Press release from the Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury:

The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury has released the first report of their 2023-2024 term, entitled: “Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office: Is a Lack of Oversight Due to a Lack of Foresight?” (PDF link here.)

Oversight is constructive, not punitive. Oversight strengthens the professionalism of law enforcement. By creating a secondary public review of alleged misconduct or the handling of critical incidents, the people of Humboldt County can gain a clearer view of important events that affect all of us.

Civilian oversight of elected offices such as the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office promotes good management, fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability without interfering with the Sheriff’s Office’s enforcement and investigative functions.

The turn of this century brought renewed attention to law enforcement. Community groups have advocated for police accountability, and incidents captured on video have widely circulated on social media, leading local governments to seek reforms in law enforcement. The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing has recommended that local jurisdictions establish civilian oversight for law enforcement. A civilian oversight board enhances transparency and accountability and gives the community a voice.

The Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury recommends that the Board of Supervisors establish a civilian oversight board to review, report on, and make recommendations in support of law enforcement, and an office of inspector general to provide an independent professional assessment of critical incidents and advice regarding law enforcement policies and practices.

If you want to serve your community in a unique way that could improve local government this is your opportunity. Applications to serve on the Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury can be found at this link. Additional information provided by the Civil Grand Jurors Association of California can be found at this link.