Kern County is heading toward public safety crisis, sheriff’s deputies union head says

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Members of the Kern Law Enforcement Association say the county is headed toward a public safety crisis and want county supervisors to take action.

KLEA president Richard Anderson told the board Tuesday that in the last three years, 150 deputies have left the sheriff’s office for other communities, and there are no signs suggesting the situation is going to improve in the near or long term.

“This problem, if I thought it wasn’t going to get bigger, I probably wouldn’t be here right now talking to you,” he told supervisors Tuesday.

“If we continue to do business in Kern County the way we’re doing it, this problem is going to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and more, and more, and more expensive for the taxpayers.”

Anderson wants supervisors to find the money, either through already available funds or through a county sales tax increase in March.

The mothers of the Bakersfield 3 agree with the message.

“I would just like to ask that the one cent sales tax be placed on the ballot for March, and in some way, emergency funding be given to the county to help us victims find the killers of our children and stop this because it’s horrible,” Jane Parrent, the mother of missing Baylee Despot, said.

Supervisor Leticia Perez was moved to tears by Parrent’s words.

He board took no action Tuesday, but will consider KLEA’s request.

Tuesday marked 266 days until primary election day.

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