Sheriff's Oversight Committee
Recent legislation, commonly referred to as Assembly Bill 1185 (AB 1185) and effective January 2021, authorizes the County to create a sheriff oversight board and an office of inspector general, and grants the bodies subpoena power enforceable by court action. The bill was created to provide oversight and increased accountability for sheriffs across the state.
This legislation, in conjunction with a recent leadership change at the Marin County Sheriff’s Office (Sheriff’s Office), presents a unique opportunity to receive community feedback to continuously improve the Sheriff’s Office operations.
The County of Marin and the Board of Supervisors will establish an independent community oversight structure for the Sheriff’s Office, with the goal of cultivating trust, transparency and accountability. A community engagement process will take place through April 2023 to gather community input on a meaningful framework and structure for this independent body, which will be known as the AB 1185 Sheriff’s Oversight Committee.
Civilian Oversight Implementation Progress
The Board of Supervisors received an informational Presentation on the Working Group's recommendations regarding Civilian Oversight on June 13, 2023 at 1:30. The Board agreed to move forward with Option One from the Working Group’s recommendation with minor staff adjustments. The proposal that is moving forward is consistent with the Staff Report and includes creating both a Civilian Oversight Commission and an Office of the Inspector General. To support these efforts, the County will hire an Inspector General, a Community Engagement Coordinator and Administrative support.
See the video of the meeting (June 13,2023).
An ordinance to officially establish the Civilian Oversight Commission and the Office of the Inspector General is currently under development The public will have an opportunity to review the draft ordinance prior to Board adoption.
The Board’s decision to move forward with this proposal to develop the Civilian Oversight Commission and the Office of the Inspector General is an important step towards realizing equitable Sherriff oversight in Marin County. The Board of Supervisors and County staff are deeply appreciative of the collaboration, time and significant effort dedicated by all members of the Community Outreach Working Group and all members of the community who engaged in the various outreach efforts. A huge thank you to everyone that has been involved and we look forward to continued collaboration.
The County of Marin contracted with the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) to design and facilitate our process. If you would like to learn more about civilian oversight basics, please visit this website.
The County recently conducted a multilingual survey, encouraging community members to share ideas and priorities on what civilian oversight of law enforcement should look like in Marin County. In addition, we conducted nine focus groups in January 2023 with a focus on youth, students, communities of color and communities disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system. The goal of these focus groups was to gather feedback on oversight models and priorities. Summary findings from both the survey and focus groups are included below:
The County of Marin hosted three initial community conversations to collect input on your lived experiences with law enforcement, priorities for oversight, and strategies to enhance law enforcement accountability. These meetings were conducted via videoconference. View the meeting recordings below.
- Tuesday, 11/1, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
- Thursday, 11/3, 6:00 – 8:00 pm>
- Saturday, 11/5, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Community Outreach Working Group
In September 2022, 15 individuals were selected to join the Community Outreach Working Group. They were selected based on criteria including lived or professional experience related to justice, police oversight, law, community organizing, research, finance, and other relevant areas; as well as with consideration to creating a work group that is diverse, inclusive, and representative of the community.
The Community Outreach Working Group will assist with promoting the community engagement process among constituents; conducting outreach; and providing feedback on draft products and framework options.
The Community Outreach Working Group's final recommendations for civilian oversight of the Marin County Sheriff's Office are included below.