavior as I have done throughout my career.  I believe in leading by example and holding employees accountable as it relates to unacceptable behavior which erodes public trust and confidence in the organization. I will ensure that the Sherriff’s Office operates respectfully and transparently.  

Sheriff’s Office Accountability, Transparency and Reforms

I believe that developing, earning and maintaining the public’s respect and trust is possible only through professional interaction, effective communication, understanding and transparency.  I will ensure that issues and areas of concern in the community are heard and acted upon where possible.  Law enforcement personnel are dispersed throughout of our community.  I will strive to recruit law enforcement personnel from within our many diverse cultures.  I am driven to rebuild the effectiveness and reputation of the Sheriff’s Office by re-instilling professionalism and trust within the leadership of the office and ensuring each department action is a cornerstone of truthfulness, fairness and transparency.

 

I have called out the mismanagement and underlying problem with transparency for the past 12 years. I am known for leading by example, respecting the opinions and views of others, and making decisions. I will earn the public’s trust each day by ensuring members of the Sheriff’s Office is accountable for their actions.  I will apply a much-needed leadership model exemplifying professionalism in public safety by treating everyone equally and respectfully.  “Serving our community, leading with integrity” is how I intend to operate as Sheriff.  

 

It speaks volumes to why I am overwhelmingly endorsed by the law enforcement community, elected officials, community leaders and advocacy groups. I will ensure the Sheriff’s Office is known for spearheading inter-agency collaboration at all levels of the public sector and through development of strong private sector partnerships within the community and department.  I will operate under a spirit of cooperation so as not to isolate the Sheriff’s Office or limit its effectiveness by resisting change or modernization to deliver maximum law enforcement and emergency services to the community.

Radio Encryption 

I am in favor of transparent communications that are unencrypted except where the safety of the public and or Law enforcement is in jeopardy. Personal private information is the problem and should be protected - such as date of birth, address, medical conditions etc.