Riverside County Supervisors cancel motion to review sheriffs’ procedures

Olivia Sandusky

Opposing public comments flooded in as the Riverside County Board of Supervisors proposed reviewing Sheriff policing and use of force.

“This is about how we can come together and sit at the table and figure things out, and how can we make improvements,” said supervisor V. Manuel Perez.

But Sheriff Chad Bianco says all 354 pages of the department’s procedures are available online, and are reviewed regularly with the community.

“Politics is killing our country, and this is an example. This overwhelmingly implies that we are doing something wrong and someone needs to fix it,” said Sheriff Chad Bianco.

Supervisor Perez denied that claim and posed his own questions.

“Where’s the listing of the individuals of the entire county of Riverside that actually engaged in that community discussion to put together those policies and procedures. We need to have a discussion, an in-depth discussion, about what it means when we talk about use of force,” said Perez.

A statement from the Riverside Sheriff’s Association’s president, released before today’s meeting, reads, “We do not believe that it is constructive to have a political body demand full-scale policy reviews when they do not have the legal authority to set or change any policy.”

The rest of the statement can be found here. 

At the Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday morning, the county’s legal advisor said the board did have the right to continue with the agenda item.

“The Sheriff’s department and the conduct of employees of that department are a legitimate concern of the supervisors, so you do have the authority to bring forward the item that you have.” said Gregory Priamos, the county counsel.

After hours of discussion, the supervisors decided to cancel the motion, leaving reviews in the hands of the sheriff and the community.

“I was elected to improve the community relationships with the sheriff’s department with the community that we served, not yours, it’s mine, and I want them to hold me accountable,” said Sheriff Bianco.

At the end of the meeting, Sheriff Bianco said he has not yet formed an advisory council of community members who could bring concerns to him about current policies, he did agree to report back to the board on July 7th with an update.

 

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