Agriculture and tourism are the two largest industries in Monterey County. The Ag industry tax base alone would significantly impact our resources for public safety. As Sheriff, I would expand the current Ag Crime Unit to focus not only on reactive response to crime, but a proactive one as well. That means working with the farmers and other Ag related companies on ways to deter thefts and other Ag related crimes.
The current Sheriff’s administration has conducted major restructuring. Ag crimes were not a priority and were not included in this restructure. Ag crimes are a priority of mine. I will restructure the office to increase the personnel and resources needed to fight Ag crimes. Recognizing an increase in rural agricultural criminal activity in Monterey County, I want to increase the number of investigators assigned to this unit. I will do this with current staffing and with no additional cost to the citizens of Monterey County. I want this unit to design fresh and innovative crime prevention techniques, to track statistics on crime prevention, implement targeted enforcement, activities, specialized prosecutions and the implementation of loss reduction programs.
I also want to forge a better working relationship with the farming and ranching communities, the Farm Bureau, the District Attorney’s Office and the County Agriculture Commissioner’s Office. All of us working together to lower the agricultural criminal activity and support the business growth.