Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mendocino County Grand jury calls for hiring of deputies, K-9 program on coast

Ukiah Daily Journal Staff
Updated: 06/17/2010 12:00:41 AM PDT

The hire of two sheriff deputies on the coast and re-establishment of the K-9 program in Fort Bragg are among the Mendocino County grand jury's recommendations for the sheriff's Fort Bragg substation and holding cells.

The GJ report, "Bring Back the Dog!: A Report on the Mendocino County Sheriff's Fort Bragg Substation," was published June 9.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office shares the county-owned building with the Fort Bragg Police Department, according to the report, and the substation includes an evidence room, holding cells and perimeter security fencing.

The report included a recommendation that "the Mendocino County Sheriff replace the K-9 unit," but doesn't say when the program was discontinued, why it was discontinued or how much it would cost to reinstate it.

The dog would sniff out drugs, find suspects who may be armed and protect officers, according to the report.

The GJ also recommends filling two empty deputy jobs, one in Fort Bragg and one on the South Coast.

"A South Coast resident deputy position is critical to this remote area in order to shorten response time, which may be one to two hours," the report states.

The report doesn't say how long the two jobs have been vacant, why or what it would cost to fill them.

The staff at the substation includes a lieutenant, three sergeants, nine deputies, an animal control officer, a detective and an evidence technician/office assistant, whose weekly hours were reduced to 32.

The report also recommends recruiting and training a student to help with office duties.

Evidence that isn't needed after cases are resolved accumulates because the District Attorney's Office doesn't notify the evidence room when court cases are resolved, according to the report. The GJ recommends that the sheriff "encourage" the district attorney to adopt and use the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office Disposition-Evidence Release Memo.

The GJ also found there is no security camera monitoring the south entrance of the building and the fenced parking area, and recommended the county General Services Department install one.

No comments: