Fixin’ San Mateo County is a local grassroots organization working to enact effective, independent civilian oversight of the County Sheriff’s Office.
Our goal is to create a community where everyone can feel safe. To help get us there, we want good government, true transparency, and real accountability from our county Sheriff’s Office.
We’ve consulted with numerous other counties that have implemented oversight of the Sheriff’s Office, as well as experts from organizations like the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Based on this research, we’ve drafted a simple ordinance that we believe the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors should adopt, as well as a concise description of an effective oversight model.
How can oversight help our community, and what does it need to work? There are five essential characteristic of effective oversight:
- Independent; it must not be run or overseen by the Sheriff’s Office.
- Empowered; it must have true investigative power, including the ability to issue subpoenas.
- Supported; it must have adequate funding.
- Responsive; it must be able to take complaints and input directly from members of the public.
- Representative; it must reflect the diversity of the community.
Join us as we welcome Ekene Okobi
January 9 2024
Please sign up now for our next Zoom webinar, when we welcome Ekene Okobi as our guest speaker, January 9 at 7pm. Ekene’s brother Chinedu was killed by Sheriff’s deputies in San Mateo County, and she has become a strong advocate of civilian oversight.
Our partner spotlight will be on the NAACP San Mateo branch.
Developments about San Mateo County’s progress toward independent oversight, and other oversight-related news.
Fixin’ San Mateo County was saddened to hear of the passing of former Supervisor Don Horsley, and we extend our condolences to his family. Don spent his life in service to the people of San Mateo County, and his passing is a loss to our whole community. We will remember him for his dedication and leadership.
Sheriffs hold massive power in California counties over jails, law enforcement, emergency services, court-ordered evictions, and more. They are elected officials who must be accountable to the public that they serve.
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors took a step that many police accountability advocates have for years clamored for: civilian oversight of the sheriff’s department. The Board voted to create a seven-member Oversight Board and an Office of the Inspector General on Tuesday.
The newly formed “California Coalition for Sheriff’s Oversight” brings together counties actively working on or that already have oversight systems. A notable voice in this movement is Fixin’ San Mateo County (FxSMC), a local entity advocating for civilian oversight to introduce a balanced approach to county law enforcement.
Ways to Help
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.
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
Data and details about civilian oversight and about Fixin’ SMC.
See our 2022 year-end report for our accomplishments from last year.
Our report to the Board of Supervisors on oversight requirements and local comparisons.
Case studies of successful oversight outcomes.
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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