Sheriff Candidates Square Off At Community Forum

Sheriff Candidates Square Off At Community Forum

Kitty Alvarado Connect

People eager to get to know candidates running for office in the county filled a room at a Riverside police station, the perfect place for the two men fighting for the office of Sheriff of Riverside County to tell people what they stand for.

“It is unbelievably important in this department that we make a change, this election, this department this sheriff’s race is about change, this is about making a difference for your community,” said Lieutenant Chad Bianco who is running as the change agent.  

“I’ve had a couple dozen years now as an executive in the department dealing with budgets and policy issues but having somebody that ends up dealing with those things day in and day out is really vitally critical,” said incumbent Sheriff Stan Sniff, who is running on experience. 

Bianco addressed questions about his experience saying it includes working in many capacities in his 25 year career with the sheriff’s department, “I have 13 years of budget experience including two and a half of running our biggest budget which is Moreno Valley.”

Sniff also spoke about his experience, “I’ve now spent 40 years serving on a small police department, coming to the Riverside County Sheriff’s office in 1979.” 

Both answered questions about support from the sheriff’s union.

Bianco defended the endorsement and financial backing from the union, “I am very humbled, and I  am very happy and I am very proud to have the support of men and women that are out working to keep you all safe in your neighborhoods.”

And Sniff saying he only took very little union money in 2010 adding, “I raise money from hundreds and hundreds of people not only wealthy but also dirt poor out there and have broad brush support.”

During Sniff’s time he was asked about child molestation. He responded by criticizing our ongoing investigation that uncovered child molestation claims about one of his former investigators Kevin Duffy who killed himself in 2009 when a victim came forward.

“This is a set up,” Sniff said adding during an exchange, “yeah, it is, just like Kitty Alvarado is doing right now on KMIR.”

An community member shouted, “No answer the question it’s about Kevin Duffy.”

But after the moderator stepped in Sniff quickly moved to his closing, “So your Riverside County Sheriff’s Department compared to what the comments were earlier is doing a great job, it is overworked, it’s undermanned … our violent crime rate in 2017 with the FBI actually went down in all the areas the sheriff’s office ends up serving.”

Something both candidates do well. 

This is about leadership ability, it’s about failed leadership, it’s about wanting to make a difference in our department, changing directions and ultimately providing a community oriented based policing,” said Bianco.