The new sheriff has work to do and drastic changes to make in the department’s attitude and road traffic system.
He must move some traffic signs forward, remove some 15 mph signs (except in schools or neighborhoods), and add electronic signs where needed in high-risk areas. He must drop the speed limit on Interstate 19 all the way to Palo Parado road to prevent any more deaths on these high-risk exit ramps. He must create a safe, efficient and driver-friendly traffic environment.
The outgoing administration has for years bullied the Santa Cruz County residents into submission by having the drivers go through a gauntlet of hiding deputies when the residents are going to work or home. The outgoing administration uses technology such as computers to catch and ticket the drivers, but does not use any technology, such as electronic caution or speed signs, to assist drivers.
Residents are driving scared because on these tricky roads, if you take your foot off the brake, you are bound to be speeding and you can count on a deputy hiding waiting to catch you. Deputies hide in low-risk areas, ticketing drivers day in and day out. There is no glory or pride ticketing your neighbors over and over.
The outgoing administration, in all these years, did not accomplish anything of substance to benefit the Santa Cruz County driver. The attitude of the department feels more like a personal vendetta than true concern for safety. Many tickets does not mean safer roads.
The new administration must make better use of resources. We do not need more officers; we must put the ones we have to work, such as patrolling the east side instead of hiding around the Little Red Schoolhouse, South River Road and Pendleton Drive.
During the campaign, the candidates spoke of making life better for deputies, but no one spoke of making it safer and friendlier for the residents. Why?
The deputies chose this profession and they agreed to a certain pay per hour before signing a contract. They also must follow the posted speed limits and not be protected when they cause an accident.
In closing, I say that Nogales and surrounding areas are not a ranch anymore and we must progress accordingly.