Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood has been at the heart of a debate about how Kern County should position itself when it comes to Senate Bill 54, which could make California a sanctuary state.
However, during an interview last week on “The Richard Beene Show,” Youngblood pivoted to another area of concern — retaining deputies.
During the first half of the 20-minute interview, host Richard Beene asked Youngblood about some of the challenges he’s faced with recruiting, training and retaining deputies.
“Who wants to be a police officer, other than me?” asked Youngblood.
Retaining deputies has been a particular problem for the department, Youngblood said.
“I think we’ve lost 50 deputies over the last several years to lateral transfers,” said Youngblood as he rattled of the names of departments that he’s lost deputies to, including Shafter Police Department.
Youngblood also spoke about holding deputies and other law enforcement officials accountable when accused of crimes. In recent weeks, two Kern County Sheriff’s Deputies pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy to possess and distribute drugs with a pair of Bakersfield police officers.
While Youngblood couldn’t speak to the specifics of the case involving deputies Logan August and Derrick Pinney, he did say that legislation should be introduced to hold law enforcement more accountable than the public in criminal cases that violate the public’s trust.
“When you have cops who do something criminal their sentence should be much more severe than the citizen on the street,” Youngblood said.