By Michael G. Stogner
Once again the City of Half Moon Bay Council Members are leading San Mateo County Elected Officials & Staff.
The proposed ordinance, which was co-written by councilmembers Harvey Rarback and Joaquin Jimenez with the help of resident David Eblovi, states that a law enforcement officer could not stop a car for failing to signal a turn, having expired license tags, or having a defective tail light. In terms of restraining suspects, the ordinance would ban the use of Tasers, chokeholds and prohibit officers from placing people in a prone position while handcuffed. It would require them to be moved on their side immediately if necessary.
The ordinance would also mandate that when dealing with someone who is a threat to themselves or others, officers must wait for backup from another officer or a mental health professional before initiating contact. In addition, officers would also be required to retreat and take cover before firing at an individual. Jimenez noted that public input on this ordinance should be encouraged and that dialogue with law enforcement would be key to making substantial changes happen.
I asked Mark Melville Candidate for Sheriff 2022 for his opinion, here it is.
First and foremost, Mr. Jiminez is correct in that the public and Council need to meet and discuss what is in the best interest of all city residents, inclusive of public safety services. I read the proposed ordinance and find it appropriate. There is nothing in the ordinance that prevents the Sheriff’s Office from doing their job. The Council is looking for the betterment of how people are treated once they are in contact with law enforcement, nothing wrong with that. I’m not sure where the Sheriff is coming from when he says the ordinance wouldn’t improve public safety..? I think the ordinance is actually in favor of policing, in the way the City wants to see it done. In addition, I believe specific deputies should be assigned to the City for a long period of time. This would allow them to become part of the community and they would clearly understand the community’s expectations. In doing this, it would eliminate the Sheriff’s concern of having deputies working in different jurisdictions operating under different operating procedures.
The Sheriff’s statement, “It’s my understanding their ordinance will have no legal basis on our services, nor on the contract, it’s basically unenforceable,” which in my opinion is very condescending. The Sheriff is saying we are going to provide the service to the City the way we see fit, and there is nothing you can do about it, oh until the contract ends in 2022. In my opinion, the Sheriff should be at the forefront of drafting said ordinance with the city Council, because it’s for the betterment of the community..!! I’m wishing the City success in achieving the services they desire for their community.
Every City and Town that receives it’s Law Enforcement Services from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office should be on this ZOOM Meeting Tonight.