By Galen Patterson
On a bright, Monday afternoon, Arcadia Weekly sat down in a dark, cool Matt Denny’s booth with 49th District of the State Assembly Candidate Burton Brink to talk about his campaign and upcoming election.
Arcadia Weekly (AW): You have a background in law enforcement, when did you decide you wanted to go into that?
Burton Brink (BB): Yes, I do, back in 1967 when “Adam 12” came out. “Adam 12” is a police show with Reed and Malloy with the LAPD. Even though I was a sheriff, I saw that and said “I want to be a cop.” So when I was 14-years-old I became a police explorer here in the City of Arcadia … I accepted a position with the Sheriff’s Department and got hired in 1989 … I worked patrol in 1991 and that was at the Temple Station, which of course is in Temple City, and that covers a majority of the 49th District.
AW: Interesting, so you’ve been in and around the 49th District for a while.
BB: Pretty much my whole career. I did 18 years at the Sheriff’s Department, got promoted to sergeant, went to custody for a couple years, up in Wayside, and then I was transferred over to Crescenta Valley Station … Worked at Altadena for a couple months and then was transferred to Headquarters Bureau down at the Hall of Justice, to work directly for the sheriff.
AW: What do you see as your main motivation?
BB: I loved my entire career. I loved everything I did … I enjoyed the satisfaction of taking a bad guy to jail, I enjoyed the satisfaction of saving a child’s life, delivering babies out in the field, and I enjoyed the satisfaction of being able to protect somebody. That is what I saw as law enforcement. It’s the public service to help the community and that is what I was taught young in my life.
AW: What does public service mean to you?
BB: Helping people … You just can’t sit at home and watch TV, and live in society without giving back to society. So you must be able to do something. I go to community events, I volunteer, I’m a commissioner here in Arcadia. Those are things you do when you want to help. I don’t get paid for that stuff, but I do it because I want to be involved in my community and make it better … Everybody should do that.
AW: Who do you represent? Any specific groups and people that are more in-line with your way of thinking?
BB: The people … I’m running for a district that covers 10 cities. I’m not just doing something for those 10 cities. My actions, when I’m in State Assembly, affect the entire state of California. It’s not just what color you are, what race you are. It’s what is in the best interest of the community as a whole that I care about. That is what my focus is.
AW: How do you feel your experience in law enforcement has prepared you for this office?
BB: In everything that I’ve dealt with … I’ve worked in Arcadia, I’ve worked in Temple City, I’ve worked in San Gabriel, Monterey Park, El Monte, and I’ve bordered my other cities, Montebello, San Marino, Alhambra. Working with all the different demographics, whether its race or wealth. It doesn’t matter what their affluence is, it’s: what are we going to do to help them? That is what my career has always been; what is it I can do to help them. I would drive down the street and ask people what their problems are, and I would encourage my deputies, when I was a sergeant, to do the same thing.
AW: What are some of the things you would like to accomplish if you are elected?
BB: I would like to accomplish getting rid of [Propositions] 47 and 57, get back to having some teeth in our laws, I’d like to see people held responsible for their actions, I’d like to stop the unnecessary taxing of our citizens and our poor and our working people in the state of California … I’m all about the working man, I’ve worked my entire life.