The highest regulation enforcement officer from Palo Alto is becoming a member of the race for Santa Clara County sheriff.
A committee to elect Police Chief Robert Jonsen as sheriff filed its organizing paperwork on Tuesday. Jonsen was reluctant to debate particulars of his marketing campaign and advised San José Highlight he’s planning an official announcement in just a few days. Jonsen mentioned his prolonged expertise working in a sheriff’s division makes him well-equipped to change into the county’s high cop.
“I feel it’s an awesome alternative to go in there and actually restructure issues, in addition to work on a number of the key points on this specific race,” Jonsen mentioned.
Jonsen has served as Palo Alto chief of police since 2018. Previous to that he labored as police chief for Menlo Park for 5 years. He spent greater than three many years working for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division, the place he served as captain of the Lancaster Station.
Addressing the psychological well being disaster within the county jail system is certainly one of Jonsen’s marketing campaign platforms. In Palo Alto, he oversaw the current rollout of a psychiatric emergency response staff, which pairs psychological well being clinicians with officers to reply to psychological well being misery calls.
“The timing is true to actually consider how we’re coping with people who find themselves incarcerated and battling psychological well being points,” Jonsen mentioned. “I feel there must be a greater method.”
Within the wake of the racial justice protests in 2020, Jonsen labored with Palo Alto officers to alter the police division’s use of pressure coverage and publicly launched a much less redacted model of its coverage handbook. Final 12 months, the division agreed to broaden the varieties of investigations and inside circumstances the unbiased police auditor is allowed to evaluate.
Palo Alto Mayor Patrick Burt advised San José Highlight Jonsen has been instrumental in navigating modifications to the police division during the last two years.
“We’ve been making some actually important progress and he’s been central to a lot of that,” Burt mentioned.
Jonsen is the fourth candidate to formally run for sheriff alongside former San Jose Assistant Police Chief Dave Knopf, Santa Clara County sheriff Sergeant Christine Nagaye and retired Captain Kevin Jensen. Santa Clara County Sergeant Sean Allen can be operating and plans to file within the close to future.
To this point, it’s unclear if Sheriff Laurie Smith is in search of reelection. Her administration of the county jail system has come beneath shut scrutiny from the Board of Supervisors, which voted no confidence in her efficiency final 12 months. Tomorrow, Smith is scheduled to look in court docket to handle an accusation of corrupt misconduct introduced towards her by a civil grand jury.
Contact Eli Wolfe at [email protected] or @EliWolfe4 on Twitter.