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Paul Miyamoto, SF chief deputy sheriff, announces run for top job

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San Francisco Chief Deputy Sheriff Paul Miyamoto is officially part of the race to become The City’s next sheriff after he filed papers at City Hall on Monday in front of family, friends and supporters.

Miyamoto’s announcement to run comes as current Sheriff Vicki Hennessy announced late last month that she will run not for re-election in November of this year due to health and family reasons.

The chief deputy sheriff has been with the Sheriff’s Department for more than 20 years, working under former sheriffs Mike Hennessey and Ross Mirkarimi.

Miyamoto lost to Mirkarimi in the race for sheriff in the November 2011 election.

One of the top priorities for Miyamoto is address transparency issues in the department with the public and city officials:

“We understand there is a need for the community to know what’s going within our department and to know how we work.”

Most recently, there were allegations of inmate abuse by officers in the department in one of The City’s county jail. An internal investigation was launched within the department and then later handed over by Hennessy to the Department of Police Accountability  to ensure transparency in the investigation.

Supervisor Shamann Walton is working on legislation to create an independent body to investigate misconduct by officers in the sheriff’s department and could impose disciplinary action against staff found to have violated department policies.

Currently, the department investigates its own cases of misconduct by staff and the sheriff decides on any disciplinary action.

Miyamoto said he supports an outside party engaged in investigating staff misconduct such as the Department of Police Accountability:

“I think that is extremely important for transparency so the community can regain trust in all of us.”

He stopped short of supporting Walton’s proposal:

“I think the oversight of an elected office opens up a lot of doors to different misperceptions. I would caution us to head down that path and maybe really look into it first before we jump in.

Miyamoto is also in favor in rehabilitating the San Bruno jail for inmates we would will soon have to go somewhere once they move out of the old and dilapidated Hall of Justice:

“The beauty of that plan is that we are taking something that is already in existence. We’re taking something we already have and we’re renovating that and building on it.”

Running against Miyamoto so far is Ronald Terry from the sheriff’s department.

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