The most important race in the June 7 San Mateo County election is for Sheriff. We need a Sheriff we can trust to keep our community safe. I support Captain Christina Corpus. She is experienced, and ethical, and believes that the Sheriff's Office should be responsive to community needs and concerns. This represents a refreshing and much needed change.
I have met her, listened to her speak, and spoken with deputies who work for her, and with every interaction, my belief grows stronger that we need her for our Sheriff.
Christina Corpus is respected among subordinates and peers alike. She has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 20 years, most recently promoted to Captain. Among her many accomplishments, she created a program to mentor women seeking a career in law enforcement, and she championed the BOLA-Wrap program to provide deputies with a less-lethal restraint tool. She will bring more innovations to the office; for example, she will implement the Officer Survey program, enabling community members to provide feedback on the service they receive from our Sheriff’s deputies. She will provide training and support to deputies to address the current toxic environment that has resulted in a shortage of 100 deputies. She will implement programs to better address incidents involving mental health crises.
The office of the County Sheriff was never on my radar before the incumbent Sheriff was apprehended during an FBI raid at an illegal brothel, which was sex trafficking minor girls in Las Vegas, while on a taxpayer-funded trip. His supporters claim that it no longer matters, but it still matters to me -- I do not want a Sheriff who lacks ethics and judgment.
More recent incidents are even worse. Chinedu Okobi died in 2018 after being tasered seven times for just walking away from deputies who wanted to stop him for jaywalking. The investigation into the incident was internal, and details were not shared with the public. Little or no changes were made to deputy training or use-of-force policies. Mr. Okobi is just one of the far too many black men killed by law enforcement, yet our County Sheriff’s Office has not done a single anti-bias training since his needless death.
The incumbent’s lack of respect for the community is reflected in his refusal to participate in the candidate forum sponsored by the Thrive alliance, to which he had already agreed, forcing its cancellation and depriving the 130 or more voters who signed up for the opportunity to hear from both candidates.
We need a change. And Captain Corpus represents not just a small shift, but a huge step into 21st-century policing and community-centered service.
Anne K. West, Redwood City