Candidates face off at Contra Costa County Public Safety Forum

Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston met challenge Benjamin Therriault face-to-face at a forum of public safety candidates. The event took place at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.

They talked about many topics, including the high-profile police shooting involving former Danville deputy Andrew Hall. Hall was sentenced to six years in prison for shooting into a slow-moving car and killing 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda.

Livingston defended Hall and called the accusations political.

“The officer felt his life was in danger,” Livingston said. “That’s why he fired the shots he fired. We did a thorough investigation and found he was following policy. Two and a half years later, District Attorney Becton decides to charge this officer .”

Therriault said the deputy minister should never have held the position and blamed the ministry’s leadership. He said: ‘It’s the policies that come from the top and transcend the bottom to the MPs who actually have to do the job.’

Livingston is up for re-election and has served as sheriff since 2010. Therriault is a Richmond police officer and leads the Richmond Police Officers Association.

“If you haven’t been in the field as a law enforcement officer in the past five years, you have no idea what it’s like out there,” Therriault said.

SEE ALSO: Contra Costa County DA, FBI investigating Antioch, Pittsburgh police for ‘wide range of offences’

Statewide primary elections are held in June.