I’m running for High Bailiff because the position was designed to put the sheriff’s office under independent, civilian oversight.

What is High Bailiff?

The High Bailiff is the one person in each county authorized to arrest the sheriff on state warrants. Nobody is sure whether that’s ever actually happened.

The true importance of this office lies not in its official duties, but in what it stands for. Electing a person, independently of the sheriff, to ensure that the sheriff cannot violate the law with impunity puts the state’s police power under civilian oversight and control. This serves as a crucial failsafe, securing our rights as members of a democratic society. It is a concrete example of “power to the people”.

In recent decades, we’ve lost sight of this important symbolism. A relatively modern tradition has emerged, where the High Bailiff office is now seen by members of the law enforcement community as something like “sheriff in waiting”. Through our deference to uniformed police officers, we’ve ceded oversight of the law enforcement community to the law enforcement community itself. This creates an inherent conflict of interest, and deprives us of an important, if symbolic, check on the awesome powers of the sheriff’s office.

The office of High Bailiff should be held by a civilian.

Meet Dave

A passionate advocate for criminal justice and drug policy reform. 


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