Is it an error of judgement or a daily occurance?

If you haven’t already, read/watch a news report about Sheriff Laurie exercising questionable ethics as the elected Sheriff of Santa Clara County.

First of all, what are the ethics and code of conduct other Sheriff and Police Chiefs expect of their peers and employees? Several examples are out there. California law enforcement professionals adopted a code of conduct in 1956. It reads as follows:

As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession…law enforcement.


The importance of integrity and ethics in effective policing are proudly posted by people like Sheriff Candidate Kevin Jensen and Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff.

From this universally distributed “standard” in ethics above you may notice Sheriff Laurie is falling far short of the standard.

Did Sheriff Laurie violate the ethics of her position on accident or was it intentional? To answer this question we have to look at Sheriff Lauries past conduct, or at least what is out in public right now.

She has been in law enforcement for over 40 years, 16 of it as the Sheriff of the County. One might think she aught to know better by now. The public should demand she should know better by now!

With all that experience Sheriff Laurie must know better. This leaves one other option; she knowingly violated the ethics and standards of conduct for a professional law enforcement officer. From her television interview she clearly has no reservation in her decisions, didn’t believe she did anything wrong, and “would do it again.”

The Phantom noticed a glaring similarity in the interview of Sheriff Laurie and suspects with sociopathic behavior. There is a good article on how to spot sociopaths. The similarities are striking and may be a reason why Sheriff Laurie sees no problems in the inherent conflict she has created between a suspect and the Office of the Sheriff. Wondering what signs point to a sociopath? Take a look at the questions below and if you have had significant interactions with Sheriff Laurie you should be able to answer them. If you don’t have personal experience, ask someone who does.

(a snippet from
The big question is, of course, how can you know whether someone is a sociopath or not? It’s a difficult question and even experts on the subject can be fooled. If you suspect that someone close to you is a sociopath, I suggest you read both of the books I mentioned, and also read the comments on the comments page, and think hard about it. Compare that person to the other people in your life, and ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you often feel used by the person?
2. Have you often felt that he (or she, because women can be sociopaths too) doesn’t care about you?
3. Does he lie and deceive you?
4. Does he tend to make contradictory statements?
5. Does he tend to take from you and not give back much?
6. Does he often appeal to pity? Does he seem to try to make you feel sorry for him?
7. Does he try to make you feel guilty?
8. Do you sometimes feel he is taking advantage of your good nature?
9. Does he seem easily bored and need constant stimulation?
10. Does he use a lot of flattery? Does he interact with you in a way that makes you feel flattered even if he says nothing overtly complimentary?
11. Does he make you feel worried? Does he do it obviously or more cleverly and sneakily?
12. Does he give you the impression you owe him?
13. Does he chronically fail to take responsibility for harming others? Does he blame everyone and everything but himself?

And does he do these things far more than the other people in your life? If you answered “yes” to many of these, you may be dealing with a sociopath. For sure you’re dealing with someone who isn’t good for you, whatever you want to call him.

Sheriff Laurie wonders why members of the Sheriffs department didn’t come to her and tell her they believed she crossed the line.  It might have something to do with the previous post on workplace bullying and now, similar traits indicating sociopathic behavior.

Demand more from your Sheriff!

* Phantom



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