I am JoAnn Walker, and I am running a SOLO campaign to be the next Alameda County Sheriff. A great deal of work needs to be done to reduce crime while also building public trust effectively. As a 26-year law enforcement veteran, my career has given me keen insight into strategies that work, versus strategies that look good on paper.  

The Alameda County Sheriffs Department is charged with a complex balance of responsibility interwoven into the fabric of our communities’ daily lives — ranging from patrol services, custody operations, courthouse security, running of the crime laboratory, and coroner’s bureau services.

It is not lost on me how momentous it is that I — a Black woman — have taken on the charge to fix and reform how law enforcement services are delivered in Alameda County. I am taking a big step of faith by entering this race that typically is uncontested. I have faith that voters in Alameda County are ready for a change in how our community is policed.

The fundamental basis of my platform is:

Accountability • Reform • Community

With introspection, hard work, and cooperation, we can make the needed changes at the Alameda County Sheriffs Department.




According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), one of the top reforms that define 21st century policing is building trust and legitimacy by creating policy and oversight. The ACSO must be at the forefront of this change. As Sheriff, I will work to do the following things:

Build Trust:

Trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential in a democracy. It is key to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services. "Presidents Task Force on 21st Century Policing." 

Build & Repair Relationships with: 

  • Citizens in Alameda County 
  • Law Enforcement Partners
  • Non-Law enforcement partners

Provide Transparency: 

  • Provide a more independent and transparent audit and analysis of the budget every year
  • Address the high number of in-custody deaths in our County jail
  • Break the backlog of 1,200+ untested rape kits


Culture & Structure

Changing the culture of law enforcement is a monumental task. Reforming the operational systems within the Alameda County Sheriff's Department will have a major impact on how policing services are delivered to citizens of Alameda County and policing outcomes. I will work to:

  • De-militarize our approach to policing. 
  • Establish systems that promote diversity at all levels within the Sheriff's Department. This includes executive leadership, mid and first-level supervision, specialty units, and patrol/custody operations. 
  • A top-down review of all policies, training practices, and internal procedures. 
  • Improve the training in high threshold subjects such as Use of Force, and dealing with the mentally ill/emotionally disturbed population.
  • Limit cooperation with ICE
  • Invest in technologies that improve operational capability and effectiveness. 

Public Safety

The safety of the residents in Alameda County is paramount. The response to violent crime, lower-level offenses, quality of life issues, and the safe housing of the county's inmate population is and will continue to be the primary function of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. As Sheriff, I will ensure that personnel are well trained and have the proper tools to respond to any emergency presented to them.

As Sheriff, I will ensure that Deputies behavior is just, and require people to be;

  • Treated with dignity and respect
  • Absent emergent situations, Be given  “voice” during encounters
  • Neutral and transparent in decision making
  • Convey trustworthy motives
  • Ensure that the idea of Community Relations is the responsibility of all personnel, not just the Community Relations Unit

Within the jails, I will:

  • Enhance transparency regarding custody facilities
  • Request independent investigations regarding in-custody deaths 
  • Conduct a top-down audit of personnel, equipment & training to make sure that the jails are properly staffed 
  • Increase and support the current inmate in-custody wellness/re-entry programs 


Employee Wellness

The wellness and safety of law enforcement officers are critical not only for the officers, their colleagues, and their agencies but also for public safety. As a law enforcement officer, I know all too well the stress the profession creates. As Sheriff, I will work to create Peer Support programs within the Sheriff's Department that focus on assisting deputies and civilian staff with: 

  • Personal Finance Literacy 
  • Family Counseling Services
  • Psychological Services 

This will bring the Sheriff's Department closer to the strategies outlined in the 21st century policing reform strategic plan.