The Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach was established by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on September 15, 2015. IOLERO was borne out of the tragic shooting death of a 13 year old boy by a Sheriff’s Deputy in Sonoma County, in 2013.
This tragic event led to public unrest and ruptured relations between some parts of the community and law enforcement. Sonoma County government responded to this difficult situation by establishing an extremely robust community engagement process to study options for healing community rifts, and build greater resiliency for the future. One proposal that came out of that process was establishing a new County office charged with independent, civilian review of law enforcement.
With the support of the elected Sheriff, IOLERO was created to conduct independent reviews of investigations alleging law enforcement misconduct, including excessive use of force, and to engage the community in the review and possible recommendation of policy changes to the Sheriff’s Office and the Board of Supervisors.
The Office is intended to serve as one of the foundations upon which improved transparency and accountability may be built for the community. Over time, it is expected that the Office will contribute to the community’s healing through renewed trust and stronger relationships between Sonoma County law enforcement and the public they are charged to protect.
The robust community planning process that lead to IOLERO can be reviewed on the Community and Law Enforcement Task Force website.
Jerry Threet was hired as IOLERO’s first Director in March of 2016, and began work to build the new office from the ground up on April 11, 2016.