Kelly has been working with County partners on the implementation of Mobile Crisis Response Teams. She supports the non law enforcement response to non-violent persons experiencing mental health crises that these teams provide.
Kelly has also been partnering with County leaders to bring Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) to San Diego County. These community clinics provide no cost mental health and substance use support to community members. They are staffed with health care professionals to provide treatment over incarceration. The walk-in clinics are currently located in Vista and Oceanside. They allow for a quick drop-off for law enforcement who have previously spent hours with individuals suffering crisis at emergency rooms. That time can further traumatize individuals who need psychiatric care. This community approach will free up law enforcement to focus on community safety concerns and give people a non-justice-involved response in moments of crisis.
Both of these initiatives will keep our communities safer. Kelly believes that there will be less crime if there are opportunities for treatment, education, and real help instead of a law enforcement response. She supports professionals trained in substance use disorder and mental health care to provide services to non-violent individuals. That is the right approach to public safety.
We need to invest in the county jails. For too long the jails have not been prioritized with appropriate health care and much needed renovations that will make them safer for incarcerated individuals and staff. Kelly’s plan will include a three-pronged approach beginning with the hiring of additional highly-qualified medical and mental health care professionals. These staff will augment the talent already working in the jails and relieve overworked staff.
Kelly is working to enhance the Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) program and will fully implement a primary care model for the individuals who are in custody. She is upgrading the technology systems and infrastructure that will make the continuum of care model possible, while providing a safer environment for incarcerated individuals and staff. Kelly has welcomed the state audit and will work to implement the recommendations where they make sense. She supports the Citizen Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) and will work to build trust and transparency with communities by supporting and working with them.
There are no victimless crimes. Kelly will fight tirelessly to support victims, solve violent crimes and hold offenders accountable. These efforts will bring resolution to victims of violent crime. Homicides and crimes where offenders used guns increased in 2021. There is nothing more important to Kelly than keeping our communities safe. Her approach to violent crime is to build trust and earn legitimacy in the communities we serve.
Kelly will make investments in prevention and intervention programs. She will target enforcement efforts and priorities. She will do that by solving violent crimes when they occur and by focusing on individuals who are drivers of violent crime. Kelly will measure results through data analysis and refocus efforts where they are working and redirect efforts where they are not.
As Sheriff, Kelly will be open with the public, and she is already making changes as Undersheriff. She will admit mistakes when they are made and work to maintain the public trust.
Kelly is already working to provide the services each community needs. She has worked with County partners to staff deputies on the Homeless Assistance Resource Teams that have sheltered over 178 people. She created the Sheriff’s first Community Inclusion Director position in 2018. The first ever Spanish Citizen’s Academy has now had two sessions, helping to educate and empower those in underserved communities.
Kelly implemented a team that targets unlicensed marijuana dispensaries in the unincorporated county. Unlicensed dispensaries have made communities unsafe and increased violent crime in neighborhoods that have been unfairly impacted and historically underserved. The unlicensed dispensaries circumvent state law and serve youth in our communities. Kelly worked with the Board of Supervisors to fund a team of investigators, who in 2021 successfully closed the illegal dispensaries in the county. She will continue to work to remove them making our communities safe for our residents and children.
Kelly understands the concerns of communities who have experienced disproportionate numbers of sexually violent predators who have been placed in our neighborhoods. She will continue to provide staff and leadership on the SAFE Team that will monitor sexually violent predators and keep our children safe.
The Department seized over 2,000 weapons in 2021. Violent crime where guns were used increased during the year and Kelly is driven to remove guns from those with ill-intent. Homicides in San Diego County increased. Kelly will work to prevent gun violence in our neighborhoods. She understands how impactful gun violence is and she will work to keep guns out of the hands of violent offenders.
Identifying and removing guns from prohibited persons (including ghost guns) and those bent on gun violence is the key to safety in our communities. Kelly is already working with federal law enforcement partners to ensure the most effective prosecution of individuals who have violent criminal histories and use or possess guns.
Kelly believes the way to keep our communities safe is to understand what is working and what is not. Data informed and evidence-based decision making is the only way to implement meaningful change that does not unintentionally and negatively impact public safety or individuals.
Sweeping change that does not consider consequences based on analysis does not work. Kelly will continue an analysis and information based approach when considering how to keep our communities and jails safe.