The Kern Law Enforcement Association -- a union that represents Kern Co. Sheriff's deputies and Kern Co. District Attorney's investigators -- issued a statement on Friday. The statement is in regard to Thursday's news that the California Attorney General is investigating allegations of civil rights violations within the Kern County Sheriff's Office and the Bakersfield Police Department:
Our local officers in Kern County are dramatically understaffed and working very long hours to protect our community, placing themselves between dangerous individuals and our citizens,” said David Kessler, President of KLEA. “At the same time, deputies are dealing with rising crime rates due to California legislation that allows criminals to roam our streets. Nationwide, law enforcement officers are being gunned down simply for wearing the uniform. We look forward to a transparent and honest investigation which enhances respect for those who voluntarily choose to protect and serve our community.