In the news

This page contains news article for those interested in all facets of law enforcement oversight and reform. These articles span all states and cover police departments as well as Sheriff's departments. We're providing this information for those who wish to better understand why oversight is needed, the challenges it faces, and where and how it has improved the communities that have adopted it. Articles will open in a new tab.

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 already have oversight systems, including Alameda, Marin, Monterey, San Mateo and Santa Cruz. 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 story at RWC Pulse

The case for independent sheriff oversight

By the reverends Penny Nixon, Marlyn Bussey and Tovis Page

Oversight of the Sheriff’s Office through a community board shows a commitment to lifting up the leadership of those most affected by systemic racism and building unity across divisions. Creating oversight is an opportunity to dismantle unjust criminalization systems that target people of color and exploit poor communities to transform those systems into ones that value all humanity. Empowering people to participate in and engage with local systems and structures in our community can lead to meaningful and long-lasting change.

Read the full story at San Mateo Daily Journal

Watching the Watchmen

Too many Americans today live in fear that they may suffer abuse or excessive force at the hands of police officers who are sworn to protect them.

To keep Americans safer, the federal government and state and local governments need to match continued investments in policing with reforms that make law enforcement agencies as a whole — as well as individual officers — more accountable to the communities that they serve.

Cities need to establish clear and consistent procedures for the independent review of the use of force by law enforcement officers.

Read the full story at The New York Times Editorial Board

New police stops data shows stark racial disparities in these wealthy Bay Area enclaves

The data, released this week by the state attorney general, reveals that Black drivers and pedestrians are far more likely to be stopped and searched than white people in nearly every part of the state, despite being less likely to be found carrying contraband, such as illegal guns or drugs, when stopped.

Some of the Bay Area’s wealthiest mid-size communities had the starkest racial disparities. In Los Altos and Belmont, two Silicon Valley suburbs, Black people were nine and 10 times as likely to be stopped by police, respectively, than white residents in 2021, relative to their share of the population.

Read the full story at San Francisco Chronicle