Wednesday, July 11, 2012

San Mateo County sheriff responds to grand jury report on emergency operations

By Aaron Kinney
Posted: 07/10/2012 05:37:58 PM PDT

Although the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office agrees with some recommendations in a recent grand jury report that was critical of the Office of Emergency Services, it will not find a new home for the county Emergency Operations Center within six months.

In April, the county grand jury found that the Office of Emergency Services, overseen by Sheriff Greg Munks, did not meet deadlines to follow through on improvements identified in a state-mandated self-evaluation in the wake of the deadly 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno. The county Board of Supervisors approved the sheriff's response Tuesday.

The grand jury report faulted the Office of Emergency Services for failing to complete seven improvements included in the self-assessment having to do with training and readiness. It also criticized the site of the county's Emergency Operations Center, which is located in the Jury Assembly Room of the Hall of Justice in Redwood City.

The Office of Emergency Services is not obligated to pursue the grand jury's recommendations but has done so in several cases, including the purchase of status white boards for the Emergency Operations Center and training for certain employees. It will not pursue other recommendations, including setting up a new home for the Emergency Operations Center within 180 days.

"While I agree with the need for a new EOC, the 180 day timeline to establish a new fully equipped EOC is not feasible," Munks wrote in the response. "The county manager and I are seeking alternate sites."

The county is considering a former office building at One Circle Star Way in San Carlos as a possible site for the center.

Contact Aaron Kinney at 650-348-4357. Follow him at

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