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Ben Boyce


The Dave Edmonds police management agenda

Posted on February 26, 2022 by Ben Boyce

Now that the Sheriff’s contest is off and running, the four candidates are releasing their goals and ideas for the role of the County Sheriff. Since, on my advice, candidate Dave Edmonds got to print first, he is the first to draw flak. This challenge is my opportunity to share Dave Edmonds excellent 12-step plan to re-engineer the Sonoma County Sheriffs Office (SCSO), which he published recently in ‘American Police Beat’ where he is a contributing editor.

The December 2021 article, ‘Crisis Creates Opportunity’ is an honest effort by a lifelong law enforcement professional to come to terms with why the police, as a national institution, has fallen so low in national public esteem: “One day, we’ll look back at our present embattled law enforcement era with enlightened eyes. We’ll have a clearer understanding of what happened to our profession and why. At least some of today’s national critique of our profession is caused by our insufficiency.”

Reform Sheriff Dave Edmonds 12-Step Plan
#1) Become CALEA certified
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies is the gold standard for national policing best practices.
#2) Introduce Ethical Policing Is Courageous (EPIC) duty-to-intervene training to sworn staff
#3) Commit to staffing that is as diverse as your community
#4) Make all ranks that are sergeant and above at-will positions
#5) Start an auxiliary funding program
#6) Start a walk-your-neighborhood program
#7) Increase intensive tactical training for all sworn staff
#8) Lead proactive homelessness intervention
#9) Institute mandatory and voluntary physical fitness certification
#10) Start an on-duty law enforcement fitness program

#11) Institute a mental and emotional wellness program
#12) Start a master officer/deputy program

There’s only one hitch here: Edmonds has to get elected first!

Remember these players: the real race in the June 2022 Sheriff ballot is between the Sonoma County Deputies Association (DSA) pick and the rest of the field. The DSA pick for 2022 is Asst. Sheriff Eddie Engram. For the record, the other two candidates in the race are Healdsburg Police Chief Kevin Burke and Carl Tennenbaum, retired thirty-year law enforcement veteran in the SFPD.

The official SCSO candidate, the hand-picked DSA man, had easily won for decades, until 2018. John Mutz, a former LAPD Station Commander, ran a credible outsider race as a reform Sheriff against Mark Essick in that year. Mutz told me late last year that Dave Edmonds is the guy who might have a realistic shot at finally overturning the entrenched Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and its reactionary police officers association, the DSA.

Edmonds is a crisis management expert who can take the public’s mandate to clean up the department and potentially move some personnel on their way. Dave has a 12-year horizon in which is committed to fundamentally changing the culture of the SCSO. He is a 58-year-old retiree and a buff weightlifting cyclist with a double pension who doesn’t need the money. His professional goal is to get the job done in three terms, retire at 72 and write a how-to manual for other police forces in the US, published in his magazine, where he remains a contributing editor.

Edmonds has a smart and original idea: consolidate all police training for all law enforcement departments, from the Sheriffs deputies to all the city police officers, into one unified police academy. That is the quality control standards mechanism.

One of his best ideas is to syndicate a monthly column for free in the regional papers. We bandied around potential titles, like his ‘Sheriff’s Office Monthly Report’ or my ‘Memo from the Chief’. The concept is to update the public on a month-to-month basis on the progress on his twelve management objectives. His belief is that a frank discussion of the opportunities and the obstacles to systemic reform and how those impediments are addressed is the best form of police transparency. I like that idea.

3 thoughts on “The Dave Edmonds police management agenda

  1. I appreciate seeing Dave Edmonds’ plan to modernize the Sheriff’s Office but I see no commitment to ensure desperately needed accountability and transparency nor that he wholeheartedly supports the tenets of Measure P, which was passed by a whopping 65% of the electorate. In addition, I trust that Carl Tenenbaum and Keven Burke will be granted equal ink in this publication.

    1. You’re going to have to write a letter if you want equal time for your preferred candidate. I’m an unpaid columnist, not a staff journalist. I’m under no obligation to provide equal time to candidates I don’t support. That’s up to you.

  2. I want to encourage voters to consider putting your trust in Dave Edmonds. I had the pleasure of working with him when his beat included the Sonoma Valley and I was at the helm of Vineyard Workers Services. His honesty, integrity, insights, and passion for the job made him a standout law enforcement officer then and, in my experience, that is exactly what this county needs if we are clean up the mess that Essick and others have made of today’s Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department.

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