Sherman Answers Platform Questions

 

Question:                         
May I assume that you are in favor of militarization of local law enforcement agencies through cast off military equipment?

Sherman Boxx:               
No. You cannot assume that. I am not in favor of the militarization of police. I don't agree with the fact that weapons can be obtained from the military. However, there are items that we can obtain from the military that I do agree with, such as uniform items. There is medical equipment, all kinds of things that are available to law enforcement through the military without it being weapons, or tanks, or things that might typically associate with the military. For example, with regards to uniform purchases, SWAT Teams and similar forces have to look like the military, but they certainly don't have to have their weapons. I'm not in favor of that.

I am in favor, however, of augmenting our budgets to allow us to obtain items such as tourniquets. We don't have to buy them, they'll give them to us. In this instance, I'm referencing a tourniquet kit that can hang on your belt so that if someone is bleeding out, you could administer a first-aid tourniquet. By accepting surplus, the county or the city would not to have to purchase them. Those are the types of military items I'm in favor of. Certainly not weapons.

                                           

Question:                          
What are your thoughts on accepting military surplus?

Sherman Boxx:                  
Military surplus is acceptable, except for weapons. I don't think that we need to get weapons from the military. We need to be purchasing our own weapons for our specific needs. As far as uniform equipment and tactical equipment that doesn't involve weapons, I'm in favor of getting those from the military because it saves the budget in the county.

There is an instance where military equipment is a necessary requirement. This instance is for our aviation program. The only place we can get aircraft parts and retired aircraft to use for parts IS from the military, or a law enforcement agency that obtained them from the military.

The aviation program includes helicopter programs, those used for search and rescue, and patrol. Many times, search and rescue missions are facilitated by helicopters. I'd like to emphasize the importance of the aviation program in general.

The aviation program supports Homeland Security, provides flyovers looking for suspicious activity on rooftops, and inspects bridges and cell towers within the county. In addition, there are many server farms and huge business facilities (Tesla, Apple, Google) that benefit from the aviation program's services.

Without surplus, the air program wouldn't be viable. We aren’t able to buy needed parts and if, by chance, we found a supplier, we wouldn't be able to afford them. Rotors or broken replacement parts do come from the military or other law enforcement agencies that receive them from the military.

 

Comment:                         
"Civil forfeiture is an abusive practice. Police should be protecting private property, not pro lifting from how much of it they can get their hands on. The financial incentive for law enforcement agencies is a blatant conflict of interest."

Sherman Boxx:              
That is not the case. This property that you're speaking of is property obtained from criminal proceeds, and they have due process of their own. It has nothing to do with whether or not the person is convicted. The property itself has due process, so it has to be proven by the prosecution (by the government) that that property was obtained through criminal means, and if it can't be proven, or if there's a third party interest that comes forward and can prove they have interest in the property, then it is not seized.

The only items seized are money and property, those that are the proceeds of criminal activity. Some people think that a person should be convicted before that. That's not the case. It is an actual case between the property and the government, and the property has a lawyer, and is represented, and due process is followed. If the government can't prove that the property came from criminal proceeds, it goes back to its owner. There are some general misconceptions around forfeitures and seizures.  

 

Question:                           
If elected Sheriff, would you award a Deputy, like Jason Wood (whose actions went viral) who had his K9 attack a surrendering man, who has also been involved in multiple OIS, and was arrested for a DUI?

Sherman Boxx:          
The short answer is yes, I would, because those are separate instances. As for the situation where the story went viral, I'm certain it was investigated and the deputy was disciplined. However, the other cases, when he performed heroic acts and saved human lives, those are separate instances. They should be investigated separately. So the short answer is yes, I probably would award him for one specific case, while he was certainly culpable in another. But, they're separate instances, and they need to be investigated separately, and they need to be looked at separately.

As for the DUI arrest, it is not an issue. He was a private citizen when that occurred. He wasn't working, and had nothing to do with the Sheriff's Office. He was arrested as a private citizen, and it was handled as a private citizen. He then went to court, as anyone else would have to do. While acting as a Deputy, if he saves lives and is heroic, then he should be commended. If he does something that's unacceptable and outside policy, he should be disciplined in that separate incident.

 

Question:                           
How long has Sherman Boxx been with the Washoe County Sheriff's Department?

Sherman Boxx:                  
I retired from the Washoe County Sheriff's Office in 2016 after two years, but my previous experience started in 1977 with the Spark's Police, and I retired from there after 26 years. I came back to work for the Sheriff's Office under the current sheriff and worked for two years, then retired.

 

Comment:                           
Regarding Civil Forfeiture - "Robin Hood in reverse. Take from low level offenders that cannot afford proper representation, and give it to the state."

Sherman Boxx:                  
I don't think that's the case. Everybody is represented by counsel. They may not have the best lawyer, but they are represented by counsel under the constitution, and so is the property.

Robin Hood was a thief. Civil Forfeiture is not stealing, it is statutorily taking property from criminal proceeds. Consider the old analogy, "crime doesn't pay". Well, that's not the truth. Crime does pay, and one way for the government to ensure that it doesn't pay as well is by exercising their ability to seize property that is the result of a criminal conduct. That's what forfeiture seizure is all about.

That property is represented by counsel, with an actual court case. The court has to prove that the property was obtained by from criminal means, and again, if there's a third party that claims an interest (somebody who is not involved in the criminal conduct) then the property is released. It's a misnomer that the government just comes in and simply takes your stuff. It just doesn't happen like that. There is a due process for the property, it's not just arbitrarily taken.

Ido support the law that allows for state and federal seizures. I support that, but it's about criminal conduct. It's not about just arbitrarily taking property or money.

The state and federal government have to prove that the property or money, whatever it is, is a result of criminal conduct, and they have to prove it to a judge. The due process is intact for the property.

 

Comment:                         
"As long as you promote asset seizure of people not convicted of crimes, and the militarization of local police forces, I will actively work for your defeat."

Sherman Boxx:                 
Normal citizens who are law-abiding have absolutely nothing to worry about.  Regarding property, the prosecution has to prove that it came from criminal proceeds. The evidence burden is a little less than with a person, yet it still has to be proven.

 

Question:                           
What are your beliefs on recreational cannabis and for-profit prisons?

Sherman Boxx:                 
Recreational cannabis is not an issue in the state of Nevada because it's legal. I don't make the laws. The legislature makes them. I'm only in charge of enforcing them, and that's a law I no longer have to enforce. However, the law is fairly clear about where you can and cannot use cannabis. It cannot be used in view of the public. If you think about an apartment setting where the walls are very thin, or there is a mutual heating and air conditioning system, and someone is sitting in the privacy of their apartment smoking marijuana, the smell is going to get into the air system or go through the walls. The neighbors in the complex may not want to be around marijuana, so this may generate calls for service where the police have to come and mediate between renters and owners. It will be explained to those that are using marijuana recreationally that they are violating the rights of their neighbors, so they may have to find another way or another place to use it. We will be enforcing the fact that you can't smoke it in public,  at a concert, in a park, or anywhere like that. It's a criminal justice issue and a call for service generator, but the fact of the matter is, and the bottom line is, marijuana is legal in this state.

 

Question:                           
What are your beliefs on for-profit prisons?

Sherman Boxx:             
As far as the privatization of prisons, it's clearly a money saver for the jurisdictions. Prisons are a different situation, as they're owned by the state, and governed by the state. Jail jurisdictions are governed by the county, and that money comes from the county rather than the state. I agree that it's fiscally responsible for the state to have privatization of prisons. It saves money. However, I have seen, for example, in the jail, they have a medical contract with a private company that comes in. When you have a private company that is for-profit taking care of business, they are going to find a way to make money.

I'm not saying that service is going to lack, but maybe staffing may lack. For example, when they're supposed to have two or three nurses or doctors on duty and someone calls in sick, rather than pay someone overtime, they may just have the one or the two nurses handle all of the things. They're looking at the bottom line, not necessarily the care for the defendants in custody or the responsibility of the Sheriff.

I do not agree with privatization of county jails, those where misdemeanants and felony suspects have to be housed until they go to a prison. I think it should be solely non-profit. Ultimately, there should not be a bottom line issue when you're dealing with the care, custody, and control of a criminal in county jail.

 

Question:                           
What are your general feelings on militarization of local law enforcement?

Sherman Boxx:                 
I don't think we should be getting tanks or armored car carriers from men in military and armed vehicles - I don't think they should be involved in local law enforcement at all. However, uniforms, tactical equipment, tourniquets, and similar types of medical equipment, I'm OK with. The program is called a DRMO. It stands for Defense Reutilization Marketing Office, and it's a vehicle for local law enforcement to obtain military equipment at no cost. That certainly helps the county budgets, it certainly helps the local tax payers not having to fund the budget and is absolutely needed for a law enforcement. I am against weapons, or weaponized vehicles, or anything of that nature that is going to cause us to look like the Army or the military.

 

Question:                           
General feelings on the effectiveness of the war on drugs?

Sherman Boxx:                
I think that there's constantly going to be an issue of drug use and drug abuse in every city and in every county in the country. Saying that we're at war with those people is acceptable. However, in reality, what we're trying to do is lawfully enforce statutes that are in place. We're going to continue to do that whether the war is won or lost. We will continue and endeavor to do what we can to make a safe community for our children and for the people who don't want to be involved with drugs.

 

Question:
Are you in favor of for-profit jails? (not prisons)

Sherman Boxx:              
Well, again, once a person is through with due process and becomes an actual prisoner in the custody of the state, it's fiscally responsible for them to have private service providers. There are certain things that are not going to change, like the costs associated with feeding and housing inmates. I'm not against privatization of prisons, but I don't think that there's any place for it in jails when we're dealing with the care, custody, and control of criminal defendants. Once they're convicted of a crime, that becomes a state issue, and it's way above our pay grade. I'm not against for-profit jails because it's fiscally responsible for the tax payers. However, in a local county jail setting, I don't think there's any place for it.

 

Question:                           
What are your thoughts on working with ICE and the sanctuary movement?

Sherman Boxx:                  
This is a very, very hot topic, both here in Reno area and throughout the country. I personally think that it's not going to be a local jurisdiction issue. I believe, under this current presidential administration, he is going to cause ICE to do their job. I think the Sheriff of this county should have a working relationship with ICE. It's a federal law, so there's nothing for the Sheriff to do other than house federal prisoners. But I believe, as the county sheriff, I have an obligation to ensure the safety of the citizens that live here, so I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that violent criminals who are undocumented are not released through custody.

If a person comes in and is undocumented and has no criminal history whatsoever, and is just a person who has a job, is taking care of his family, that's ICE's job to decide whether or not they should be released. There may be violent criminals who have a history of violence in a facility for something that's unrelated to ICE. As the sheriff, I'm going to do what I can to make sure that violent criminals are not released into the county of Washoe. As the sheriff, I should have a working relationship with ICE regardless, but I'm going to enhance that working relationship. Again, I said earlier, I don't think it's going to be up to us. I think the current presidential administration is going to cause ICE to improve their service and make them do their jobs.

If someone is in on misdemeanor charges, we'll prosecute our jurisdiction and make sure that their bail is increased if they have a tendency of violence, or propensity towards violence or are a danger to the citizens of the county. I'm going to do everything I can to ensure that that occurs.

The short answer to that question is it's federal law. It has nothing to do with local jurisdictions, but the right answer is, as the sheriff in the constitutional offices of this county, I have an obligation to make sure the citizens are safe.

How you feel about the second amendment, where do you stand on gun control, and can you explain why anyone would need an AR15 or AK47?

I am a proponent of the 2nd Amendment. I believe there are regulations (laws) in place to ensure mentally ill subjects, convicted felons, and those who have been convicted of Domestic Battery cannot legally possess firearms. The 2nd Amendment is in place to ensure citizens can possess the weapons needed to protect themselves, their family, or their community. That being said, I do not personally own an AR15, or a AK47 so I cannot say why anyone would need to own one, only that the constitution allows them to.

Are you a registered Republican, Democrat, etc?
What is your stand on gun control, more restriction, etc?
What is your opinion on strong cities initiatives?
How do you think the drug/mental health crisis should be addressed in this community?
What is your opinion of the specialty courts here in Washoe County and how can they be improved?

This is a Non-Partisan race, but I am a Registered Republican. I am a proponent of the 2nd Amendment and believe the current laws regarding gun possession and ownership are adequate. They prohibit possession and ownership for convicted felons, mentally ill subjects and persons convicted of Domestic Violence. The mental health/drug crisis in this community is at an all time high. Persons who are mentally ill should not be in the Jail. However, that is where most end up due to a lack of training and available services at a Line Officer level.  We need to partner with local social service agencies to ensure treatment rather than incarceration. I think the Specialty Courts are exceptional, as they provide a different look at the judicial system, rather than just imposing punishment. They, of course, are overwhelmed with clients, and I have seen that sometimes they are ineffective due to the defendants lack of compliance. In a perfect world, people would be rehabilitated after one visit to drug court, but that's not the reality. Improving this process will take time and thoughtful effort, and as Sheriff, I would be open to learning what can be done from a Law Enforcement point of view. I am not very familiar with the Strong Cities Network (SCN) and am in the process of learning more about it now. While the stated purpose of bringing cities and governments together to fight violent extremists sounds promising, the potential for Government overreach in policing concerns me. I am certainly open to better ways to deal with extreme groups, but not to the government dictating how this will be done.

 

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