Two candidates vie for Placer County sheriff

North Tahoe voters heard from the two candidates running for Placer County sheriff during this week’s First Tuesday Breakfast Club forum.

Placer County’s current sheriff, Devon Bell, is not seeking reelection. Bell was elected four years ago for the position.


Brandon Bean has served Placer County as a law enforcement officer for the past 22 years. He has worked as a Crimes Against Persons detective, and was a member of the SWAT and Special Enforcement teams for 13 years. He currently serves as the administrative sergeant in the Sheriff’s Office.

“To keep the violent chaos of Sacramento and San Francisco from invading Placer County, we need a sheriff who will focus on enforcing the law, not playing political games,” said Bean in a statement. “I’ve spent my life keeping this community safe. That’s the legacy I inherited when my brother gave his life in the line of duty — and why I will never compromise the integrity of the Sheriff’s Office or the safety of our neighborhoods.”

He sees bail reform, Second Amendment rights, homelessness, and rise in retail theft as key issues facing the state.

“California’s Proposition 47, which was approved in 2014, among other things, has lowered shoplifting penalties involving thefts of less than $950, from felonies to misdemeanors,” said Bean in a statement. “This, along with the fact that criminals no longer fear incarceration, has led to the rise in theft-related crimes to include the smash-and-grab thefts in our malls and in local retail stores. We have seen these crimes come to our community and I fear, without action, the rate of these crimes will continue to rise.

“I fully support the recent efforts to overturn Prop 47 that include lowering the felony threshold back to $400 instead of the $1,000,” he added. “I further support legislation that would increase penalties for any organized retail theft crimes. I will commit to aiding and supporting the police departments in our county in preventing these crimes and apprehending those who commit them.”

Bean has received endorsements from the Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Placer Public Employees Organization, Auburn Police Officers Association, Roseville Police Officers Association, and several others.

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Wayne Woo has worked for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office since 1994 and has been in law enforcement for more than three decades.

He is currently second-in-command for Sheriff Devon Bell, and serves as a board member of the Placer Sheriff’s Activities League.

Woo laid out several issues he’d prioritize if elected, including recruitment of officers, collaboration with other departments, agency transparency, promotion of proactive policing, job skill training, and Second Amendment rights.

“A law abiding citizen with good cause should have the ability to carry a concealed weapon if they choose and our (carry concealed weapon) policies will not change under my administration,” said Woo in a statement.

Woo has gained endorsements from California state Sen. Jim Nielsen, retired Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, Roseville Mayor Krista Bernasconi, and several others, including Bell.

“These are challenging times, and challenging times, quite frankly, call for proven experience,” said Bell. “Wayne Woo is a person that I trust to lead this organization for the next four years.”

Woo’s experience includes time working in corrections, field operations and investigations divisions for the county. He was also team commander for the Special Enforcement Team, and founding member of the Placer County Incident Management Team. Additionally, Woo worked to help secure funding, staff, and to open the South Placer County Jail.

For more information, visit

Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

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