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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election

San Diego CountyCandidate for Sheriff

Photo of Bill Gore

Bill Gore

334,995 votes (49.7%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Human trafficking is the 2nd largest criminal enterprise in San Diego County and destroys lives. We are working to combat this form of slavery and make sure that those forced into the sex trade are treated as victims, not criminals.
  • Advances in technology are allowing us to prevent crime before it happens. My office has focused on strong interagency collaboration with federal, state, and local authorities to use those advantages to keep our communities safe.
  • The spread of opioids are destroying lives. Those who find themselves addicted need to get the treatment they need while my office focuses on eliminating the network of suppliers.



Profession:San Diego County Sheriff
Sheriff, County of San Diego (2009–current)
Sheriff, County of San Diego — Elected position (2010–current)
Sheriff, County of San Diego — Appointed position (2009–2010)
Special Agent, Asst. Dir., Special Agent In Charge Seattle, San Diego, FBI (1970–2003)


Seattle University Masters Degree, Public Administration (1981)
University of San Diego Bachelor of Arts (1969)


San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore oversees one of the largest Sheriff’s Departments in the nation, with 4,200 employees and a service area of over 4,400 square miles, including a 60-mile international border.  Along with patrol and investigative operations, his department provides air support, search and rescue service, and forensic support for the San Diego region, operates seven detention facilities countywide and provides security to nine courthouses.

Sheriff Gore is known for his collaborative regional approach to law enforcement and for his energetic deployment of technology to the front lines. He spearheaded the creation of the Law Enforcement Coordination Center, which serves as an all-crimes intelligence center for the San Diego region, and a Rapid Response DNA Team that uses forensic DNA to solve property crimes. 

He created the Border Crimes Initiative, which brings together federal, state and local resources to combat crime along the southwest border.  Under his leadership, the department has deployed Information Led Policing, a pro-active approach to preventing and disrupting crime that uses the most current technologies of crime analysis to enable patrol deputies and investigators to focus on crime hotspots and on targeting high-propensity offenders.

Sheriff Gore’s law enforcement career spans 44 years. He spent 32 years in the FBI, where he rose to the level of Assistant Director. He served as Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle and San Diego Field Divisions, where he pioneered the FBI Cyber Crime Squad and Joint Terrorism Task Force. He played a significant role in establishing the San Diego Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, the first of its kind in the United States.  He was appointed the 29th Sheriff of San Diego County in 2009, elected a year later, and re-elected in 2014.

Sheriff Gore is a member of the San Diego County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association, the California State Sheriffs’ Association, National Sheriffs’ Association and the Major County Sheriffs’ Association. He is a board member of Second Chance, STAR/PAL, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the San Diego Commission on Gangs. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and commendations, including the Arthur E. Hughes Career Achievement Award from his alma mater, University of San Diego, and was selected as “Headliner of the Year” by the San Diego Press Club.

A San Diego native, Sheriff Gore served as an officer in the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam era, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of San Diego and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Seattle University. His father and older brother were a part of the San Diego Police Department, his middle brother was a San Diego County Deputy Sheriff, and his wife was one of the first female FBI agents in the United States. He and his wife, Natalie, have a grown son.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • National Latino Peace Officers Association
  • San Diego Police Officer’s Association
  • Deputy Sheriffs' Association of San Diego County

Questions & Answers

Questions from KPBS and the League of Women Voters (San Diego and North County San Diego chapters) (6)

Should the Sheriff's Department work closely with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify undocumented immigrants in police custody? How do you plan to prioritize supporting requests from ICE along with your other duties?
Answer from Bill Gore:

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department should work closely with all of its state and federal partners to effectively combat crime and keep our communities safe, including allowing ICE to take custody of wanted criminal aliens while they are incarcerated is safer for all involved. Sheriff’s Department detention staff process inquiries from the public, bail bondsmen and other entities on a regular basis in the normal course of their duties.  Any requests from ICE would not have a significant impact on Department operations, and as such, there isno plan to prioritize such requests. 

Do you support allowing retail marijuana sales in San Diego County? How will you handle policing marijuana activity effectively?
Answer from Bill Gore:

I support the right of each jurisdiction to determine what is best for its residents.  As Sheriff, it is my responsibility to ensure that the laws of the jurisdictions I serve, as well as Proposition 64 are followed.  This includes ensuring that minors do not use or possess marijuana, that it is not smoked in public places except where permitted by law, and that persons do not drive while under the influence.  The Sheriff’s Department will continue to protect the public by ensuring that only licensed commercial recreational marijuana businesses operate within the Department’s jurisdiction.

Should the Citizens' Law Enforcement Review Board be required to investigate every death that occurs in custody? Why or why not?
Answer from Bill Gore:

Yes. The Citizen’s Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1990 to, among other things, investigate deaths arising out of or in connection with the activities of peace officers and custodial officers.  While CLERB is advisory only, it performs an important function in providing transparency and serves as an additional check for the residents of San Diego County.

Should video from body-worn cameras be released to the public? Why or why not?
Answer from Bill Gore:

Video from body-worn cameras can be helpful in aiding the public in understanding how and why certain incidents occur, as well as increasing transparency, and building public trust.  However, these important benefits must be balanced with other important factors including the right to privacy, due process rights, public safety, and ensuring that ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions are not negatively impacted.  In 2016, I worked with the District Attorney and other local law enforcement agencies to create a protocol for the disclosure of officer involved shooting video evidence. This protocol makes clear that, as it relates to officer involved shootings, it should be the practice in most situations to release video as soon as it is appropriate to do so. 

Does the Sheriff's Department need to improve its diversity? Why or why not?
Answer from Bill Gore:

The Sheriff’s Department’s core values serve to remind everyone that “[w]e embrace the strength in the diversity of our employees and our communities.”  We have come a long way in my time as Sheriff, by actively recruiting from diverse demographic groups in places where they live and gather, and by utilizing methods of communication targeted towards a more diverse audience.  Today, the Sheriff’s Department has a makeup that reflects the communities within the Department’s jurisidiction. Statistically the demographics of the area served by the Sheriff’s Department is 6.2% Asian/Pacific Islander, 3% Black/African American, 30% Hispanic/Latino, and 57% White. The demographic makeup of the sworn members of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is 7.8% Asian/Pacific Islander, 6.3% Black/African American, 28.7% Hispanic/Latino, and 57% White.

Do you support measures to stop the criminalization of homelessness? The basic human behaviors of many homeless people (like sitting, sleeping and bathing in public) are against the law. Please provide specific examples of measures you would support.
Answer from Bill Gore:

Being homeless is not a crime.  The issue of homelessness is complex and multifaceted, with no easy answer.  However, I believe that once we recognize and accept that there are numerous reasons for homelessness such as substance abuse, mental health issues, and the cost of housing, we can begin to find solutions to address it.  That is why I support the Housing First model. The concept behind Housing First is to provide housing and then incorporate the subsequent delivery of services to treat substance abuse and mental health issues, and help get people back on their feet.

Videos (1)

— April 10, 2018 Re-Elect Sheriff Gore 2018

Bill Gore became San Diego County Sheriff after more than three decades in the FBI.  As Sheriff, he's helped make San Diego the safest urban county in America.

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