EDITORIAL: Parading, not patrolling

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(Photo courtesy of @usbpchiefelc on Twitter | Illustration by Stephen Day)

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco toured the southern border prior to the termination of Title 42 on May 11 and said that the situation is much worse than he imagined. Unfortunately, it’s still unclear what purpose the trip served aside from having his photo taken on a horse. 

FOX 11 interviewed Bianco after the visit and jokingly asked if he “rode away” with greater concerns. He repeatedly responded by saying that the situation is a lot worse, but only cited a lack of resources for the approximately 500 people they encountered that day. 

Rather than making a joke to find out what resulted from the Sheriff’s tour, it would have served a greater purpose to inform the public of the actual border situation.

FOX 11 and Bianco are guilty of using their platform to glamorize police work instead of seeking to relay information that matters.

It was left unanswered how this affects Riverside County, which should have been the reason for the visit considering his constituency.

As aspiring journalists, it is alarming to witness such shallow reporting on a deep issue.

He was pictured parading around an area where many immigrant children and their families lay in the dirt. 

We didn’t need to see photos from the United States Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino’s Twitter account of photos of him and Bianco on horses at the El Centro Sector of the southern border. 

It’s a shame to see authorities glamorizing immigration — a legitimate crisis — to their benefit. 

Not only is it a shame but it’s misrepresentative of what the United States actually stands for and strays away from the truth. 

The issue at hand is that there is a sudden surge of migrants at the border and our sheriff used it as an opportunity to play cowboy. 

There was no actual regard for the children just feet away, standing around barefoot on the same soil he toured. Families that were stripped away from each other and forced to sit in the detention centers, wrapped in foil blankets after being detained aren’t his concern.

There was more concern on Bianco’s behalf for the agents at the border rather than the immigrants seeking asylum. 

The border patrol agents are “very frustrated and they are very short staffed,” according to Bianco. Why was it a priority for the Riverside County Sheriff to be guided around by the frustrated, short-staffed sector? He clearly wasn’t there to help. 

We can only assume there are things of greater priority that need attention locally.

Issues that require his attention — lawsuits about wrongful deaths in county jails, fentanyl, disappearing meth —  are left on the back burner. 

The U.S.-Mexico border is the Border Patrol’s jurisdiction, not Riverside County’s. Wrongful death lawsuits filed in March against Bianco and the county prove that there is a need for improved policing in our county.

Bianco said he had been trying to arrange the tour for over a year. How does that benefit Riverside, the migrants attempting to cross or the short-staffed border patrol?

If this was in an attempt to put a spotlight on what is ensuing at the border, then it should have been just that. 

The Viewpoints editorial staff can only anticipate electing a sheriff in the future who will demonstrate consideration for matters that may impact our county. 

Bianco cares too much about his image and that of his colleagues.

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One thought on “EDITORIAL: Parading, not patrolling

  1. These are his photo ops now, to be used later when and if he decides to run for higher office.

    The RSO has one of the largest operating budgets nationwide (4th). Bianco has used those resources to make himself a grand wizard in law enforcement.

    His priority at the border is to quell the nervous rich white ppl of Murieta and Temecula. They turn to him because of his Oath Keeper days.

    We need immigrants.

    We don’t need yippee kai yay.

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