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Friday, July 04, 2008
Does the new OC Sheriff Know Jack about Tech?
That is the criminal justice system - Sandra Hutchens
July 4, 2008
One of the major criticism levied against the process used by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to select the county’s new sheriff, is that the selection criteria used all but guaranteed that most qualified leaders to effect change would be disqualified and instead select one from the bunch, as it happened.
One of the questions we asked Sherff Hutchens during a recent interview was whether her capabilities matched the needs of the OCSD, or whether this was a forced fit. We also asked her if she knew where the hidden cameras were – she assured us there were no hidden cameras, and she had no response as to to type of fit. All this in reference to reports of hidden cameras in the office of the previous Chief, but more importantly to get a sense of whether Sheriff Hutchens had the experience required to managed a complex technological environment (including forensics), as is the large OCSD, and the needs of the close to 3 million Orange County residents. The Sheriff was visibly upset when we mentioned that although she had broken a tough glass ceiling, the technology one was even harder. “I do not see what one has to do with the other” she said. Unfortunately, at that moment, she was called for another meeting and we were not able to continue the conversation.
However, here is the train of thought. Various reports indicate that India and China are graduating more scientists and engineers than the US - The Economist reports that India graduated 690,000 scientists and engineers of all types while China produced 520,000 and the United States 420,000, for example, and In India, says a Newsweek article, you can get "quality work at 50% to 60% of the cost, and that it is well known fact that the number of young women gravitating to information technology has been declining for some time, and that industries such as the auto industry have been forced to outsource a good portion of the work to remain viable, and the newspapers such as the Orange County Register are being forced to do the same, what is it the Sheriff Hutchens know that we do not know, to make sure the public safety is not forced to outsource to remain competitive, or will she use the same old tired argument that goes something like this: The OCSD is most efficient, and thus additional safety requires an additional budget”
We also pointed to the Sheriff compelling statistics pointing to 70-90% of internal breaches caused by insiders, including the recent apparent suicide of an OC deputy Gerald Stenger, accused of child pornography. She responded by saying “That is the criminal justice system”.
The question is, does the Sheriff know jack about technology? We hope to find out in her 120-Day Plan – but she has not been able to produce the Plan, or a Plan for the Plan as of now.
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