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Martinez believes her years as undersheriff equip her to be Sheriff

Karen Ossenfort

Special to The Village News

Questions were emailed to each of the candidates. Only two responded by Friday, May 13. In the following stories, you will have an introduction to each candidate for San Diego County Sheriff. Those candidates who responded to our questions will have more space.

Kelly Martinez is the current Undersheriff for San Diego County. She and her husband live in downtown San Diego and have a second home in Fallbrook.

Though she didn't personally reply to our questions, she replied through her assistant, Matt Rubel.

Martinez claims she has the most experienced and thereby is the most qualified candidate in the race for San Diego County Sheriff. She says she worked her way through the ranks and is currently running the "day-to-day operations of the department."

Her three top priorities if she would be elected Sheriff are: Hiring staff to fill "critical vacancies that we are experiencing, investment in our jails to make them safe for individuals in our custody and for our staff who work there, and public safety."

She says morale is already building. "By hiring more staff I can reduce overtime and that will build morale. Our deputies already feel empowered knowing they have my support. As long as they follow the law and policy, I will support them. They also know they will be held accountable when they do not follow policy or the law," she stated.

"I can protect deputies who follow the law and act within policy and training," she stated. "We provide high-quality training, support and mentorship in our department. By providing clear guidelines, training, and the tools needed to do the job, deputies are prepared for events when they occur.

"We are expanding our wellness programs to add more mental health and physical health in our department members. We currently have a robust peer support, counseling team, and chaplaincy program for our staff. We have gyms and work out rooms at all our facilities.

"Our Deputy Sheriff's Association provides benefits that include counseling, psychiatrist appointments, chiropractors and other professionals for our deputies. We have substantial benefit packages that provide healthcare for our staff and their families," Martinez stated in conclusion.

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