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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Sheriff Oversight in California

Balancing Power with Responsibility

Please join this kickoff event for the California Coalition for Sheriff Oversight, and hear from a panel of experts about the value of oversight and how it works. Featuring:

Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, author of AB 1185


Jayson Wechter

National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement Board (NACOLE) and SF Sheriff Oversight Board

Marshal Arnwine

ACLU of Northern California

John Alden

Sonoma County Director of Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO)

This event is co-hosted by:

  • ACLU Northern California
  • League of Women Voters of California
  • ALAMEDA: Sheriff Oversight Coalition of Alameda County
  • MARIN: MVFREE, SURJ MARIN, Marin Justice League Coalition
  • MONTEREY: Monterey County Coalition for Sheriff’s Office Oversight
  • SAN MATEO: Coalition for a Safer San Mateo County, Fixin’ San Mateo County
  • SONOMA: Community Law Enforcement Accountability Now (CLEAN)
  • SANTA CRUZ: Santa Cruz County Sheriff Oversight Committee

Tuesday June 4

on Zoom

logos for NACOLE, ACLU, and IOLERO

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

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

Why Every County Needs Civilian Oversight of its Local Sheriff’s Department

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. 

Read the full story at the ACLU NorCal website

California counties team up to push for sheriff’s oversight

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.

Read the full article at the RWC Pulse

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