On the heels of what has been called an unprecedented attack ad in Coachella Valley politics, three Riverside County public safety groups are coming to the defense of Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez, calling Jan Harnik’s ad “dishonest” and “reprehensible.”

Harnik, a member of the Palm Desert City Council, is challenging Perez for the seat he was appointed to last year. The two-person race will be decided June 5. The winner will serve a four-year term.

The contest heightened in intensity when Harnik released a mailer and a never-ending series of television ads that portray Perez as easy on crime. The mailer, paid for by her campaign, said “Manuel Perez voted to release murderers and other dangerous criminals from prison.”

California in 2012 was under court order to reduce prison overcrowding.

Three public safety groups – Riverside Sheriffs’ Association, Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Association and Cal Fire Local 2881 — all endorsed Perez for Riverside County Supervisor. In response to Harnik’s mailer, the groups sent one of their own to oppose “Jan Harnik’s Dishonest Campaign. The mailer was paid for Perez’s campaign.

“Jan Harnik’s attacks are reprehensible,” Bill Young, president of the Riverside Sheriff’s Association, says in the mailer. “There is a reason that virtually every public safety organization is urging you to vote against her.”

Harnik’s attempts to portray Perez as “soft on crime is absurd,” according to the mailer.

Young, president of the RSA since January, said Harnik is publishing information that is misleading and patently false. The RSA represents just shy of 3,800 members.

Young told Uken Report on Tuesday he especially takes issue with Harnik’s disingenuous and dishonest effort to post photos on her Facebook page with public safety officials to somehow portray that they support her.

He also is not amused that Harnik dishonest attempts to paint Perez as the person single-handedly responsible for releasing prisoners.

“It’s all politics,” Young said. “You can’t put out the type of material she’s been putting out without some sort of repercussions.”

The groups, all of which endorsed Perez, maintain that Perez has worked closely with both Democrats and Republicans to keep dangerous criminals behind bars.

“He even authored legislation in the Assembly, with the full support of the Riverside Sheriff’s Association and local prosecutors to prevent the early release of prisoners at the local level,” the groups contend.