Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Letter Writer—’Being a Disgruntled and Entitled Millennial Does Not Qualify You for the Position of Sheriff’

Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to matthewplafever@gmail.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication. 

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PoliceLights
[Stock image by Matt LaFever]

To the Editor-

I would like to provide another side to this topic. Be clear, I am not endorsing anyone for the position of Sheriff in Mendocino County as I do not live there anymore. You are free to vote for whom you think is best suited for the position. However, since Trent James has made himself a public figure, I will offer a bit of insight into how he has operated. You can say what you will about the rumors you’ve heard about me, there really is nothing new that can be said that has not already been said of me. There are those who are going to fall into the anti-police crowd who have bought into his anti-police message. This is for the undecided who may view this with an open mind and consideration.

I have watched a few of his videos and his attention seeking is filled with anti-police sentiment. I ask you why he never said a word of this while he was employed if it was so obvious and he was so concerned, not a peep.

Trent worked in Covelo and later was appointed as a resident Deputy for a couple of years. What he does not say is that he got burned out dealing with the people and problems there and demanded to be transferred out, which was granted. In his defense, having worked this and other resident posts, Covelo is by far the most stressful position of the Patrol positions in the County. He continued to rotate into Covelo from the Willits substation and, by and large, did a good job relating to the citizens there. He voiced to me numerous times how trying it was to provide good services there and how it was frustrating.

After a break from the Resident Post position in Covelo, and with continuous attempts by the Sheriffs to recruit and fill this post without success, Trent offered to move back but seemed to make demands on how he would do so. One of his demands was more bonus money for working Covelo.

NOTE: For many years the county has paid a bonus for working the Covelo post which later included some of the other resident posts. These bonuses are a negotiated item between the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Board of Supervisors, which a Sheriff has input on but cannot directly authorize.

These negotiations didn’t go well, as he was demanding an extra $20,000 to work there, but the Sheriff could not authorize this. It was outside the pay allowed under the DSA contract. This is apparently when Trent became disillusioned and command staff from the Willits Police Department started to recruit him. At one point he made an ultimatum to the Sheriff to move him to Covelo, with the extra money, or he would quit and go to WPD.

The Sheriff, unable to comply with the demands said no, so Trent, in true millennial fashion for not receiving his participation trophy, got mad, quit, and was hired by WPD.

All newly hired peace officers are placed on probationary status. As most police departments do, they are the primary agency for traffic enforcement in their jurisdiction. All new police officers are tasked with traffic enforcement. By his own admission, again in true millennial fashion, he deemed this assignment as beneath him. You would think he would have looked at the job duties prior to accepting the job.

What seems to be very clear, as there was no peep from him about any corruption, is that he became a disgruntled employee as he could not follow directions and perform the “menial tasks” of his position, and he was released on probation.

At that time did he mention corruption? Not a peep. He then requested to be re-hired at the Sheriff’s Office. After having proven himself a difficult employee, having an entitled mentality, his request was denied.

ONLY after being turned down for re-hire by the Sheriff’s Office did he become jilted. It was then he started lashing out in his videos. Trent was employed at the entry-level. He had zero access to personnel investigations. His implying “all these things are well documented” with reports on file is a lie. From personal experience, I can assure you they are not all documented. There are things he said of me that were never investigated even after I begged the department to do so. One of these was a rumor that I was involved in the illicit Marijuana business. I requested, in writing, to the Sheriff open an internal affairs case, to investigate me, to clear this issue up as it was completely false. I outlined in this request what would happen if there was no investigation and the rumor grew in the community, that it would damage trust, which is exactly what happened.

I say this only to point out that many of his statements about investigations and reports are false. The accusation is easy, peace officers are used to this. Some of the things in his videos were investigated. Some were from agencies outside the Sheriff’s Office. He has zero access to any of those files. As a command staff member within the Sheriff’s Office, I didn’t even have access to the IA files.

The Sheriff is prohibited from responding to many of his accusations. Under the Peace Officer Bill of Rights, personnel investigations are protected. If an officer has been disciplined it is not a matter of public knowledge. Criminal matters and charges are different. Criminal charges and prosecution are made at the DAs level.

Trent aspires to be Sheriff but doesn’t know any of this. He has absolutely no budget, command, or even supervisory experience. Aside from rumor-mongering in the parking lot with what I would guess are a few frustrated deputies what are his qualifications? Why did he not bring up these “corruption ” issues when he was employed if he was such a stand-up guy.

Is there room to improve law enforcement overall and or leadership in Mendocino County? Absolutely in every agency in the country, this should be the goal. For those of you with open minds, peace officers make mistakes. I am privy to many investigations and disciplines given out in Mendocino County to correct behavior or fire officers for serious violations. With very few exceptions the Law Enforcement Officers, in all agencies within Mendocino County, are professional, dedicated, and self-sacrificing. They are overworked, often berated, and understaffed. True to their profession they don’t throw fits when they don’t get their way. They suck it up, showing up to work day after day, trying to make a difference and they deserve your appreciation.

So vote for whom you think is best suited for the job. But be aware of the character of who you vote for. Being a disgruntled and entitled millennial does not qualify you for the position of Sheriff.

-Retird Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Shannon Barney

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21 COMMENTS

  1. This written by Officer Covelo way himself huh. The wife swapping pervert.
    Why would anyone want to hear from this disgusting pervert who was the ring leader of a group of officers who were having sex with each others wives until one officer refused to join in by sharing his wife, which lead to him receiving a settlement from the county.
    If I were Mr. Barney I’d be in hiding for the rest of my disgraced life.
    I suggest anyone who doesn’t know the story should research “the covelo way”. A story of a group of unsavory officers who engaged in what is generally thought of as extremely perverse sexual acts with one anothers wives. It was covered extensively in the local news papers.

    • HAHA WHAT ARE YOU A DOCTOR OF? Obviously not the human mind. Trent James is a joke, he is called out here and you can’t handle it. Is it illegal “Doctor” to have sex with more than one consenting adult? Last I checked, it is not illegal, and for some it is accepted. So al you really wrote about is your own close minded disgust. Some people are gay, or better yet some people are transgender, is this also disgusting to you ?
      What I saw Mr. Barney do here was give the people another perspective of the Narcissistic Trent James. Trust me when I say Trent Cares more about his looks and his own self than he does anyone else on this earth.
      Maybe you are just hoping to play “Doctor” with Trent. Isn’t that what sexual deviants do? Accuse other so nobody looks at them? Doctor doctor give me the news>>>>

      • When did I say I support Trent James? I didn’t say that. I think he is only running to get more views in Youtube.
        I merely pointed out the checkered past of the person who wrote this letter & said that if I were him I’d try to keep to myself so people don’t start to bring up his past.

      • What made you think I support Trent anyway?
        People can do what they want with their sex lives but when you are a supervisor of a group of law enforcement officers it is generally seen as a bad to be screwing the wifes of other officers, not to mention using you position as the senior officer to get them to let you do that.
        And yes I am somewhat old fashoned in that I think passing women around the way these guys did is disgusting, perverse, & unsavory, especially amongst coworkers. It isn’t acceptable behavior within any organization other than one made up of perverts.
        Sounds like you are one of those perverts yourself. Use protection so you don’t catch or spread your diseases please.

  2. WTF!! Is this kindergarten!?
    So he demanded to step up in the world of ranks amongst a crowd of lieutenants acting like it’s high school. Sexually harassing women. Let’s not forget Matt Kendall destroying murder evidence to cover someone’s ass. The Mendocino county sheriff’s department is fucked up. Trent knows how to treat people like humans and gets good results. So what if he said he was frustrated with covelo, so the fuck am I. This place is boring, nothing to do. We ain’t as bad as ukiah seems to looking these days. The land of fetty zombies. Sounds like your trying to get the attention of his #1 voters. I’m senseing fear of competition!. Difference between Trent and others that stand against him its simple, he knows what he wants, when he wants it, and pretty much how to get it.
    Trent for sheriff! Middle finger to the haters!

    • Hey editor… Get a real job! That accepts your low standards.
      Oh yeah, is that the reason covelo keeps getting harassed by the deputies. Women getting wrongfully searched using inappropriate procedures to search a female. Demanding search of every car pulled over. Fake police chase to make it look good when you need your informants info.
      Small town, its not hard to figure out what the bullshit cops are doing.

    • Hey “Just Sayin”. You haven’t really said anything. Middle finger to you haters? Does that mean to people that don’t agree with you? Back at you. Mr. Barney says here that Trent did a good job in Covelo, right?
      He said that Covelo is a hard place so there is a bonus involved to work there. All Mr. Barney is saying is that this bonus wasn’t good enough for Trent James. And that many typically crappy jobs are beneath Mr. James. Mr. “Just Sayin” Have you been able to hold a job? Well neither has Trent James. And that is exactly why Mr. Barney wanted to write this article. To show you that Trent James is not fit to be Sheriff.

  3. Hey editor… Get a real job! That accepts your low standards.
    Oh yeah, is that the reason covelo keeps getting harassed by the deputies. Women getting wrongfully searched using inappropriate procedures to search a female. Demanding search of every car pulled over. Fake police chase to make it look good when you need your informants info.
    Small town, its not hard to figure out what the bullshit cops are doing.

  4. Hey editor… Get a real job! That accepts your low standards.
    Oh yeah, is that the reason covelo keeps getting harassed by the deputies. Women getting wrongfully searched using inappropriate procedures to search a female. Demanding search of every car pulled over. Fake police chase to make it look good when you need your informants info.
    Small town, its not hard to figure out what the bullshit cops are doing.

  5. Trent has the backs of the people of Mendocino County as well as the most vulnerable. He didn’t come up with his decision to go public with the corruption going on within the government’s of Mendocino County including the Sheriff Department and Willits Police Department because he didn’t get his way. When he witnessed my going public with the corruption after turning in stacks of evidence to people with integrity in San Francisco because the Mendocino County public servants failed the people they are being paid to protect his statements were, “If I were you, I would be doing the same thing.” This was when he was still a Sheriff. He said, “the sheriff told me to tell you,” “ she does this all the time!” A few days later the sheriff retired and appointed the deputy who threatened to “ personally cut down my medical cannabis garden himself” after I was assaulted by a bully who beats disabled women and people with disabilities. He investigated himself and then followed through with his statements about doing the same thing. He got sick of the corruption within the Good Old Boys Network and went public when no one else would help. It was only a matter of time before a good cop cleaned up shop! The filth under the carpets is oozing out causing a huge mess!

  6. If Shannon Barney wants full transparency, then why is former Deputy Jason Cox’s lawsuit against the MCSO sealed? What facts were agreed to by the parties? What were the terms of the settlement? Why is it all sealed?

    Also, why was deceased Deputy Eric Gore allowed to bleed out with a false bomb scare threat made by Shannon Barney?

    And what was Shannon Barney doing in Deputy Brett White’s home when White allegedly killed himself? Why was Barney there?

    Why? Why? Why? Why?

    • Those are all questions I’ve been asking for years & years. Eric & Bretts deaths were a little too convenient and under investigated if you ask me.

  7. Mr Barney
    Now I am definitely voting for Trent James. I am a millennial and I will be happy to see your friends get fired.

  8. NC sheriff is youngest in the
    country at age 28
    FOX8 Digital Desk
    7 years ago
    PAMLICO COUNTY, N.C. – A North Carolina
    sheriff has become the youngest sheriff in the
    country at the age of 28.
    WITN reported that Chris Davis was sworn in as
    Pamlico County sheriff on Monday after winning
    last month’s election.
    He defeated incumbent Pamlico County Sheriff
    Billy Sawyer, who had been sheriff for 12 years.
    Davis has been in law enforcement for eight years.
    SOMETIMES THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT’S
    NEEDED. ESPECIALLY IN THE COP WORLD.
    TOO MANY OF THE OLDER GENERATION OF
    COPS CAN’T ADAPT WITH THE TIMES

    Millennials are not individuals of entitlement. Rather citizens helping to clean up “the Good Ol’ Boy” network that is destroying the fiber of our community unchecked for decades!

  9. I very much appreciate Mendofever bringing several different points of view on local issues. Keep up the great reporting!

  10. This is pretty much an endorsement for the person he’s ragging on. Stupidity and bad grammar. Sort of like Rob Brown in Lake County. Anti/mask fool endorsing people. I’m voting against them.

  11. I think you are a 100% right. I don’t know him personally but I think it’s kind of trashy airing people’s business on social media that’s not what social social media is for it’s kind of tacky and people that lash out at other people on social media kind of makes you wonder what they’re hiding from the public on themselves I wouldn’t want someone like that being the sheriff in my county that says it all about a person

  12. Guess who I’m voting for for sheriff. None of your damn business. God I miss the days where people kept their business and opinions to themselves. Nobody values their right to privacy anymore.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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