The Deputy Sheriff's Association of Monterey County was officially established in 1970. Its purpose was to represent the sworn personnel of the Sheriff's department during labor contract negotiations and grievance procedures. lt was and is, in theory, and in fact, a labor union.
Up until 1970, the Deputies, Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captains had been represented by the County-wide employees association. lt was believed that the job of peace officer was a specialized position and was not getting proper representation during contract negotiations with the county government. A group of deputies decided to form their own organization and appealed to the Board of Supervisors to be recognized as the sole bargaining agent for the Monterey County Sheriff's Deputies. After some debate and a certification vote, the Deputy Sheriffs' Association was officially recognized.
The first President was Bob Schuler (who has since retired as a captain)and he was accompanied by vice-president Chuck Foster (who has since retired as Chief Deputy) when they entered their first round of negotiations with the County of Monterey. With them was the DSA's first hired negotiator, "Nat" Agliano. Mr. Agliano at that time was practicing law with Mike Panelli, and of course, now sits on the Appellate Court. He also achieved some bit of fame and notoriety as the Judge who ruled in the Raiders vs. City of Oakland case. The most notable result of that first negotiation was the awarding of the CHP retirement plan to all sworn personnel of the Sheriff's Department.
The primary function of the DSA has always been to negotiate for wages and working conditions and to represent the employee in disputes with management. However, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the association became more involved in politics, especially under the leadership of then-President, J.T. James. He was able to get the District Attorney's Investigators and Supervising Investigators to join the DSA for representation. A Political Action Committee was formed and local candidates for such positions as Board of Supervisor and Judgeships were supported. A Legal Defense Fund was also established during this time to provide for the legal defense of members. The Association is also a member of the Police Research Association of California (PORAC) and the National Association of Police Officers (NAPO).