Candidates for Sheriff Hold Debate in Sun City

This evening, two of the candidates running for Sheriff of Riverside County met in Sun City to debate over the County's law enforcement ...

This evening, two of the candidates running for Sheriff of Riverside County met in Sun City to debate over the County's law enforcement issues.

The two candidates who attended were Robert Ritchie and Rick Sayre. The incumbent, Bob Doyle, was invited but did not appear. Refer to your voter guide for background information on the candidates.

Much of meeting centered around a question/answer session with questions coming from the audience. The two took turns answering, and were given the opportunity to rebut, though in most cases neither rebutted.

Opening Statements

Both candidates acknowledged the need to find alternative ways to boost the number of law enforcement personnel.

Ritchie expressed his desire to get kids more involved and more exposed to law enforcement, such as getting department personnel to operating programs in schools.

Sayre expressed his desire to take the department back to the fundamentals of responding to calls, investing into the front line personnel, and expanding jail space.

Question & Answer Session

It's worth noting here that in many of the questions, Sayer received the first opportunity to answer. Ritchie's responses often seemed to agree with Sayer, however, instead of reiterating what Sayer had to say, he instead expanded on it, providing examples and details.

Also note, answers I've reported below are summarized.

Question #1: How will you plan for resources in light of rapid growth of population?

Sayer pointed out that the Supervisors have historically been willing to provide adequate funding to the department, but that it's been mostly a matter of spending that money wisely, naming on the front line personnel, such as deputies and dispatchers.

Ritchie called for creating a cadet program where by teenagers could enroll immediately after graduating high school and take on duties that don't require the use of a deputy. He also talked about bringing retired deputies back to help new recruits.

Question #2: Will you continue the practice of allowing officers to put on a DEA patch to arrest people using medical marijuana?

Ritchie said he would not allow any deputy to wear a different patch.

Sayer said he too would not allow deputies to make such arrests and pointed out there are other agencies that should address it.

Question #3 (posed to Sayer only): How do you differentiate the medical marijuana law between federal and state?

Sayer said that it is a state issue superceding federal.

Question #4: What is your position on handling illegal aliens?

Sayer responded by saying that illegal immigration laws should be enforced and that he will not allow his deputies to let personal opinions or desires to get in the way.

Ritchie went on to say that he supports building a wall on the border, and that he has personally arrested illegal aliens shoplifting in area stores. He also said that any illegal alien who commits a crime should not only be arrested but deported under the full effect of state and federal law.

Question #5: How will you keep pedophiles away from schools?

Ritchie said he wants to push for a state law to impound the cars of registered sex offenders who violate the terms of their probation, noting that offenders usually use their cars to wisk children away.

Sayer took the opinion that our penal system should not even allow sex offenders out, and wants changes to keep them incarcerated for much longer periods, perhaps indefinitely.

Question #6: Will you create written policies on how to handle medical marijuana patients?

Ritchie said that there should definitely be written policies and procedures in place to avoid miscommunication on how such cases be handled.