My name is Duke Nguyen and I am running for Orange County Sheriff. I am fighting to become your next Sheriff because I want a better future for the neighborhoods, communities and families here in our great county. It is time for a new leader in a department that is full of scandals.
I come from a humble background, my parents both came here with nothing but the clothes on their backs. And as a child in a military family, with numerous relatives in law enforcement, I quickly learned to adapt and excel in life. I also learned that the most important thing, whether you succeed or fail, is to have honor and integrity in all that you do. I was very young when I first realized I wanted to be in law enforcement. And for the past 26 years that is all I have known.
There is something about knowing that you are serving a greater good that gives you the strength to push forward. From my early days working in the jails, to my days patrolling the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, I realized that the strongest tools we have as law enforcement are the people who live in our community. By working to protect and serve the people, we can proactively prevent the dysfunctions in our society.
We have a choice between a leader that is proactive or one that is reactive. We have a choice between a department that allows our problems to fester and grow, or a leader that is willing to make the changes necessary. For years we have known that there are issues in our jails, from an illegal informant program, to inmates escaping. And this year a grand jury learned that 44% of the deaths in our jails in the past three years were preventable. Just this past month we find that the department was recording attorney-client privileged calls.
For the first time since 1978 we have a run off for Sheriff. That means that for the past 40 years our Sheriff has been chosen in midterm primaries. This often means that less than 25% of registered voters cast their vote for the Sheriff. Considering our last Sheriff went to jail, and that we have only had 3 Sheriffs in that time period, this is a staggering fact. On November 6th with an expected turnout of over 60% we will have a chance to let the voters truly decide who will be their Sheriff.
A leader must be willing to take responsibility for the issues that occur under their watch. Not say that they are overblown by the media, or that they have been completely solved. I have lived here in Orange County my entire life, and I know that the people are smarter than that. I know that the people have seen what is happening and are ready for a change. I am not a career politician, but in my 26 years of law enforcement I am still optimistic about the people, our deputies and our communities. I know that they are ready for a new type of law enforcement.
I promise to do my best to serve all the people of this great county. And I humbly ask for your vote.
Duke Nguyen is a lifelong Orange County resident, 26-year law enforcement veteran, and a candidate for Orange County Sheriff. He started his career as a civilian for the Santa Ana Police department before working as a Sheriff’s Deputy in LA County for 10 years. For the past 12 years he has served as part of the LA County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division (JSID) investigating corruption in government systems and officer misconduct.
Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.
Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org