Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Monday, Jan. 3 @ 1:12 p.m. / Elections

Waltz Says He Will Run for Del Norte County Sheriff in June


Though he doesn’t have to officially declare his candidacy until mid-February, Del Norte County Sheriff Randy Waltz says he hopes voters will let him keep his job long term.

Waltz, who was appointed to the Del Norte County sheriff position in September, said he will run for the office in California’s primary election on June 7.

“The employees of the office need some stability and continuity and I feel that I’ve been called to provide that,” he told the Wild Rivers Outpost on Monday. “Any change in leadership is going to bring instability in an organization and we’ve gone through that recently. I think I’ve brought some stability and I think that the employees have been responsive to that.”

Waltz, who came to Del Norte County from the Fresno area, had been serving as DNSO’s undersheriff for about a year before former sheriff, Erik Apperson, announced his intention to resign at a July 27 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Waltz became acting sheriff on Sept. 4 when Apperson left the position. The Del Norte Count Board of Supervisors officially appointed Waltz as county sheriff on Sept. 28, 2021.

Waltz has other goals he hopes to address beyond providing continuing leadership stability within the department. One of the top priorities is to recruit and retain qualified staff, Waltz said, a challenge the law enforcement industry is experiencing as a whole.

“We have quite a few vacancies, especially in our operations division, which includes patrol and court services,” he said. “We are meeting minimum staffing (requirements) right now, but we don’t have a lot of flexibility, and several of our deputies have been working a substantial amount of overtime to fill the shifts.”

One way Waltz plans to address recruitment and retention in his department is by working with the Del Norte County Unified School District to create a career pathway focusing on law enforcement. Waltz, who will meet with DNUSD Superintendent Jeff Harris this week to discuss what such a program would look like, said he hopes it would create interest and, potentially, new-hires for the Del Norte County Jail.

DNSO corrections officers are eligible for employment when they turn 18, Waltz said. After they’re hired, they complete training through the state’s Standards and Training For Corrections Division, he said.

If they want to become a deputy sheriff, Waltz said, the DNSO can sponsor them through the police academy at College of the Redwoods or College of the Siskiyous.

“If they’ve been working in our jail and we get to know their work ethic and they apply and are successful in the deputy recruitment position, then we can send them to the academy,” Waltz said. “That way we can maintain more of a homegrown workforce instead of being a springboard. If we hire somebody out of the academy that lives somewhere else, they might use us to get their feet on the ground in the profession, and earn their POST basic certificate, and then move on to another agency closer to home or another agency that pays better.”

The candidacy filing period for the June 7 primary election starts Feb. 14 and ends March 11, according to County Clerk-Recorder Alissia Northrup.

In most cases if an incumbent hasn’t declared their candidacy by March 11, the filing period is extended a further five days for other potential candidates, Northrup said. However, the filing period for Del Norte County sheriff will still end March 11 because Waltz was appointed to his position, she said.

Other offices up for election on June 7 include the Del Norte County district attorney, auditor-controller, assessor, county clerk-recorder, tax collector and superintendent of schools. The Districts 3 and 4 seats on the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors are also up for election this June.


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