PLACERVILLE (CBS13) – An army of deputies is speaking out against its own leader.
The El Dorado Deputy Sheriff’s Association believes the sheriff is putting the public in danger.
“I’ve been in investigations unit for 13 and a half years,” said sheriff’s Detective Rich Strasser .
But despite his experience and work on high-profile cases like the Jaycee Dugard case, Strasser ould soon be back patrolling the streets.
“We’ve been told that in the next two to three years everyone will be rotated out of the unit,” he said.
That’s the word Strasser and the deputy sheriff’s association say is coming from their boss, Sheriff John D’Agostini. They say the sheriff has unofficially implemented what’s called a rotational policy, moving detectives with as much as 18 years experience back to patrol and moving deputies with zero investigative experience into the detective bureau.
It’s a process that will repeat every few years.
“It is crucial when you’re doing investigations you have trained, experienced investigators and that they are there for the duration of the case,” said Nina Salarno, a victims’ rights attorney.
It’s a move victims like Susan Hamlin, who along with her children was tortured by her husband for a decade, say will hurt victims who’ve already suffered enough.
Hamlin worked with Detective Strasser on her case for more than 10 years.
“The kids know and trust the investigator,” she said. “It has been huge in terms of having the confidence and experience to give us the confidence and strength to go through the whole process.”
The sheriff deputies association has filed a grievance they say has been rejected by the sheriff. The sheriff did not return CBS13′s calls for comment.