Policing the Police: Legislation Seeks Increased Oversight of County Sheriffs

County leaders across the state want more oversight and accountability from their sheriffs. A new bill seeks to provide just that.

Assembly Bill 1185 was authored by Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) after the 2017 fatal officer shooting of Mikel McIntyre. It would make clear that county supervisors have a central role to play in supervising the actions of elected sheriffs and empower them to create oversight boards with subpoena power.

Cory Salzillo, Legislative Director of the California State Sheriffs Assn., called the bill unnecessary and said it would likely increase tensions between law enforcement and county leaders. The bill's supporters counter that the need for accountability is too critical to ignore.

McCarty’s bill was prompted in part by actions that followed the 2017 shooting of McIntyre. As County News reported, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones physically barred the county's inspector general from sheriff-run facilities and attempted to reduce his oversight powers after he concluded the use of force had been excessive. Despite cries to stop him, County Counsel Robyn Truitt Drivon advised supervisors that Jones has the power to limit IG oversight if he chooses.

In Los Angeles County, similar concerns about a lack of oversight and accountability abound. An inspector general's report released April 12 accuses the LASD of de-activating internal investigations into department personnel without just cause and in violation of department policy.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times



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