From The President
Welcome to the Kern Law Enforcement Association’s (KLEA) webpage. I have had the privilege to serve the residents of Kern for nearly 20 years as a deputy. As Association President, it is my honor to represent over 500 Sergeants, Senior Deputies, Deputies, and District Attorney Investigators who put their lives on the line every day protecting and serving the community.
I grew up in Kern County, and it saddens me greatly to see the high crime in our neighborhoods. This high crime rate is directly due to Kern County's Supervisors not prioritizing public safety. For more than a decade, public safety wages have not kept up with inflation. Other communities have lured away Kern's deputies one-by-one, year-over-year with more competitive offers. As a result of the county supervisors' negligence, Kern is suffering with the following.
1.A low retention rate among trained and experienced deputies,
2.An inadequate number of qualified replacement recruits,
3.The wasting of millions in taxpayer funds spent on training that simply walks out the door for higher wages elsewhere,
4.An insufficient quantity of deputies to safely patrol our streets; and
5.One of the highest murder and violent crime rates in the State.
This high crime rate cannot stand. The residents of Kern deserve to feel safe in their homes, places of work, while dining out, picking up children from school, and going to the grocery store.
Moreover, the high crime in Kern is suppressing property values, causing businesses to locate elsewhere, and generally creating a feeling of despair and hopelessness among residents, families, and neighborhoods.
But all is not lost. I have a vision that Kern can return to being a county of law and order. I envision a Lamont where you can walk your dog day or night without fear of assault. I imagine a Boron where you can go to the convenient store and need not worry about witnessing a robbery. I see in our future a Rosamond where residents call and report incidents because they know there is a sufficient number of deputies to respond quickly to even the smallest of crimes.
That is the unified vision of the members of our Association. That is what it means to us to protect and serve Kern County. With the help of residents and business owners, we will finally get the Board of Supervisors to prioritize your public safety - because that is why we elected them. If they don't, we will find somebody to replace them who will prioritize your public safety.
We have inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Ensuring the public's safety is the essential role of government. We invite you to join us in making Kern County a safer place to live, work, worship, and play. Follow us on social media. Become educated about the issues. Donate to the cause. Let's make a difference!
Sgt. Richard Anderson