County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

Garrick Byers appointed as Interim Director for the county’s Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach

Santa Rosa,CA | January 20, 2022

County Administrator Sheryl Bratton announced that Garrick Byers will be appointed to serve as Interim Director of the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) beginning on January 25.

Byers has more than 30 years of experience in local government, including as a Deputy Public Defender in Fresno, Contra Costa and Solano counties and has been working with IOLERO performing audits since September 2021.

Byers has been an active member of the California Public Defenders Association having served as president as well as being a member of CDPA’s legislative and ethics committees. Byers has written for the California Continuing Education of the Bar and is also a regular speaker for the CDPA as well as other legal seminars.

The appointment will go to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 25 for final approval. If approved, Byers is slated to begin his new post immediately.

“Garrick comes to the position with extensive experience as a public servant working with people of varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds,” said Bratton. “His work has offered him insight into how law enforcement agencies function. We are fortunate to have such an experienced professional take on this leadership role until we’re able to recruit a director.”

The county will conduct a nationwide search for a permanent IOLERO director and will begin the search process in February.

In the meantime, IOLERO will continue working toward its mission of strengthening the relationship between the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and the community it serves through outreach and the promotion of greater transparency of law enforcement operations. It carries out its mission through the following components:

  • The Community Advisory Council makes policy recommendations, systemic reform and community partnerships with law enforcement.
  • Reviews and audits complaints, abuse of force and in-custody deaths and makes recommendations for improvement.
  • Coordinates community outreach, awareness of the department and its services.
  • Proactively works on relationship building with both the community and the Sheriff’s Office.

As interim director, Byers will lead four professionals, including office staff and attorneys, to carry out the mission of the office. He will succeed Karlene Navarro who was appointed to the county Superior Court bench in September by Gov. Gavin Newsom after serving two and a half years as director of IOLERO.

“Former Director Navarro started IOLERO on a solid growth plan, and I am honored to lead the office in this next stage of success, pending the start of a new permanent director,” said Byers. “I look forward to working with our talented staff, to continue IOLERO’s mission of bringing more transparency about local law enforcement and bringing about greater community involvement.”

Byers received his Juris Doctorate from Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C., which is currently known as the University of District Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.

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