California correctional officer cites public safety experience in run for Kings supervisor

District 3 Supervisor Candidate Robert Garcia
District 3 Supervisor Candidate Robert Garcia

As a service to our readers, we’ve asked various candidates for a variety of county-wide offices to respond to a set of what we believe are relevant questions. We think it is the public’s right to know the backgrounds and thoughts of those who intend to serve the citizens of Kings County and Lemoore.

Can you give us your full name and age and marital status, children?

Robert Garcia 35 years old, married to Rusti Garcia with three beautiful children.

Where are you from originally? Schools attended, including high school, college, post-graduate.

Born and raised in Hanford. Attended Hanford Elementary schools and graduated from Hanford High in 2001.

Your career, including your jobs. How long have you been an elected official, if at all? Elected when, how many times, and where. Job’s you’ve held, other vocations.

I began my career with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in November 2004. I was assigned to Wasco State Prison out of the academy before transferring to Avenal State Prison towards the end of 2007. I have remained rank and file my whole career. I have served on the Avenal State Prison California Correctional Peace Officers Associations Local Chapter as Vice President, Secretary and as a committee member on numerous committees.

Why are you running for the Kings County Board of Supervisors?

I have been actively involved with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association since 2008. I have also served on the CCPOA local Kings County Political Action Committee as well. So, one day after work I went down to the elections office on behalf of the committee to get a copy of all the elected seats in Kings County. That list also included a number of committees that involved public safety. I went back to the list of supervisors and noticed none of the above had a background in public safety. Having seen what AB 109 and Prop. 57 have done to raise crime at that very moment, I knew I had something to offer our county. I never hesitated I believe I was the first to file my intent to run in 2018.

Achievements? Awards or honors?

I have had the great Honor of being a member of the New England Patriots of CCPOA Chapters.  The Avenal State Prison CCPOA Chapter has a great working relationship with the administration. Being part of the process that includes mutual respect and ability to work together even though both sides of the table have different perspectives has been quite an Honor.

What in your opinion are the major issues facing Kings County residents now and in the future? What must be done to ensure Kings County meets the demands of the next few years?

Water, Jobs and Public Safety are everyone’s top priorities. On Public Safety, my idea to enhance public safety utilizing State of California Crisis Response teams to help strengthen local public safety at no additional cost is my favorite solution. I personally know the guys on the team, and I know what they have done in other counties to help other local law enforcement agencies on special operations.

When it comes to jobs, we need to work with local city officials and members on various committees that have a vested interest in bringing more jobs and growth to our county. On the water issue, I want to continue the good fight the current board of supervisors has done advocating for water allotment and storage.

Another issue I have recently come to take notice of is from the county level down to the city level is the fact that these elected offices were meant to be non-partisan. I have noticed a divide, especially at the city level. I am not placing blame on any individual because unless you are in closed chambers or attend every meeting, I am sure there is enough blame to go around. What I bring to the table is somebody that everyone can get behind. I am not beholden to any political party's agenda from either side. I will make decisions that I feel are in the best interests of the people of Kings County presently as well as the future.

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