Sheriff’s Dept. Special Reserves
I am the independent police psychologist who was asked to evaluate all of Sheriff Lee Baca’s special reserve candidates. I was asked to use the same procedure and the same criteria used for regular police officers and deputy sheriffs. The applicants are business and professional leaders with track records in serving our community and an interest in donating more time and energy to assist the Sheriff’s Department. None of them had a particular interest in carrying a concealed weapon and most of them said they would not carry a weapon even if authorized (letters, June 24).
In the 29 years I have been consulting with law enforcement agencies, I have rarely seen a group of candidates so responsible, intelligent and well adjusted. We are lucky to have them adding unique expertise to California law enforcement.
SUSAN SAXE-CLIFFORD PhD
As a county employee, your June 25 report on Baca’s pension dilemma made me cringe. I could almost hear furious taxpayers asking, “Why is the county’s pension program so generous?” The answer is, it isn’t anymore, except for a few old-timers like Sheriff Baca (sorry, Lee). The retirement plan he enjoys has not been available to new employees for 20 years. Employees covered by the current plan must pay in more (9% of salary in my case) and will get back much less than those few still on the old plans.
When Baca joined the force, county pension plans were more generous than the private sector. By 1980, they were comparable. People need to know this problem was fixed two decades ago.