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Sheriff hopeful Jackson a product of Ceres High
Rob Jackson, who is taking on Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson in the June primary, is no stranger to Ceres.

Now a Turlock Police captain, Jackson was born and raised in Ceres and is a 1985 graduate of Ceres High School. Jackson got his start in law enforcement while attending Ceres High School when he volunteered as a student aid for Ceres Police Department when he was 15. He then became one of Ceres' first explorer scouts.

Jackson, 41, has over 26 years of local law enforcement experience, 20 of which has been spent in the Sheriff's Department. He feels changes need to be made to the department.

"I think we can make a difference and do a better job than what's going on right now as far as the leadership of the organization," said Jackson.

Because his wife works in the department, "I kind of know what's going on and I know the internal struggles that are happening right now."

He said he wants to do some of the things he's seen in the Turlock Police Department under Chief Gary Hampton, including "mapping out the future and really provide some vision, some leadership that they're hungry for right now that they're not getting."

Jackson said the department is "really fragmented" now with "lots of people going in different directions."

"There's a lot of turmoil, a lot of mistrust," said Jackson of the department. "It's just very fragmented as far as labor associations fighting against one another."

He also accused Sheriff Christianson of contributing to low morale and lack of communication.

"It's just not a good environment for the employees, which in turn provides, I think, not as good of service to the service that we could be."

The organization needs to be its best to tackle the mounting problem of gang crime in Stanislaus County, Jackson asserts.

"According to the preliminary 2009 crime statistics covering January through June, violent crimes in Stanislaus County in the Sheriff's jurisdiction edged up, and statistics for the later part of the year will be even more telling with the significant increase in gang activity and homicides."

He sees the current budget problems as a challenge.

"I look at it as a challenge. One of the things that I see government doing now is... working on the efficiencies and the bottom line," said Jackson. "I am looking at it as a challenge as far as how can we provide the same service - or even a little bit better - with the limited resources we have. But in order to do that we have to work together with the community and the organization internally to figure out what it is that we need to serve the public with."

After graduating from the Modesto Junior College Police Academy, Jackson became a sheriff's deputy under Jim Trevena, working in the canine unit, investigations and the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency (SDEA). Jackson has served as a Field Training Officer (FTO), and was one of the department's defensive tactics instructors and spent several years as a firearms instructor. He also participated in the Sheriff's dive team for over 17 years.

In 2004 Jackson was promoted to sergeant, and appointed lieutenant in 2005, overseeing the patrol division and the Information Technologies Division as a watch commander. He was later assigned as the administrative lieutenant, overseeing Human Resources, backgrounds, the reserve program, and the Internal Affairs division.

In 2006, Jackson was named Waterford's police chief where he was also responsible for the Sheriff's services for eastern Stanislaus County. Jackson was instrumental in establishing the Special Vehicle Operations Unit (SVOU) for marine and off-road environments including the county's waterways and off-road parks.

In late 2007 Jackson was hired by Turlock Police Chief Gary Hampton as a captain after nearly 20 years with the Sheriff's Department. Today he is responsible for the Special Operations Division, including Professional Standards, Investigations, Neighborhood Services, and Animal Services.

"The time I have spent working in various roles in local law enforcement has helped solidify my belief in serving the public," said Jackson. "Through my experience and core values, I hope to bring a working environment of success, pride and integrity to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department."

Jackson has lived in Oakdale for 18 years. His wife, Melinda, has worked as a Deputy Sheriff in Stanislaus County since 1999. They have two sons.

Among those who have endorsed Jackson include the Stanislaus County Sworn Deputies Association, Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3, Ceres City Councilman Bret Durossette, Waterford Mayor Charles Goeken who is a Manteca police official, and retired Assistant Sheriff Myron Larson.