Moving Forward Under Riverside County Sheriff’s Watch – Press Enterprise

They may not agree on the specifics, but Riverside County and the county’s Democratic Party both see some sort of oversight of the Sheriff’s Department’s policing practices in the maps. The question is above authority.

Many people from all political backgrounds, including Democrats, have called for police reforms since the death of George Floyd on May 25.

The blanket accusation that law enforcement is systematically racist has also sparked conversations about racial animosity in many other areas of public interest, such as health care, education and employment.

As for Riverside County, Democrats and a supervisor have called for a police review board. Sheriff Chad Bianco called it unnecessary and pointed to his relative autonomy as an elected sheriff, but said he would agree to a community review board made up of citizens (not counting politicians or lawyers) from all over the world. county.

Local Democrats assailed Bianco’s response on one side of the spectrum, and the Riverside County Deputies’ Union expressed dissatisfaction with oversight, a stance frequently taken by officer organizations, on the other. .

“There is no need to suggest or invent issues that do not exist in the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department,” Riverside Sheriff’s Association President Bill Young said in a statement. framing the issue that conveniently reduces the value of community watch on an organization that exists to serve the public.

Luckily, the supervisors are on board with Bianco in a review board, so some sort of oversight seems to be in sight. It remains to be seen whether such a panel is sufficient to meet the demand for openness, or whether it is only a paper tiger.

The issue of training and practices has come under scrutiny. An in-depth review, subject to public scrutiny, will shed light on how the police and the public interact. Democrats want the overhaul done their way, the county its way, the union on its terms. But somehow it has to be done.

The ultimate authority is the voters, not a political party or a union. Voters can decide whether decisions about police training and conduct are made responsibly. Vote out the sheriff if you don’t like how things are going.

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