“I obviously have a vested interest in the organization, having worked with the sheriff’s office for past 16 years, and under my leadership, I believe we can offer a better delivery of service to the residents we serve,” said Kalinowski, 41.
Kalinowski’s announcement follows Sheriff Warren Rupf’s statement last week that he will not seek re-election for a fifth term.
“This early announcement should not be taken as evidence that I’ve lost interest or enthusiasm, or that I will not participate in a very direct and active fashion in all of our business,” said Rupf. “It is, however, timely that I do this so that the organization will have an opportunity to make those adjustments in anticipation of a change at the highest level of the organization.
“The decision was much more difficult than I had ever imagined. But it is time. Forty-five years is not only a good caliber, but it’s a good number in describing years of a career.”
Concord Police Chief Dave Livingston, 44, has also entered the race and has been publicly endorsed for the post by Rupf, a move considered by some to be an advantage for Livingston.
Kalinowski however, sees it differently. “The sheriff has decided that somebody outside of the organization would be a better fit for the department, and first and foremost I completely disagree with that,” said Kalinowski. “I go into the race without the anointment of the sheriff, but that gives me the full ability to do what needs to be done to change the organization.”
Kalinowski also told the Press that if elected, his first priority would be to adjust the current graveyard model that Rupf has implemented for deputies, calling the move “dangerous and ineffective.” In April, Rupf cut back the graveyard shifts from 15 one-man patrol cars countywide to four two-man cars, causing widespread concern among residents and deputies over response times and coverage of the county’s unincorporated areas. Kalinowski also said that the policing needs of far East County have not kept pace with the growing population.
“The residents in Bethel Island, Knightsen and Discovery Bay have been left out of some of the process and progress, and I recognize that,” he said. “From my perspective, these folks need more than a sheriff’s office in Discovery Bay. I would like to bring the Oakley substation closer now that the growth is further east. The reality is that seven or eight years ago it (the Oakley-based station) was appropriate, but now that the growth is further east, the Oakley location poses an access problem.
“I’m very excited about it (running for election). I have no reservations and I’ve had incredible support. I’m humbled by it and it is greatly appreciated.”
The election will be held in June of 2010.