Congressional candidate Andy Caldwell showed his support for law enforcement during a town hall on Saturday morning.

Andy Caldwell wasted no time on Saturday morning making sure everyone knew he was against police defusing.

Republican challenger for Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, for the District 24th Congressional Seat held a virtual town hall Saturday morning speaking about the importance of being strong in law enforcement.

“If we're talking about law and order and public safety here, we need to know we're talking about ourselves,” said Caldwell.

"I am the candidate in this race ready to stand with law enforcement and I am so glad they stand with me … I could tell you that Salud Carbajal is not working in the same direction as me. "

Mr Caldwell criticized Rep. Carbajal's support for the BREATHE Act, a law that has not yet been enacted but which aims to separate taxpayers money from the police system and create a new vision for public safety.

"He has become a loyal foot soldier since (Rep. Carbajal) moved to Washington. I can assume that when Salud Carbajal sees the introduction of the BREATHE Act, he will do whatever Nancy Pelosi tells him," said Caldwell .

"So far, Salud has almost never stood by them and has voted almost 100% with them. So we have a real problem with law and order and public safety." And I'm telling you this, I don't think law and order should be a partisan issue. "

Mr. Caldwell also spoke about the recent seizure of more than 300 pounds of methamphetamine by panga boats in Santa Barbara County and raised Rep. Carbajal's policy on the matter.

“Some of the local residents were specifically part of this drug bankruptcy, some of them came to unload the panga and distribute the drugs … but let's say one of these people had received citizenship a year ago … under Salud Carbajal's bill we would not being able to denature that person and resign from anywhere. He wants you to be a permanent citizen and reside in the United States, ”said Caldwell.

While at town hall, Mr. Caldwell invited past and current law enforcement officers to town hall including Nick Odenath, the vice president of the Ventura County Sheriff & # 39; s Association, and Robert Kirsch, the vice president of the Santa Barbara County Vice Sheriff & # 39; s Association .

The sheriff MPs in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties have also approved Mr. Caldwell.

"All three supported me months ago, even before most of it was blown up, because I have worked with men and women in law enforcement for a long time," said Caldwell.

Mr Kirsch talked about the concept of defusing the police, which in his opinion would be a bad choice as some departments already have funding problems.

"To think that we could take funds away from our agencies is just crazy for me," said Kirsch.

He went on to say that given the current climate in the United States, he had seen many more police officers afraid to do their job.

"Morale is mediocre, but it's more that guys are scared to go out and do their job. We have COVID, we have all this anti-cop rhetoric and when you combine all of that it's just a scary time to be in law enforcement, ”said Kirsch.

Former Paso Robles Police Chief Dennis Cassidy agreed with Mr. Kirsch, adding that funds should be increased to achieve better policing on the streets.

“What is important is not to cut public safety funding at this point, but to continue funding for these very reasons, to be able to train to provide the appropriate equipment … when I retired we had 45 sworn officers in our agency, but after that it fell to below 30, ”said Cassidy.

"People don't understand. If you remove these resources from public safety, you are hurting the entire community."

Katherine Pignatielli, a nurse in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, also shared a video presentation.

Mrs. Pignatielli's grandfather, Robert Folkerts, was murdered by Edward Joseph Prokop in Nipomo in October 1980. Mr Prokop was convicted of murder but was recently paroled in May of this year.

“This man who knows nothing but crime and murder (and) is sent to church. The effects this had on my family and me were surreal but not measurable. We are still not sure what danger awaits us in the years to come, ”said Ms. Pignatielli.

This story is one of many why Mr. Caldwell finds Calfironia's law enforcement laws inadequate.

"Thousands of prisoners are being released because of COVID," said Caldwell.

“They want people, if they are booked, to be free until they are found guilty, and you can imagine, as our guests have mentioned, that the family not only exonerates the killers of Katherine's grandfather, but they also have relieved fear. "

Mr Odenath backed up this claim on the grounds that prison inmates had decreased in number due to bail in excess of 50%.

"In many cases we have our members booking people who have committed some pretty serious crimes in our community and they are released before the report is even drawn up. That’s how quick they’re back on the road, so it's a serious one Problem, ”said Odenath.

Mr Caldwell also criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as some political officials who consented, arguing that those involved in the movement made threatening remarks and actions against law enforcement officers.

"The problem here is that we are seeing a fundamental breakdown of law and order and respect for our institutions and people is under threat," said Caldwell. "If you can do this to the Los Angeles District Attorney, the San Luis Obispo District Attorney, where is the rest of us?"

Mr. Caldwell, executive director of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Economy, is a columnist for the news press.


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