Neves announces sheriff campaign |

Neves announces sheriff campaign

El Dorado County Undersheriff Jeff Neves has announced his candidacy for sheriff.

“When I first hired on, I knew I wanted to be sheriff one day. Most of my career has been directed that way,” Neves said. “After Sheriff Barker announced (his retirement) a few weeks back, I sat back to see what shape the race was going to take.”

Neves joins sheriff’s Sgt. Larry Hennick in a bid for a four-year term to succeed Hal Barker. The election is March 5.

The campaign has already taken a few twists. Barker was planning to run against Hennick until he heard Sacramento County Sheriff’s Capt. John McGinness was interested in the job. Barker then announced his retirement in late July, believing McGinness would run in his place.

After McGinness said last week he would not run, Neves announced his candidacy and Barker threw support to him.

“I support Jeff Neves as candidate for sheriff 100 percent,” Barker said. “I will work hard to ensure he is elected because he is by far and away the best candidate. He’s qualified by his education, experience and integrity. John McGinness was a good candidate, but Jeff Neves will be just as good if not better.”

If elected, Neves said he doesn’t expect the department would undergo major reorganization. Instead he plans to continue creating the “foundation pieces” that he says he’s been working on since he became undersheriff in October.

He already created a new mission statement for the department that emphasizes public service and a partnership with the community. He’s still working on making “clear and precise” job descriptions for deputies and making “realistic and meaningful” performance evaluations routine.

Neves has been employed at the Sheriff’s Department for 22 years. He’s worked as a jail officer, patrol officer, detective, SWAT leader and commander, narcotics division supervisor, internal affairs supervisor and Support Services Division captain.

As undersheriff he deals with the day-to-day administrative duties as well as a $30 million budget. He’s been married for 26 years and has three children.

He said he loves Lake Tahoe, where he spent seven years working at the sheriff’s substation.

“Lake Tahoe is has been a very important part of my professional and personal life,” he said. “It would certainly be a goal that no fewer than once every other week I’d be up there a day or two.”

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