Everyone needs people in their life they can trust.

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As sheriff, I need law enforcement partners I can trust. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is one of the people I trust the most.

I’ve known Dumanis for more than a decade. I experienced her leadership firsthand when she appointed me to be the chief of her investigative unit. We’ve worked closely and effectively together to hold violent criminals accountable for their crimes, protect our kids from sexual predators and keep our neighborhoods safe.

Dumanis is a tough-as-nails prosecutor whose office has maintained a 94 percent conviction rate. She’s also launched innovative crime prevention programs like Drug Court and is a statewide leader through her work to stop the revolving door to prison.

How is she different from the candidates seeking to replace her? She’s the only one in this race who worked her way up in the office she now leads. Dumanis started as a clerk typist at a time when there were almost no women prosecutors. She went to law school at night, worked hard, and became an investigative assistant, a deputy district attorney, a municipal court judge, a Superior Court judge and eventually San Diego’s first female district attorney.

Dumanis made a conscious choice to follow this path. She’s dedicated her entire career to public service because she has a passion for it. In February 2010, that passion and the trust I have in her helped us solve and prosecute one of the most chilling cases of our careers.

When Chelsea King was found buried in a shallow grave near Lake Hodges, the Sheriff’s Department took the lead on investigating the crime. We worked seamlessly with the district attorney’s office to hold a killer accountable in record time.

In my more than four decades in law enforcement, I have never seen the level of professionalism, skill and compassion that Dumanis displayed in sending the man who murdered King and Amber Dubois to prison for the rest of his life.

She then helped write and pass Chelsea’s Law and Jessica’s Law to tighten restrictions on child molesters and sexually violent predators to keep them away from our children.

Dumanis is a champion for victims’ rights. To this day, she keeps photos of victims on her desk to remind her that the pursuit of justice and the work we do in law enforcement has an unforgettable human face.

There’s something very right going on in the district attorney’s office when Dumanis’ own prosecutors want to keep their boss, endorsing her for another term.

Several law enforcement agencies did the same, with good reason.

Under Dumanis’ watch, communication between San Diego County’s many law enforcement agencies is the best it’s ever been. As sheriff, I can’t stress enough how important that is for maintaining public safety.

Our county is facing a huge threat with new laws that send inmates to our local jails instead of prison. Now more than ever, we need a steady, trustworthy hand at the helm.

Trust has to be earned. After working closely with her for more than a decade and seeing for myself her dedication for keeping us one of the safest urban counties in the nation, I trust Dumanis.

Bill Gore is San Diego County sheriff. Gore’s commentary has been edited for style and clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here.

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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