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New Sheriff in town: Tina Nieto’s interview with KION

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- Tina Nieto is set to become the next Sheriff of Monterey County, bringing a slew of changes to the department for the first time in its history. KION's Scott Rates sat down with the Sheriff-Elect for a one-to-one interview.


Let's talk about the sheriff's office now. I know that you're in the process of picking your team, working on a team. Lots of changes going to be coming to the sheriff's office. How is that process going right now, picking your team, and what are some how do you how do you vet your team as they come on, how does that process work?


Part of it is knowing some of these people and seeing the work that they've done in their own cities. Everybody that's coming on to the team, our law enforcement executives, their chiefs of police or their seconds in their agencies, you know, nobody's getting hired because their friend or just a buddy. I need to surround myself with people who know how to get the work done for our community. 


What are a couple of glaring things that really stand out to you that need, need work immediately once you get in there? 


Well, it gets back to the Hernandez settlement, too. I know that the sheriff's office recently did complete a couple more things on that checklist, but we are going to be laser-focused on meeting the mandates of the Hernandez settlement, because all through the entire debate, people kept talking in our jails. And despite what my opponent said, it's not that's not okay. That's not okay. We need to make sure the jails are safe for our inmates. The other thing is really looking at training and how we're recruiting and how we're bringing people on and why aren't people staying? I already have auditors that are coming in. We're going to do some pretty thorough audits of the department. 


When you look at back here in your time in Marina, what would you what would you think your biggest accomplishment would be with something that really stands out? 


I think the people, the people we knew when I came in, you know, there were openings. There were things that needed that we could do better as the city of Marina. You know, working with the community, you know, all the priorities did a good job. But, you know, when a new person comes in, they get to look at things with the new lens and make changes.


Anything else that you feel is important that you would like to point out? Anything you'd like to say to the community? The current chair of the folks who you're going to be in charge of in just a matter of days?


Yeah. You know the one thing I can say is that, you know, we talked a lot about allegations that you can make against police officers. So I'm going to investigate them all. And in many cases, we may bring in independent investigators just so that the community trusts, and I'm willing to talk about these things to the community, as you can see because I talked about that through my campaign. You know, for a community trust, you have to have the conversations, and you have to have the hard conversations and sometimes the hard conversations or the questions that you ask me. The hard questions

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Scott Rates


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