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Oversight balances power with responsibility.

Oversight helps public safety by balancing the enormous power of the Sheriff’s Office with accountability to the community. Fixin’ San Mateo County is a local grassroots organization working to enact effective, independent civilian oversight of the County Sheriff’s Office. Join us in supporting safety for everyone.

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Ready to get more involved? Email us at info@fixinsmc.org and let us know you want to take an active role in ensuring fair law enforcement for all members of the community.

Everyone is invited for Summer in the Park with Fixin’

Celebrate Juneteenth with us as we honor Maurice Goodman, Acting President of the NAACP San Mateo Branch and Vice Mayor of Millbrae, for his tireless work in the community. We’ll have food, friends, and fun to share.

Saturday June 22
2:00-4:00pm

Central Park picnic area #2
San Mateo, CA

On the Civilian Advisory Commission

On December 12 2023, the Board of Supervisors approved this resolution creating a Civilian Advisory Commission on the Sheriff’s Office, but no permanent Inspector General. Learn about the Commission here.

The Board took a historic first step towards oversight with the creation of this commission. We want the new Commission to be successful and will continue to work with the Board of Supervisors, the Sheriff’s Office, and the community to make it as effective as possible.

Being effective will require that the Commission be given specific powers and authority. We will advocate for whatever helps it succeed in bringing transparency and accountability to our Sheriff’s Office.

Goals and Metrics

In the spirit of ensuring an effective independent advisory commission on the Sheriff’s Office, one with a clear plan and milestones to measure progress, Fixin’ has developed recommended goals and metrics as a starting point for the launch of the Commission.

Ways to Help

Sign up and be part of real change in San Mateo County

A small monthly donation will help keep our work going

Spread the word when you wear or carry Fixin’ SMC gear

When you buy something at our shop, approximately 17% of your purchase price goes to Fixin’ SMC to support our work. The rest goes to fulfillment service RedBubble.

News

Developments about San Mateo County’s progress toward independent oversight, and other oversight-related news.

County sheriffs wield lethal power, face little accountability: “A failure of democracy”

County sheriff’s officers are three times more lethal than city police, a CBS News investigation has found… For every 100,000 people arrested, more than 27 people died in the custody of sheriffs, while that number was fewer than 10 for police officers in 2022, the most recent year of available data. 

Read the full story at CBS News

Sheriff Oversight Committee debuts in San Mateo County, falls short of activists’ expectations

The County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the formation of a civilian advisory commission last week… Fixin’ San Mateo County’s executive director said the resolution lacks two critical factors: a full-time inspector general and the ability to ask questions and obtain answers.

Read the full story at the RWC Pulse

ACLU Demands Accountability from California Sheriffs

Sheriffs in California wield enormous power. They’re in charge of law enforcement in counties and in unincorporated areas. They run the jails
and oversee emergency services. The magnitude of the sheriff’s role and power creates conditions that can lead to a lack of accountability, endangering public safety and civil liberties.

Read the full story at the ACLU NorCal website

What are people saying about oversight?

“The people of San Mateo County deserve the best law enforcement. The efforts of Fixin’ San Mateo County to establish a Civilian Oversight Commission and Inspector General with subpoena power for the Sheriff’s Office will ensure transparency and accountability for citizens. I support the initiative and look forward to its implementation.”

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo

“As a retired police officer, I support oversight of the Sheriff’s Office. It can improve the relationship between the community and agency, and address public concern about high profile incidents and discipline matters. Oversight will increase understanding of law enforcement policies and procedures, and identify areas of concern and offer options to improve policing.”

C.R., Redwood City

In Depth

Data and details about civilian oversight and about Fixin’ SMC.

2023 Year End Report

Our 2023 Year End Report is now available!

White Paper

Our report to the Board of Supervisors on oversight requirements and local comparisons.

Data-Driven Outcomes from Law Enforcement Oversight

Case studies of successful oversight outcomes.

Explore more topics

What else are people saying about oversight?

“My family knows law enforcement. In my immediate family we have a former Menlo Park PD lieutenant, a retired Redding Sheriff, a CHP officer and a police officer in South Carolina. So I know the importance of transparency and accountability between law enforcement and the community. And I believe that civilian oversight of the Sheriff’s Office will support a positive relationship between law enforcement and the community it serves.”

B.K., North Fair Oaks

“I actually think, in public life, we often miss one of the most important functions that we can engage in, and that is oversight. What you’re doing is just fundamentally good, grassroots political action. I applaud you and wish you great success as you move forward.”

Congresswoman Jackie Speier