Tuesday, October 16 , 2018, 8:53 am | Fair 53º


Deputy Sheriff’s Association Backs Lt. Brian Olmstead in Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Contest

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Olmstead received a campaign boost on Monday when he locked up the endorsement of the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

Olmstead, who has recently focused on human trafficking enforcement, is one of two lieutenants challenging longtime incumbent Sheriff Bill Brown.

Lt. Eddie Hsueh, a 30-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, is also running for the Sheriff-Coroner position on the June 5 ballot

“We need accountability and transparency in our Sheriff's Department from top to bottom,”" said Neil Gowing, president of the Deputy Sheriff's Association, in a statement announcing the group's decision to endorse Olmstead.

Lt. Brian Olmstead Click to view larger
Lt. Brian Olmstead (SBSO photo)

“Our county leadership has not addressed the longstanding problems of vacant deputy sheriff positions and the chronic understaffing that results from carrying so many vacant positions.”

Brown, who is currently serving his third four-year term as Sheriff-Coronercruised to victory in 2014

He served as Lompoc’s police chief before being elected sheriff in 2006.

The Deputy Sheriff’s Association said it determined that Olmstead's experience working in the interests of public safety with all levels of government and virtually every assignment within the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department was enough to give him the nod.

Lt. Eddie Hsueh Click to view larger
Lt. Eddie Hsueh (SBSO photo)

“Our ranks are demoralized from years of staffing shortages that have caused excessive overtime,”​ Gowing said in a statement.

“Fatigue from too much overtime set in years ago. Our members are very concerned about the quality of public safety services we can provide under these deteriorating conditions.

“Lt. Olmstead understands these issues firsthand, and we know he will hold county officials and everyone in the Sheriff's command staff accountable until adequate staffing levels are restored.”

Sheriff-Coroner Bill Brown Click to view larger
Sheriff-Coroner Bill Brown (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office photo)

The Deputy Sheriff's Association represents the collective bargaining interests of more than 400 custody deputies, deputy sheriffs, district attorney investigators and emergency dispatchers working in Santa Barbara County.

More information about the June 5 statewide primary election and county races is available on the County Elections website here.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.“

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