Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi does not bullshit anyone.

Arnoldi is the first to admit that his campaign lacks a big budget and influential boosters. In an election where his opponents can afford glossy signs, television ads and nice suits, Arnoldi acknowledges that he isn’t the slickest guy running for office. All he has is a slightly frayed suit, some old ties, the unconditional love of every town in Santa Barbara County he’s ever worked in, fewer crimes wherever he’s in charge, some unconventional ideas about policing, the respect of his subordinates and an unblemished record. During the 27 years he has worked for the Sheriff’s Dept., Arnoldi never once called in sick.

It sounds remarkable, but when it comes to Arnoldi, the remarkable is typical.

Arnoldi’s ideas for policing are simple: put more officers on the street, keep misdemeanors from escalating into felonies and involve officers with the people they police. All his opponents have made the same arguments in theory, but Arnoldi has put all three into practice.

Nowhere was Arnoldi more successful than in Isla Vista. During the three years that Arnoldi ran the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, he trained his officers to stop drunken people on the streets, to ask women if they knew the man they were with and to treat everyone with respect. The last point might seem like empty talk, but Arnoldi followed through on it – so well, in fact, that parents wrote him letters of thanks.

Arnoldi’s approach was more than well intentioned, it was successful: Major crimes declined by nearly 10 percent and the number of sexual assaults, which had been increasing for years, finally stabilized. Not one person fell from Del Playa Drive’s cliffs and died – compare that to the nine people who fell to their deaths since he was transferred to Carpinteria.

When Arnoldi was rotated out of I.V. – a year later than is standard department practice – no one wanted to see him go. The Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District, Associated Students Legislative Council and the Isla Vista Property Owners’ Association all begged Sheriff Jim Thomas to keep Arnoldi in town.

Arnoldi has criticized the current sheriff’s involvement in politics, which may have upset a few high-ranking officers within the department, but he hasn’t upset any one in his new post at Carpenteria where violent crime has declined.

Butch Arnoldi isn’t much of a politician, but he’s one heck of a cop.

The Daily Nexus strongly endorses Ugo Peter “Butch” Arnoldi for Sheriff-Coroner.