SDPOA President Jared Wilson Runs for Poway City Council
Jared Wilson has called Poway his home for the past eight years. What drew him to the San Diego County community was its family-oriented environment and its designation as “the city in the country” for its unique blend of rural and urban areas — it was the perfect place for him and his wife to set down their roots and raise their two children. Wilson has been dedicated to maintaining the city’s public safety and high quality of life in his roles as a San Diego P.D. sergeant and San Diego POA president. And now, he wants to continue to ensure Poway remains a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family as a member of the Poway City Council.
Wilson hopes to capture the District 2 council seat in the November 5 general election. He is one of a growing number of peace officers aiming to bring their public safety knowledge, effective leadership skills and diverse perspectives to positions in public office. Here, Wilson shares what motivated him to run for office and why law enforcement members are well suited for the world of politics.
Wilson started his law enforcement career as a teenage Explorer for the CHP. He served as a dispatcher for the San Bernardino and San Diego police departments before attending the San Diego Regional Police Academy in 2006. As an SDPD officer, he has spent most of his career in patrol, with assignments to Gaslamp Bike Team, Street Crimes Unit and Crime Suppression Team. He promoted to sergeant in 2015.
Wilson became an SDPOA member when he was hired in July 2006, and as he rose through the ranks, he also began taking on leadership roles within his association. He was elected to its Board of Directors in 2018, then as Executive Board secretary in 2021 and ultimately as president in January 2022, a position he continues to hold to this day. He also served as chair of the Labor Management Committee for several years before becoming president, and was recently appointed to the PORAC Board of Directors as well as becoming an area vice president for the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO).
When he became SDPOA president and began working directly with local elected officials, Wilson was increasingly drawn into politics. He was also appointed early last year by Poway Mayor Steve Vaus to the city’s Budget Review Committee. This experience influenced him to consider a political career, and when the opportunity arose to become an elected leader in his community, he threw his hat in the ring.
“I know, like police work, politics is a lot about building and maintaining relationships. When the council seat in my local district unexpectedly opened up, I decided to step up and make sure my neighborhood stays on the right track,” he shares. “Poway is an amazing town, and I look forward to ensuring it remains a great place to raise a family.”
Wilson, who began campaigning in July, says he is fortunate to have endorsements from PORAC, the San Diego County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, the Poway Firefighters Association, and numerous elected officials and public safety groups. He relies on their support to help with fundraising efforts, which has been his biggest challenge so far.
“In Poway, only individual contributions are allowed, with a $250 max donation. It allows for people who are wealthy, unlike most police officers, to self-fund their campaigns,” he explains. “I’ve been working extremely hard to raise money, which is necessary in political races. This year, I will begin walking and knocking on each door in my district of approximately 10,000 people.”
If elected to the City Council, Wilson says that his focus will be public safety. “The largest portion of the city budget is for law enforcement and fire, and should remain that way. Supporting our contract deputies and firefighters who protect our city will always be my number one priority,” he says. “Maintaining fiscal responsibility and a well-maintained infrastructure are also high priorities for me.”
Wilson’s firsthand understanding of public safety and the positive effects of investing in it for community well-being not only sets him apart from other candidates, but also underscores why peace officers make ideal elected officials.
“In the last few years, there have been disturbing changes in law enforcement. These changes have come as knee-jerk reactions from many in power who do not understand what it is like to be the victim of a crime or put their lives in danger making split-second decisions,” he explains. “Law enforcement is a noble and honorable profession, and we cannot sit back while we are attacked.
“I think police officers in general are thoughtful and decisive,” he continues. “Too often in politics, we see elected
officials scared to stand up for what is right and go where the wind blows. Officers tend to hold their ground against radical fringe activists. Additionally, police officers work with an extremely wide and diverse variety of individuals in their careers, helping us see a variety of viewpoints.”
For PORAC members wishing to enter politics to make a difference in their communities, Wilson has this advice to share: “Build relationships before you ever run. You can do this by attending political party events and volunteering for current elected officials. You also need to start small and hire a consultant. If your POA/DSA has a political action committee, get involved with that as well.”
And it also helps to have a strong support system. Wilson’s wife, Melinda, who is an SDPD narcotics detective, and his children, Logan and Lilah, are always in his corner, cheering him on. “I could not be doing this without their awesome support,” he says.