Lt. David Webb Jr. has announced he intends to challenge Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza in the June 2022 Democratic primary.
Webb, who comes from a long line of law enforcement officers, said he hopes to improve standards of training in the sheriff’s office and increase community engagement.
Webb began his career in law enforcement at the age of 19 as a Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputy.
He later transferred to the Santa Fe Police Department at age 22. He worked through the ranks to lieutenant, according to a news release on his candidacy.
Webb also has headed units such as the Special Victims Unit and the Support Operations section, and severed as a lieutenant in the Criminal Investigations section.
Webb was the recipient of the Santa Fe Rotary Club’s Public Safety Award in July 2019 for his work in the city police department’s Special Victims Unit.
“I’ve seen how the dynamics of law enforcement had changed over the years,” Webb said in an interview Tuesday. “I see how law enforcement has become more reactive rather than engaging with the community.”
He said he supports a “community policing philosophy” and hopes to push the community engagement efforts of the sheriff’s office further to solve problems and work toward creating a safer place to live, work and visit.
”I truly believe that with the community and law enforcement agencies working together, we can strive to make Santa Fe a better place,” he said.
He also aims to reconnect with local and neighboring law enforcement agencies when it comes to sharing information and collaborating on solving crime, he said in his news release.
He also plans to “significantly raise the bar” for law enforcement training, with a heavier focus on how to handle crises involving people affected by mental health disorders and implementation of real-life training scenarios for deputies.
These trainings would be coupled with “best practice policies,” such as providing deputies with less lethal options and mental health support, the news release said.
”I’m confident in my knowledge and skills in that aspect to push the sheriff’s office further and create best practice policies that are not only good for the community but good for the deputies,” Webb said.
Webb is so far the only contender against Mendoza, who announced his bid for reelection earlier this month.