Sheriff Bianco: ‘The fact that my position offends or scares certain segments of politics should be alarming to all.’ [Opinion]

The letter sent to the Board of Supervisors by the “Democrats of the Desert and Palm Desert Greens Democrats” is a prime example of the dysfunction of our current society, which is based solely on politics.  Their letter is rife with inaccuracies, misinformation, personal attacks on me, and a statement of the obvious that they believe this is a political issue.

I have been a target of “Democrat” groups and far-left politicians since taking office. Why? Because I am a registered Republican. Regardless of the fact that my position is a non-partisan elected office, and politics play no part in law enforcement or my daily duties. I swear an oath to the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of California, not to a group, board, or single person.  The Office of Sheriff is unique in that my role is to provide law enforcement services to everyone in the county without the influence of “politics.” I am elected by the entire county, not just Republicans or Democrats.  Constitutionally, I am in a position to protect residents of Riverside County not only from criminals, but from government itself.  The fact that my position offends or scares certain segments of politics should be alarming to all.

This letter shows and attitude similar to what they are wrongly accusing me of.  Not from Democrats who live in the desert, but from the small group who sat down to write it believing everyone “believes” or “should believe” exactly like they do.  The tone and wording of the letter to our Board of Supervisors “demanding” they take action, while accusing them of neglecting their duty is nothing but a bully tactic from a political entity.  The fact is, concerning the thought that everyone should be arrested for violating the orders and closing businesses, this group is in the small minority in their thinking.  Rather than sitting in their small circle or group think tank, they should get out into the public and see how everyone is being affected, not just ones who think like they do.

Everyone knows this virus is serious, especially to those with underlying heath issues and concerns.  I have witnessed residents and businesses around the entire county act as responsible adults wearing masks, social distancing, and making concessions to keep patrons and customers safe.  To imply they have not is disingenuous.

The overall majority of law enforcement leaders from around the state, and the country, have taken the same position as I have.  The orders are not being enforced, except by a few state and local agencies.  We are ALL in agreement that this issue should be a plea to the good in us all to do the right thing.  Enforcement of this order is not the responsible use of law enforcement resources while we are also forced to deal with the dramatic increase in violent crimes, mass release of state prison inmates into our communities, and COVID-related issues within our correctional institutions.

I would encourage everyone to seek information from outside their circle for a complete perspective.  Closing businesses, locking everyone in their homes, and arresting those who do not comply is certainly not the answer to an overcrowded hospital system.

I proudly serve the entire population of Riverside County, regardless of political persuasion, and understand not everyone will agree with me.  As for personal belief of this virus, I have family and friends who have not left their homes in nine months.  I applaud them for taking a personal responsibility approach.  The only way you can avoid getting this virus is if you do the same, and avoid contact with others until this crisis has passed.  We have already seen that wearing masks, social distancing, and lock down orders for others do not prevent you as an individual from getting this virus.

Please be safe, and respect others.