Sheriff Bill Brown announces his candidacy for a fifth term

“I’m Sheriff Bill Brown. I’m proud to be your sheriff. And I’m running for re-election on June 7, 2022.” Thus began the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s official campaign for a fifth term. His challenger, Lieutenant Juan Camarena, announced his candidacy for the position last August.

At Thursday’s event, Brown was introduced by District Attorney Joyce Dudley, who said the sheriff earned his respect through the many tough times they’ve been through in the county over the past 20 years. . Brown acknowledged the work of his staff and deputies and the turmoil they went through after the murder of George Floyd and now the invasion of Ukraine.

The backdrop for Brown’s remarks was the North County Branch jail in Santa Maria, which he said was the product of a promise he made in a previous election. Brown, who has a penchant for quoting the classics, translated the chiselled Latin above the entry: “Each person is the architect of his own destiny. Addressing the opportunities the prison system could provide inmates – life and work skills, anger management and substance abuse control – Brown said they “can walk out understanding that they can truly control their destiny”.

Santa Barbara’s main jail has long been overcrowded, and a new jail has been sought by all sheriffs since the 1980s. Initial plans for the North County Jail included education and recidivism programs, which have reduced as costs soared. Construction began in 2016, missed the 2019 completion deadline and opened in January after costing $120 million.

Brown’s most emphatic statements came when announcing a new opioid prevention program, saying 133 people died of heroin and/or fentanyl overdoses in the county last year. , and more than 100,000 in the country. He said he intended to bring together law enforcement, medical professionals and religious leaders next week in an initiative he called “Project Opioid.”

Brown began his career as a paramedic in Los Angeles County in 1974, becoming a police officer in Pacifica in 1977. He rose through the ranks from sergeant to acting captain in Inglewood, then became police chief in Moscow, Idaho, in 1992. He was then Chief of Police of Lompoc in 1995 before being elected sheriff of the county in 2006.

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Michael J. Chiaramonte