For Immediate Release
County Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach releases annual report
SANTA ROSA, CA | September 26, 2023
The Sonoma County Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach this year audited 27 cases involving complaints against the Sheriff’s Office, according to IOLERO’s annual report that was released today and reviewed by the Board of Supervisors. Those cases included two officer-involved shootings, two in-custody deaths, and three cases involving canine use of force.
Of the 27 Sheriff’s Office investigations that IOLERO audited, the agency disagreed with the findings in seven and deemed six to be incomplete. Notably, IOLERO found all three of the instances of Sheriff canine units biting people to be out of policy, and has recommended the Sheriff’s Office revisit the use of canines.
In addition, IOLERO this year received 53 complaints from the public, which were forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office for future investigation.
The IOLERO annual report is the first since the full implementation of Measure P, a 2020 voter-approved initiative that strengthened the agency’s oversight authority, including the power to conduct independent investigations in specific cases.
“This past year, IOLERO worked hard to move forward on the voters’ vision in Measure P. We hired new staff, kept up with the flow of audits, identified patterns in those audits that allowed us to flag policy issues for the Sheriff’s
Office, and reached out to the public,” said John Alden, director of IOLERO. “Next year, we hope to do even more. Now that we are fully staffed, we have turned our attention to other Measure P-mandated programs to launch: a whistleblower reporting system, audits of civil cases, and our first independent investigation, among other things.”
IOLERO is planning to host a webinar to present details of the annual report to the public. The webinar will be Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. Read the full IOLERO Annual Report here.