Two of the first Latinas ever elected to run sheriff’s departments in California will be serving the Bay Area.
For the last 21 years, Christina Corpus has worked her way up the ladder in the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department and now, she’s putting together a transition plan after being elected to lead the entire department.
“I’m very happy,” she said.
She’ll be entering office with an agenda to change some of the ways the department works.
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Corpus plans to completely end inmate transfer agreements with immigration and custom's enforcement.
She wants to recruit more deputies as the department is short about 70 positions, and they've been working without a contract for a year and a half.
Corpus also wants to audit the department in an effort to be more transparent with the public.
And, she's hoping to change the way deputies respond to some calls.
“I'm not saying to be soft on crime, that is not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, when it comes to mental illness, why aren't we working with mental health professionals to respond to calls to service that are non-violent?” said Corpus.
She will be the first Latina sheriff elected to San Mateo County since it was incorporated in 1856.
Across the Bay, in Alameda County voters have also picked their first Latina sheriff.
“Latinas have been deeply underrepresented at every level of elected office. And Latina leadership is transformational,” said Yesenia Sanchez, Alameda County sheriff elect. “When elected, Latinas are powerful changemakers.”
Corpus and Sanchez may soon have another Latina sheriff colleague.
In Monterey County, candidate Tina Nieto has a significant lead in that contest as votes continue to be counted.
Corpus says she knows winning this race, and making history in doing so, is a big deal. Especially for her daughter and lots of young women like her.
“It's well worth it, because when I see the smile on my daughter's face and she says 'mom you did it.’ That's priceless to me,” said Corpus.