Riverside County’s Scandal-Plagued Sheriff’s Department Needs Serious Reform


While many Republican and conservative Californians are big fans of Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, no one should forget that Bianco is fundamentally a tool of the county’s most powerful public employee union, the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association.

The union put him up to run in 2018, spent lavishly to get him elected and now essentially controls the department. The results have been catastrophic for Riverside County.

The California Department of Justice has already launched a civil rights investigation into the sheriff’s department to determine if the department “has engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing amid deeply concerning allegations relating to conditions of confinement in its jail facilities, excessive force, and other misconduct.”

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has already settled a federal lawsuit prompted by deputies barging into the homes of an elderly couple without a warrant.

And now, families of some of the many jail inmates who have died in Riverside County jails have filed a federal lawsuit against the county and Sheriff Bianco. A record number of people died in custody last year, 18, the most in one year since 12 died back in 2005.

“Interviews and records show even more people have died after being in jail than the sheriff has publicly acknowledged — and that, in many cases, relatives aren’t told when inmates have life-threatening medical emergencies,” reports The Desert Sun. “The sheriff’s department and hospital staff often make potentially life-and-death decisions, while families are kept in the dark searching for basic information.”

This is unacceptable.

It’s also sadly all too predictable. This is what happens when a puppet of RSA gets into power.  Riverside County residents should be outraged.

Riverside County Democrats should also be aware that Democratic Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, who endorsed Bianco for sheriff in 2018, is actively touting Bianco’s endorsement of him in his 2024 re-election bid.

These problems are bigger than one person. It’s systemic.

Riverside County residents need to choose better county officials. The ones they have now are a disaster.

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