Dave Myers’ Stance on the Issues

Click on each topic below to explore the issues and actions that matter to our campaign for Sheriff.


    The Issue:

    The Sheriff’s Department has an outdated and reactive approach to law enforcement.

    As Sheriff, I will:

    + Provide deputies with leading technologies, training, and safety practices to stay ahead of increasingly bold and sophisticated criminals.

    + Assign a deputy to all school campuses in all contract cities, unincorporated parts of the county, and areas that can’t be accommodated by municipal police departments.

    + Reform our jails to prevent recidivism and a life of crime among violent offenders. Treatment and rehabilitation are preferable to incarceration for non-violent offenders and our youngest offenders. We must end the school-to-prison pipeline.

    + Make a new commitment to proactive, respectful, and equitable policing in ALL neighborhoods and invest in outreach to our youth who are vulnerable due to socioeconomic and environmental factors.

    Tell us what you think. Click here to take our law enforcement survey.


    The Issue:

    The reputation of the department has been damaged by several scandals. The Sheriff’s inaction has lead to a lack of accountability, broken public trust, and low morale among deputies.

    As Sheriff, I will:

    + Hold not only deputies, but officers at every rank to the highest standards of ethics and provide the training, support, and follow-up necessary to achieve this.

    + Protect whistleblowers from retaliation by their superiors and all other department personnel.

    + Comply with requirements related to openness and accessibility of statistics, arrest records, and other crime data, even when it makes the department look bad.

    + Implement body worn cameras for ALL deputies, including those in our jails and other facilities, with clear rules for when cameras should be in use or disabled

    + Reassess deadly force policies. We must train deputies to identify opportunities to de-escalate and reduce the number of deputy-involved shootings. De-escalation tactics such as creating space between officer & subject, talking & trying to calm a subject, waiting for backup to arrive may not be possible in all situations, but they can save lives when used in the right situation.

    Share your opinion. Click here to sign our body-worn cameras petition.


    The Issue:

    Homelessness has been criminalized. Instead of creating a solution, city and county leaders have pushed homeless people to different parts of town or put them in jail. They are held without due process in the same jails where the Sheriff has refused to implement CDC standards for women’s health, disease prevention, and sanitary conditions.

    As Sheriff, I will:

    + Decriminalize homelessness. Unsheltered people who have nowhere to go are often issued citations just for being in a public place. The inability to pay fines adds to the financial despair that likely led to homelessness in the first place.

    + End the violation of due process. Many who are cited are held for days in jail without ever appearing before a judge and are released without charges. It’s a violation of constitutional rights and has resulted in lawsuits against the county.

    + Advocate for “wraparound” services. We should work to stabilize non-violent offenders and members of the general homeless population who have frequent interactions with law enforcement.

    + Advocate for a move toward “coordinated entry.” All unsheltered people should enter through one front door where agencies can work together and handle each case as efficiently as possible.

    + Form a working group within the Sheriff’s Department to address recidivism among homeless people. A member of this group should serve on the County’s Regional Taskforce on the Homeless.

    + Break the cycle of recidivism. Drug addiction and mental illness are key contributors to homelessness. We must replace the incarceration of non-violent offenders with treatment.

    + Advocate for more shelters. Currently, the jails are being used to house the homeless. The Sheriff’s Department is not in a position to fix this on our own, but we act where we have the ability to make positive changes. We must fully cooperate with other government agencies and organizations that are fighting the cycle of homelessness with real solutions.

  • Community Relations

    The Issue:

    The Sheriff’s Department continues to fail at building trust in communities where it is needed most. The demographics of our force do not match those of our neighborhoods. Too many people of all backgrounds have lost trust in law enforcement.

    As Sheriff, I will:

    + Emphasize ongoing training to equip deputies with strong communication skills.

    + Create opportunities for engagement between deputies and community members outside of everyday law enforcement situations.

    + Invest in the recruitment of diversity. The current Sheriff implemented diversity as a “core value,” but has failed. We have a striking lack of representation of women and minorities, especially at higher ranks. Our challenges in the field are magnified when agencies are not representative of the communities they serve.

    + Prioritize the engagement of youth in vulnerable communities to rebuild broken trust for future generations.

    One of my proudest career accomplishments is the establishment of the Department’s Youth Advisory Group, created to directly hear concerns and aspirations from young people. This was the first of its kind in the Department’s history.

  • "The War on Drugs"

    The Issue:

    We have seen many versions of “the war on drugs.”  None have been particularly effective.  We are facing a growing methamphetamine problem and an epidemic of opioid overdoses.  The Sheriff has devoted more effort to fighting cannabis (marijuana) than to opioids or methamphetamines.

    As Sheriff, I will:

    + End department efforts to lobby for cannabis bans. The Sheriff has pushed the Board of Supervisors to ban cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes where they have jurisdiction.  This is in spite of Prop 64 being approved by 57% of voters

    + Redirect resources away from the arrest of individual consumers and toward the fight against the producers, distributors, and other suppliers of dangerous and addictive drugs.

    + Redirect resources away from enforcement against cannabis and toward enforcement against opioids and methamphetamine.

    + Set clear policies and regulations for individuals and entrepreneurs involved with legal cannabis.

    + Push for long-term treatment and therapy over incarceration for nonviolent users who enter the criminal justice system.

    Tell us what you think. Click here to fill out my survey on “The War on Drugs.”

  • Gun Violence

    The Issue:

    Despite claims that crime is down, gun violence is a national problem. As a 35-year veteran in law enforcement, I’ve witnessed gun violence and have personally been the victim of it.

    The current sheriff has failed to uniformly implement his own policies, according to a report by the California State Auditor. In the absence of solutions from elected leaders, society has become extremely polarized about how we tackle this problem while respecting law-abiding citizens, even though both sides agree that gun violence is a problem.

    As Sheriff, I will:

    + Enforce the gun laws of the state of California, which are the strictest in the nation, to the letter.

    + Set clear guidelines and encourage civil dialogue. I will work with all interested parties on practical solutions, but we’re not going to confiscate guns, nor will we arm teachers.

    + Assign a deputy to all school campuses.

    + Ensure those arrested for domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, or animal cruelty, as well as those taken into protective custody for mental health treatment, do not possess guns. I will honor gun violence restraining orders.

    + Not support efforts that result in national reciprocity. Too many states set a very low bar to obtain high-powered weapons and many still let those who have been convicted of domestic violence obtain guns.

    + Support efforts to take guns off the streets through voluntary turn-ins or buybacks, as well as organizations that represent gun owners and work with them to be compliant with all laws.

    + I will issue CCW permits to applicants demonstrating good cause provided that:

    1. The applicant passes all necessary background checks as required by the Sheriff
    2. The applicant passes a safety curriculum approved by the Sheriff
    3. The applicant demonstrates accuracy in live-fire training

    Click here to view our CCW page.


    The Issue:

    Sheriff Gore has avoided his statutory responsibility to set consistent and clearly understood regulations regarding CCW permits. According to a report by the California State Auditor, Sheriff Gore has not even followed his own policies uniformly among county residents.

    As Sheriff, I will:

    + Set consistent and clear regulations regarding CCW permit qualifications and processes. I will honor personal protection as good cause without the applicant having already become the victim.

    + Will issue CCW permits provided that:

    1.  The applicant passes all necessary background checks
    2.  The applicant passes a safety curriculum approved by the Sheriff
    3.  The applicant demonstrates accuracy in live-fire training

    Click here to download our full policy, which has earned my campaign the endorsement of the San Diego County Gun Owners.

    Sign the CCW petition if you’d like to see consistent guidelines and a level playing field in the approval of CCWs


    The Issue:

    As reported by the Grand Jury, the Sheriff’s Department has refused to implement basic CDC standards for women’s health, disease prevention, and sanitary practices. The county jails have acted as an incubator for the Hepatitis A outbreak and there are still not adequate plans to address future outbreaks.

    Another Grand Jury report documents rampant violence and a suicide rate among San Diego County inmates that is the highest of any large county jail system in California.

    The Sheriff’s Department does not offer adequate counseling services. Our policies and procedures for handling medications are primitive.

    As Sheriff, I will:

    + Immediately implement the recommendations of the Grand Jury and prioritize efforts to comply with CDC standards for women’s health, disease prevention, and sanitary conditions.  We must protect not only inmates, but healthcare workers, deputies, and other staff, too.

    + Click here to read the Grand Jury report: “An Unrecognized Health Hazard in our Community.”
    + Click here to read the sheriff’s response.

    + Take concerns of a medical nature seriously and bring policies for the handling of medications into the 21st century.

    + Institute a comprehensive suicide-prevention plan and adequate, sustained training programs to ensure a continuum of suicide-prevention services.

    + Increase the number of hours during which counseling is available to inmates.

    + Reform the jails to prevent recidivism among violent offenders.  Offer treatment and rehabilitation over incarceration for non-violent offenders.