Were the dumping of dead bodies, on Skyline Boulevard, foreseeable or something of that order inevitable? Did sheriff’s executives fail the community?
The geographic area of Skyline Boulevard, in unincorporated San Mateo County, was formerly assigned patrol deputies to provide line-level law enforcement services for each of the sheriff’s office’s shifts. It was known as the “90 Beat.” The position, that of a deputy sheriff providing patrol services, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, was fully funded for by the County Board of Supervisors and staffed by the sheriff.
Under then Sheriff Don Horsely & Undersheriff Greg Munks, staffing for this position was changed, with the deputies being removed (reassigned) and the funding being used to, first, pay for deputies assigned to East Palo Alto and, later, other pet projects of the sheriff. This practice was continued, first, by Munks who took Horsely’s position as sheriff, in 2007, and then Carlos Bolanos who was Illegally Appointed Sheriff July 12, 2016 by the Board of Supervisors and became elected Sheriff in June 2018 sworn in Janruary 2019.
In short, Horsley, Munks, and now Bolanos, respectively, made decisions to leave county residents who live at and about Skyline Boulevard unprotected, without a dedicated patrol officer, because they were deemed to have less of a need, even though the County Board of Supervisors fully fund the position and, I dare say, have the expectation that this was and is being done.
Could the two recent homicides, on Skyline Boulevard, be, in part, the result of no dedicated deputy sheriffs patrolling that area, providing an incentive for those that would engage in crime there? And, in that regard, couldn’t the resulting crimes have been foreseeable, inevitable, since there was no dedicated deterrent?
Did Horsely, Munks, or Bolanos ever inform area residents of their decision to divert resources? Did these residents not have an expectation their neighborhood was being staffed and protected by sheriff’s patrols?
Had a Deputy not been responding to an unrelated call for service and driven by and noticed the first body, how long would it have been before it was discovered? Shouldn’t County residents expect more from current Sheriff Carlos Bolanos? Has he shown the vision, decision making, results, and stewardship residents should expect from the chief executive officer of a $140,000,000 enterprise / budget? Certainly, this should be a question best put to the residents of the 90 Beat?
Another way to view this, isn’t such failure of leadership and results by Sheriff Bolanos foreseeable, given his past performance? Shouldn’t we both expect and be resigned to it?
By Michael G. Stogner