2023 Legislative Platform and Priority Issues

Sheriff David Robinson, CSSA Legislative Committee Chair

Cory Salzillo, Legislative Director – cory@wpssgroup.com

Community Engagement and Trust/Enhanced Funding for Peace Officer Training
We strive to always maintain high levels of community trust, support, and engagement by ensuring the integrity, ethics, and professionalism of Sheriffs and their employees. As public servants charged with protecting our communities, we strive to accomplish that goal while maintaining accountability to those we protect and serve. Sheriffs will seek additional and sustainable funding for peace officer training through the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to help continue these efforts and ensure the best training is available and delivered.

Public Safety Resources/Crime Reduction

We strive to keep our communities safe and enhance and protect all funding for local public safety protection programs, including those that pay for deputy sheriffs on the street, keep correctional officers in our custodial facilities, support victims, and assist critical investigations. So that we may ensure we are able to fund necessary programs, we will continue to pursue full reimbursement of the costs of state and federal mandates and oppose unfunded state mandates on sheriffs. Additionally, the Legislature should further address the damage caused by criminal activity and consider proposals designed to deter criminal behavior and increase accountability for those who commit crimes.


Fentanyl trafficking and use continue to kill our residents and devastate our communities. Fentanyl poisoning cases are growing exponentially in the face of an insufficient state response. The risk of fentanyl exposure threatens law enforcement professionals when they encounter this highly dangerous substance. Fentanyl being smuggled into jails and prisons puts incarcerated persons and custodial staff at risk. While law enforcement endeavors to interdict fentanyl trafficking and distribution into our communities, state statute should be updated to enhance penalties for those who traffic in fentanyl to a level at least on par with penalties that exist for other dangerous substances. Further, repeat offenders should face greater criminal liability, especially when they have been made aware of the danger inherent in fentanyl trafficking and continue to violate the law.

Inmate Rehabilitation, Care, and Re-Entry
Appropriate adult criminal justice facilities that meet inmates’ needs relative to space for programming, education, treatment, and medical and mental health care must remain a priority to support the mission and needs of our state and local criminal justice system, especially post-realignment. We must continue efforts to maximize funding for inmate medical and mental health care services, as well as assisting with continuity of care post-release and pursuing funding for increased needs resulting from realignment. We will continue to mitigate liabilities in areas such as health, mental health, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other areas of legal concern. We will pursue and support additional opportunities for participation in regional and jail-based competency restoration programs.

Homelessness / Mental Illness
The issues of homelessness and metal illness squarely intersect with the criminal justice space, specifically and especially in terms of law enforcement's interactions with these populations on the street and in county jails. When coupled together, and especially when exacerbated by co-occuring substance use disorder, these issues greatly affect public safety and sheriffs' resources. Examples include challenges around providing appropriate mental health care and competency restoration servies, strains on available custodial programming, rampant overdose deaths, and churning jail populations. Stakeholders should pursue a multi-element approach to address these issues with not only resources but also a reckoning of how prior and current policies and actions (e.g. Proposition 47, reduced accountability, etc.) have let or contributed to this multi-part problem. However, due to their complexities, it may also be time to consider these two issues separately, in order to focus fuller attention on each in terms of achieving successful outcomes.

Court Security Funding
Costs to provide vital court security continue to rise and outpace state funding. Judges, litigants, attorneys, court officers, and employees expect and deserve safe levels of security and sheriffs are caught between a desire and obligation to provide court security and the challenge of doing so with resources that no longer cover costs. Sheriffs seek adequate and sustainable funding for not only the provision of base court security services but also that resulting from new courthouses coming online.