Aceves enters sheriff’s race

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Aceves enters sheriff’s race By Shane Zimmer — Of The Record Staff 5/10/01 The race to become Santa Barbara County’s next sheriff has become a veritable mad rush compared to the last two election cycles. Although the county doesn’t elect its new sheriff until November 2002, the race has gained noteworthy momentum after Sheriff Jim Thomas — the county’s sheriff for more than a decade — announced in November that he will retire his badge at the end of his term in January 2003. Most recently, Santa Barbara Police Detective Roger Aceves made public his intentions to run for Thomas’ position, making it a four-man campaign for the office that offers a salary range from $122,028 to $148,968. Aceves, 46, is the first candidate for sheriff from the Santa Barbara Police Department since 1917, when Police Chief James Ross was elected and served as sheriff from 1918 to 1946. If elected, he would be the second Latino sheriff since 1879. “It was after a lot of encouragement from a lot of deputies who are long time friends and from community members,” said Aceves, explaining what prompted him to run. A 24-year veteran of law enforcement, Aceves joins three other candidates. Sheriff’s Lt. Butch Arnoldi, 50, and Cmdr. Jim Anderson, 45, publicized their campaign almost two months after Thomas’ announcement. Thomas, who ran unopposed in the 1994 and 1998 elections, gave his endorsement to Dave Dorsey, 59, a retired undersheriff. Because he was a deputy from 1977 to 1981, Aceves said the transition from the SBPD to the Sheriff’s Department would not be a dramatic transition. A lifetime county resident, Aceves said that as sheriff he would focus on a number of community issues. “We need a sheriff who is responsive to the concerns of ordinary citizens,” he said. Having been with the SBPD for 20 years, Aceves now works in the Major Crimes Division. He is the city’s senior hostage negotiator and has worked in all three divisions in the city police department. “The organization needs a fresh new look,” he said, adding that he would like to position full-time deputies at local schools and to implement extra measures toward traffic safety around school campuses. Concerning the possibility of building a North County Jail, Aceves said that it is clear that the current county jail is overcrowded but “the community needs to give their input” on the issue. Aceves currently serves as El Presidente for Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days. He is a Gov. Gray Davis appointed commissioner to the 19th Agricultural District. The Goleta resident said he wants to designate for community organizations part of the drug seizure money that the Sheriff’s Department keeps after narcotics busts. “I want to put a percent of the sheriff’s money back into the community,” he said, naming such organization as the Rape Crisis Center and various shelters. He also expressed concern over current deputy wages, which he said is 25 percent less than SBPD officers. He said he wanted to raise the deputies’ pay. November 2001 is the filing date for sheriff candidates. Sheriff Thomas said he announced his retirement a year before the date so that candidates could prepare their campaigns. :nav Source:

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