SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith and her office are defending assigning a deputy to protect the president of the Board of Supervisors, even after canceling that deputy’s planned three-day training course in Las Vegas.

While Deputy Alex Flores won’t be going to Las Vegas, he will be spending the rest of the year protecting current Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President George Shirakawa.

“I actually think that whoever is president should have security detail,” said Smith. “We’ve had a lot in incidents, no one in particular, that would put us to the board president now. But I’ve been a strong advocate for having a security detail attached to the board president.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Supervisor Shirakawa said protection wasn’t something he asked for.

“I don’t feel I need personal security but it’s part of the pilot project to develop the program,” he said. “It’s a preventative program. You don’t want to react after something happens.”

The Las Vegas trip was a point of contention as it would have been funded by taxpayers.

Board of supervisors presidents in San Francisco and Alameda counties don’t have police protection.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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