Clifton Harris, Co-Publisher of The San Bernardino American News Interviews Sheriff Candidate Mark Averbeck
March 12 , 2010
1. Why do you want to be Sheriff of San Bernardino County?
Mark: I want to be Sheriff because I think I can do a better job that the current appointed sheriff. The interim Sheriff we have has 31 years on the Department. This is a four year term. We need a Sheriff who is going to form and implement a Strategic Plan to benefit the citizens and employees of this County. If I am elected I plan on working two full terms. The Good Ole Boy system we have is where one retiring Sheriff leaves mid term and lets his successor (hand chosen) take over. I believe the voters should decide who the best candidate is with the best vision for our County. My strategic plan is on my web site www.electsheriffaverbeck.com. Some of the issues I am most concerned with: ·The lack of diversity in the Sheriff’s Department. · The unfair promotional system. ·The ever increasing number of Deputies being injured at the jail with nothing being changed to improve the working conditions.
2. Why do you think the minority community should care who the sheriff is?
Mark: The minority community should care who the Sheriff is because the Sheriff is a public servant for everyone’s community. We need a Sheriff who will promote people based on their credentials not their networking/ connections. We need a Sheriff who is willing to help under privileged children succeed in school and build up their self esteem. Currently we have a 24% High School Drop out rate in California. We need to motivate our youth to succeed with an academic/ athletic program sponsored by the Sheriff’s Department. This will encourage our children to excel and become strong leaders in our community.
3. What can the minority community expect from you that they have not gotten from previous sheriffs?
Mark: I will bring diversity to the Sheriff’s Department immediately. Having an organization whether it is public or private that has a Glass Ceiling preventing minorities and women to the executive levels of management is wrong. This Good Ole Boy system is known for promoting friends and family rather than on merit. Our leaders should be a true representation of the people they serve. Recognizing the issues that effect diversity is realizing we are all different on the outside but many of us share the same values on the inside. I believe we need to right the injustice that has been done, and balance our organization to reflect the people we serve.
4. Do you have a plan for corruption if it should be found in San Bernardino County?
Mark: I believe in the relentless prosecution of criminals wherever it exists. We have all read in the papers of the ongoing investigation involving our County Government Leaders. I believe the time has come to Change County Government. It is embarrassing to see time after time our Government leaders violating their fiduciary duty to their constituents. Let’s change San Bernardino County Government together!
5. Do you have a statement for the female sworn and non sworn employees within the department?
Mark: Yes I do. I respect and admire you for the decision you made to work in the law enforcement profession. This is a very demanding job and it is difficult for both men and women. If I am elected, you will have the same opportunities any other Deputy will have throughout your careers. We should all be able to work in a friendly, harassment free environment, and I intend to make sure it happens. I believe in fairness and accountability for everyone whether they are a Deputy or Deputy Chief.
6. Why do you think it has taken until 2010 to have a minority reach the rank of Deputy Chief?
Mark: It is amazing this question was asked and I am happy to answer it. We had an open forum on October 7, 2009 at the San Bernardino Hilton. I specifically addressed this issue and said it is a shame that we never had an African American man or women reach the level of Deputy Chief. Our interim Sheriff has promoted two Caucasian Deputy Chiefs. During the second promotions an African American man finally made it. The reason is in this entrenched Good Ole Boy system there are many political favors being returned and only a few positions to be handed out. The powers to be generally will surround themselves with friends and political allies first and people with merit are promoted last.
7. What do you plan to do about the nepotism, favoritism, and cronyism that take place in the Sheriff’s Department?
Mark: I don’t like to use the word nepotism but it is brought up quite often. The problem I believe is in the promotional system is flawed. It would be unfair to assume nepotism exists simply because many current administrators had fathers who once were leaders as well. The promotional system we have allows the Sheriff to pick a group of ten names from Human Resources and hand pick that he wants to promote. Granted there are logistical issues in regards to where people live and how far they could commute. However, there should be an equal opportunity for everyone on the list to be offered a promotion whether it is in Needles or San Bernardino. I think experience, education, testing scores, and seniority should play a role in the promotional process. Eyebrows are raised when people with less experience than other candidates are promoted.
8. Without violating any laws how can you make the department more transparent for the public to see that it is a clean department?
Mark: When we are dealing with personnel issues the employee has a right to privacy that must be respected. Our citizens have the right to file a citizen’s complaint if they feel they were treated unprofessionally. My expectation of our Deputies is to treat every citizen the way they would like to be treated if they were a victim of a crime. We expect the investigation to be conducted thoroughly. All too often a report is filed and the citizen wonders what happened. I would like to see some feedback given to the citizen as whether or not their crime was solved, whether or not charges were filed, and what was the outcome for the defendant if they were convicted.
9. What will be your first order of business for the men and women of the Sheriff’s Department should you get elected?
Mark: The first thing I would do is interview the current executive staff to find out their future intentions. Then I would form an executive staff that is a true representation of the people we serve. I am not looking for people of color without regards to their experience/ education. I am looking for women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Caucasians who are qualified and can become true leaders. The next thing I will do is form a committee to build towers in our jails Central Detention Center & Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center). These towers will provide Deputies with a position of advantage to stop a riot if it occurs utilizing less than lethal weapons and chemical agents.
10. What do you have to say to the minority community as a closing statement?
Mark: I want to thank you for your help and your votes in the election on June 8, 2010. If you are not a registered voter please go to the registrar of voter’s web site http:/ www.co.sanbernardino.ca.us/rov/ general_info/default.asp and register. If you are registered and may be too busy to go to the polls then please register with the mail in ballot. This form can be faxed, dropped off, or mailed to the Registrar of Voters. Americans are fortunate that we can improve our quality of life, enhance our safety, and hold leaders accountable by exercising our right to vote.
Please vote for Mark Averbeck and tell all of your friends to do the same. God Bless, Mark Averbeck
Copyright © 2009 San Bernardino American. All Rights Reserved.an. All Rights Reserved
|| ABOUT US | CONTACT | RIGHTS AND PERMISSIONS ||