Election 2010: El Dorado sheriff candidates address resident deputy on the West Shore | SierraSun.com

Election 2010: El Dorado sheriff candidates address resident deputy on the West Shore

Matthew Renda
Sierra Sun

TAHOMA, Calif. and#8212; West Shore residents have a particular interest in the race for El Dorado County Sheriff, as concerns are rising that the resident deputy currently stationed in Meeks Bay could be taken away due to budget constraints.

Both candidates for the sheriff’s office and#8212; John D’Agostini, district attorney investigator for Amador County; and Craig Therkildsen, captain with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and#8212; pledged they would do everything economically feasible to retain the West Shore resident deputy.

and#8220;I want to keep the Meeks Bay deputy there as long as it is economically feasible,and#8221; Therkildsen said in an interview this week with the Sierra Sun. and#8220;I am not in favor of a resident position anywhere else, but it works there.and#8221;

D’Agostini also believes the position is important for the community.

and#8220;I am committed to exploring ways to keep that position alive, but we have to do it feasibly,and#8221; he said. and#8220;Right now, it is healthy and necessary to have a deputy stationed there.and#8221;

D’Agostini said he is running for sheriff in order to and#8220;break down communication barriers between law enforcement and the community.

Recommended Stories For You

and#8220;Right now, there is disconnective leadership, and you cannot manage law enforcement from the board room,and#8221; he said. and#8220;I think you can manage better by walking around and getting involved in the community.and#8221;

Therkildsen also pointed to his extensive experience in county law enforcement and#8212; he began his career as a deputy with the South Lake Tahoe Police Department and#8212; and his volunteer activities in the community, including 14 years in youth sports.

and#8220;I know this community,and#8221; he said. and#8220;I know this department and I am capable of making decisions that are the best for the department, not what gets me the most votes.and#8221;

Both candidates acknowledged that current budget constraints and the possibility of further cuts will present a difficult task if elected.

D’Agostini cited his experience in private industry as evidence he can effectively manage a budget.

and#8220;I ran a construction business and balanced multi-million budgets,and#8221; he said. and#8220;I also ran the state narcotics task force and I possess the leadership style and qualities to put the right people in the right place.and#8221;

Therkildsen said creative use of both civilian and law enforcement personnel will be required to ensure the level of service is maintained in the current economic climate.

and#8220;Right now, you have a lot of trained officers graduating from the academy,and#8221; he said. and#8220;Also, you have a lot of field training officers. The graduates need to be trained and the field training officers need to train. If there is a way to put them to good use in the community it could compensate for some of the short staffing.and#8221;