SLO County Sheriff's Office Annual Report 2015

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We are pleased to present the 2015 Annual Report for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office. This report gives updates on the many departments of the Sheriff's Office, and highlights the activities and accomplishments of our teams throughout the past year. For more information about the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, please visit www.slosheriff.org.

SLO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

2014

015

NNUAL REPORT

LO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


SAN LUIS OBISPO

COUNTY SHERIFF’S

OFFICE 2015

ANNUAL REPORT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MESSAGE FROM SHERIFF-CORONER 4

MESSAGE FROM UNDERSHERIFF 5

PROFESSIONAL

STANDARDS UNIT 6

BACKGROUNDS 7

RECORDS AND WARRANTS 8

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY UNIT 9

HIGH TECH CRIMES 9

FISCAL SERVICES 10

CORONER’S OFFICE 11

CIVIL DIVISION 12

CUSTODY 13

CRIME LAB 16

DETECTIVES 18

SEXUAL ASSAULT UNIT 20

SAFE TEAM 21

NORTH PATROL STATION 22

SOUTH PATROL STATION 23

COAST PATROL STATION 24

WATCH COMMANDER 26

DISPATCH 27

CANINE UNIT 30

SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT DETAIL 31

GANG TASK FORCE 31

NARCOTICS UNIT 32

BOMB TASK FORCE 34

HONOR GUARD 35

RURAL CRIMES UNIT 36

MARINE ENFORCEMENT UNIT 38

BICYCLE PATROL 40

SCHOOL RESOURCE DEPUTIES 41

PROPERTY ROOM 42

CRIME PREVENTION 43

SEARCH AND RESCUE 44

SHERIFF’S AUXILIARY

VOLUNTEER PATROL 46

SHERIFF’S POSSE 47

AERO SQUADRON 48

EXPLORERS 51

DIVE TEAM 52

AWARDS 54

CONTACT 55


HERIFF

I AM VERY

PROUD TO

ONCE AGAIN

PRESENT

a public report of the accomplishments

and activity of the Sheriff’s Office. The

men and women of the Sheriff’s Office

continue to be leaders in the community

even during challenging times. Our goals

have always been to deliver exceptional

service and treat people with dignity

and respect.

In November 2014, the voters of

California passed Proposition 47, which

redefined some nonviolent offenses as

misdemeanors rather than felonies. This

measure required a change with the way

we conduct business, both in the field

and in the Custody Division. Change can

be a very difficult thing to embrace,

unless you have the right attitude. It is my

opinion that our men and women have

the right attitude.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s

Office was started in 1850, at a time

when San Luis Obispo was one of the

original counties when California became

a state. Even though many things have

changed since that time, being the

“peace keepers” of the county has not.

We will continue to serve this role to the

best of our abilities and provide safety for

our citizens.

EVEN THOUGH MANY

THINGS HAVE CHANGED

SINCE THAT TIME, BEING

THE “PEACE KEEPERS” OF

THE COUNTY HAS NOT.

As you will see in the following pages of

this report, the Sheriff’s Office continues

to work hard and remain transparent to

the citizens that we serve every day.

IAN PARKINSON

San Luis Obispo

Sheriff-Coroner

4

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


UNDERSHERIFF

SERVING IN MY

POSITION AS

UNDERSHERIFF,

usually I hear all of the accolades as well

as the criticisms and complaints about

our agency and its members. Thankfully

and not surprisingly, I hear considerably

more about the positive impacts and

impressions made by the women and

men here at the Sheriff’s Office.

The law enforcement profession is

tasked with preserving freedom and

democracy. In a society as complex as

ours, this takes dedicated professionals

like the men and women we have

working at the Sheriff’s Office. We are

not only law enforcement professionals,

we are also members of the communities

that we have pledged to protect. We are

fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons

and daughters who work under

extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

We are committed to a profession that

provides a high level of service and

demands personal sacrifice.

As members of the law enforcement

profession, we have been granted a

sacred trust by our community. Peace

officer powers do not come from within;

they come from that sacred trust.

WE ARE NOT ONLY

LAW ENFORCEMENT

PROFESSIONALS, WE ARE

ALSO MEMBERS OF THE

COMMUNITIES THAT WE

HAVE PLEDGED TO

PROTECT.

As members of the law enforcement

community in San Luis Obispo County,

we are extremely fortunate to live, work

and recreate in an area where community

members and law enforcement

professionals work together to

strengthen that sacred trust. Here at the

Sheriff’s Office, we abide by the Law

Enforcement Code of Ethics and the

guiding principles of honesty, integrity,

professionalism, honor and respect. We

realize the importance of accountability in

fostering trust with our community.

I want to thank the men and women who

work and volunteer at the Sheriff’s Office

for their continued hard work, dedication

and the personal sacrifices they make

each day that builds that sacred trust.

Your efforts are not unnoticed and are

appreciated beyond words.

TIM OLIVAS

San Luis Obispo County

Undersheriff

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

5


ROFESSIONAL

TANDARDS UNIT

THE

PROFESSIONAL

STANDARDS

UNIT WAS

CREATED IN

FEBRUARY 2011.

In 2013, the unit assumed the training

responsibilities for the entire agency.

Sheriff Parkinson believes that there is a

strong correlation between the training

and the professional standards

functions. When employees make

mistakes, often times a training

component may be strengthened to

ensure that these mistakes do not recur.

The Professional Standards and Training

Unit is comprised of a commander and

a training coordinator for patrol and

custody personnel. Each training

coordinator must ensure that Sheriff’s

Office employees have achieved

compliance in either California’s Peace

Officer Standards and Training or

Standards and Training for Corrections.

Most of the Sheriff’s Office employees

have greatly surpassed the minimum

amount of hours required by the state.

The goals of the Professional Standards

and Training Unit are to provide the best

training possible for our employees and

to ensure professional law enforcement

conduct by our agency.

The investigation of personnel

complaints is a primary function of the

Professional Standards Unit. In 2015,

the Sheriff’s Office experienced a significant

reduction in citizen complaints.

COMPLAINTS

The number of citizen complaints

plummeted in 2015 to 22 citizen

complaints. This equates to a 57

percent drop in citizen complaints

during Sheriff Parkinson’s

administration from 2011 through 2015.

Five of these 22 citizen complaints were

sustained and the vast majority were

unfounded. This low number of citizen

complaints validates the professional

conduct displayed by the men and

women of the Sheriff’s Office.

USE OF FORCE

Similar to the drop in citizen complaints,

reportable use of force incidents were

also reduced in 2015 by 17 percent

compared to 2014. However, a review

of the total use of force incidents during

Sheriff Parkinson’s administration

reveals a somewhat static number with

the exception of an upward spike in 2013.

PURSUITS

Vehicle pursuits have leveled off with 13

pursuits in 2015. This remains to be a

significant reduction of 41 percent compared

to 2012, when there were 22

pursuits. There were 12 pursuits in 2013

and 10 pursuits in 2014. Sheriff Parkinson

and his management team have encouraged

deputies to engage in vehicle

pursuits only when necessary and to

always follow the Sheriff’s Office strict

guidelines regarding vehicle pursuits.

PATROL AND CIVILIAN

TRAINING

The Training Unit is divided into two sections,

the Patrol and Civilian Training

Section and the Custody Section. Each

section is headed by a training coordinator

who reports to the training manager.

The Patrol and Civilian Training Section

provides training courses developed and

instructed by members of the Sheriff’s

6 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


BACKGROUNDS

Office and certified through the

California Commission on Peace

Officers Standards and Training (POST)

for sworn and civilian members. Patrol

deputies and dispatchers are mandated

to receive 24 hours of POST certified

training within a two-year period. Once

again, the San Luis Obispo County

Sheriff’s Office was at 100 percent

POST compliance with all applicable

employees. This is a rarity in the state of

California and a result of the exemplary

efforts of the Patrol and Civilian Training

Section training coordinator.

During 2015, the Training Unit achieved

the following notable accomplishments:

• Installed a new Force Options

Simulator at the Cal Fire Training

Facility in Los Osos, which

provides training for the most

difficult real-world situations.

• Hosted an “Active Shooters:

Behavioral Indicators and Threat

Management Principles” seminar

presented by FBI Special Agent

Jeff Cugno at the Clark Center in

Arroyo Grande, attended by over

200 individuals including local

school officials and fire and law

enforcement personnel.

The Training Unit also coordinated

countywide training for blood alcohol

Draeger test devices, Emergency Vehicle

Operators Course training in conjunction

with the Allan Hancock Academy, canine

liability, firearms, 11-99 trauma, gang

awareness and instructor development

for custody personnel.

THE

BACKGROUND

INVESTIGATION

UNIT CONSISTS

of three investigators who are

responsible for the investigation of all

sworn and civilian applicants within the

Sheriff’s Office.

APPROXIMATELY 90

BACKGROUNDS WERE

COMPLETED IN 2015.

The background investigator compiles a

report that includes the applicant’s

personal history, driver’s license record,

warrant checks, credit history,

Computer Voice Stress Analyzer

Examination results, medical

examination and psychological

examination. The Background

Investigation Unit ensures background

checks are in compliance with the

California Commission on Peace

Officers Standards and Training,

departmental statutes and regulations,

and procedures associated with the

investigation process.

As of November 2015, the following

positions have been filled:

Correctional Deputy: 7

Deputy: 9

Correctional Technician: 11

Senior Account Clerk: 1

Cook I: 1

Dispatcher: 4

Administrative Services Officer: 1

Drug and Alcohol: 1

Department Automation

Specialist III: 2

Temp Legal Clerk: 1

Temp Account Clerk: 1

Temp Lab Assistant: 1

Various Volunteers: 14

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

7


ECORDS &

ARRANTS

THE RECORDS

AND WARRANTS

UNIT CONSISTS

of ten full-time and two part-time

employees. This unit is responsible for:

• Entering criminal warrants into

state and national databases

• Registration of sex/arson/gang/

drug offenders

• Processing extraditions for all

county agencies

• Intake and processing of

concealed weapons permits,

explosives permits, and business

licenses

• Processing fingerprint applicants

• Processing legal documents

(including over 1,000 annual

requests for documents through

the California Public Records Act)

In 2015, the Records and Warrants Unit

accomplished a 98 percent compliance

rate of registered sex offenders and 100

percent compliance rate of registered

arson offenders. The unit has processed

an increased number of concealed

weapons permit applications and

recently completed automating the

storage of all Concealed Carry Weapons

applications.

THE GOALS FOR THE UNIT

IN 2016 INCLUDE

COMPLETION OF THE NEW

LOCAL WARRANT SYSTEM,

FINAL DE-COMMISSIONING

OF THE MAINFRAME,

CONTINUED CROSS-

TRAINING OF FOUR NEW

EMPLOYEES AND

SUSTAINING GREAT

SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC.

Many hours have been spent assisting

the Information Technology Unit with

the new local warrant system, which

should be implemented in 2016.

Information is gathered and provided

from the Records and Warrants Unit for

“Most Wanted Wednesday” social

media postings, which have proven to

be an ongoing success.

8 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


IT AND HIGH

TECH CRIMES

THE SHERIFF’S

OFFICE

INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY

UNIT

efficiently and progressively supports the

technical needs of the Sheriff’s Office.

Located in the main headquarter’s

building, this unit is comprised of six

employees. The newest department

automation specialist position was added

in 2015 to support the future vision of

biometrics and person identification.

We work alongside Sheriff’s Office

personnel and the County Information

Technology Department on many

projects. A few examples of the projects

we have been involved with in 2015 are

the new Warrant System, implementing

the latest technology in security camera

and body camera systems and a stateof-the-art

video visitation system that

allows people from out of the area to

visit with a family member in the jail via

the Internet.

COMPUTER

FORENSICS IS

THE PROCESS

of obtaining evidence from all types of

digital media (computer hard drives,

CDs, DVDs, cell phones, tablets etc.)

that can be presented in a court of law.

The Sheriff’s Office has a dedicated

computer forensics lab facility, and has

trained personnel in both online crime

investigations and computer forensics.

IN 2015, THE FORENSICS

LAB COMPLETED

EXAMINATIONS ON OVER

260 DEVICES CONTAINING

ELECTRONIC MEDIA

EQUALING ALMOST 57

TERABYTES OF DATA.

In 2015, the forensics lab completed

examinations on over 260 devices

containing electronic media equaling

almost 57 terabytes of data. This does

not include an extensive number of cell

phones that were examined by

detectives. This represents an 18

percent increase in the number of

devices examined over 2014, not

including the cell phones done by

detectives, and a 97 percent increase in

the amount of data examined in 2014.

This is a result of electronic media

devices having the capability to hold

increasingly more data, which requires

more time for examination.

260

Device Examinations

57

Terabytes of Data

97%

Increase in Amount

of Data over 2014

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

9


ISCAL SERVICES

THE FISCAL

DIVISION

supports the Sheriff’s Office in areas of

accounting, including accounts payable

and receivable, reconciliations, grant

reporting, quarterly financial reporting

and budgeting. The division is

comprised of an administrative services

manager (ASM) who oversees the

Fiscal Division and supervises the

accounting staff along with preparation

and monitoring of the annual budget,

quarterly reporting, and fiscal

management of various grants. In

addition to the ASM, the division

includes: 1) an accountant II who

monitors the budget for custody,

including the Inmate Welfare Fund and

Civil Division’s billings, reconciliations,

account analysis and various reporting,

2) an accounting technician in charge of

receivables, payables, reconciliations

and monthly journal entries, and 3) two

senior accounting clerks responsible for

accounts payable, purchase requisitions

and purchase orders.

QUICK FACTS

• Budget for FY 2015–16: $66 million

• General Fund support: $38 million

• Funded programs including state and federal aid: $25 million

• Other revenue, including fines and fees: $3 million

FY 14–15

FY 15-16

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

OBJECTIVES

• Provided better reporting to • Continue to involve

management that included

management in the budget

monthly, quarterly and

process for each of the four

annual budget information

divisions

and statistics

• Continue to work on new

• Involved management in the

processes for better

budget process for each of

efficiency and improved

the four divisions including

reporting

monthly, quarterly and

• Continue to work on

annual budget planning, as

acquiring new grants and

well as monitoring in more

other funding opportunities.

detail

• Streamline the budget

• Streamlined the purchasing

process

process

• Implement policies and

• Worked with administration

procedures for purchasing

and upper management on

and budget

developing a committee to

keep current on all grant and

funding opportunities

10 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


CORONER’S

OFFICE

IN ADDITION TO

HIS ROLE AS

SHERIFF,

Ian Parkinson is the elected Coroner of

San Luis Obispo County. Sheriff-

Coroner Parkinson and his deputies

perform the role of coroner in all

jurisdictions within the county of San

Luis Obispo. The California Government

Code mandates the coroner to

investigate the cause and manner of

death in most cases where a death

occurred outside of a hospital, outside

the presence of a physician, and in all

cases involving homicides, suicides,

accidental deaths and deaths due to

suspicious circumstances.

In most cases, a patrol deputy will

respond to a report of death and

conduct an investigation. For cases

where additional investigation and

expertise is needed, the Sheriff’s Office

has a Coroner Investigation Unit within

the Detective Bureau.

The Coroner Unit is comprised of a

sergeant, three detectives, and a

part-time legal clerk. The three assigned

detectives are highly trained and

specialize in determining cause and

manner of death.

IN 2015, THE CORONER

INVESTIGATION UNIT

REVIEWED 1,513

REPORTABLE DEATHS IN

THE COUNTY OF SAN

LUIS OBISPO.

In 2015, the Coroner Investigation Unit

reviewed 1,513 reportable deaths in the

county of San Luis Obispo. Of those,

1270 were hospice cases (an increase of

40 over 2014). Patrol deputies

responded to a total of 684 coroner

cases countywide (an increase of one

over 2014). Of the 684 cases that

deputy sheriffs responded to, the

Coroner Unit conducted further

investigation in 243 of those cases (an

increase of nine over 2014). Although all

684 cases were not investigated

beyond the patrol deputy level, all cases

were thoroughly reviewed by coroner

detectives who then certified the death

certificates. Of the remaining 829

reportable deaths, coroner detectives

reviewed the causes of death provided

by the treating physician before

certification of the death certificates.

It is the responsibility of the coroner to

determine the necessary level of inquiry

into any death falling in the jurisdiction

of the Coroner’s Office. The level of

inquiry is determined on a case-by-case

basis. Of the 243 cases in 2015 in which

the Coroner Unit conducted further

investigation, 159 autopsies were

performed, 70 medical inspections

were conducted, and 13 of the deaths

were certified by medical records. Of

the deaths investigated by the Coroner

Unit, 79 were natural deaths, 49 were

suicides, four were homicides, 77 were

accidental, and the remainder are still

under investigation.

The Sheriff’s Coroner Investigation Unit

is proud to serve the citizens of San Luis

Obispo County during the difficult times

associated with death.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

11


IVIL DIVISION

THE SHERIFF’S

OFFICE CIVIL

DIVISION

SERVES

civil process in the manner prescribed

by law. The majority of procedures and

laws governing the service and

execution of civil process are set forth in

the California Code of Civil Procedure.

The Civil Division works in conjunction

with the civil courts in San Luis Obispo

County as well as civil courts

throughout the state of California in the

execution and service of process. It is

the goal of the Civil Division to serve all

processes in a timely manner while

maintaining an impartial position

between each party involved.

Civil process includes the service of

summons and complaints, small claims

documents, restraining orders,

subpoenas and evictions. Other

services include levies on wages, bank

accounts, personal property, real

property or any other asset of the

judgment debtor.

The Civil Division also provides security

services for the San Luis Obispo County

Superior Courts, the Paso Robles

Courthouse and the Juvenile Court.

There are 15 deputy sheriffs and one

sergeant assigned as bailiffs to the

superior courts. The Civil Division also

oversees the security checkpoints

leading into the county courthouse, the

Paso Robles Courthouse and the

Juvenile Court.

CIVIL PROCESS INCLUDES

THE SERVICE OF SUMMONS

AND COMPLAINTS, SMALL

CLAIMS DOCUMENTS,

RESTRAINING ORDERS,

SUBPOENAS AND EVICTIONS.

For the time period of December 15,

2014 to December 15, 2015, the

following civil processes were handled

by the five civil deputies and four legal

clerks assigned to the Civil Division:

• 552 Evictions

• 630 Levies

• 4,139 Services of Civil Processes

The Sheriff’s Civil Division is located

within the San Luis Obispo County

Courthouse at 1050 Monterey Street,

Room 236 in San Luis Obispo,

California. Public counter hours are

Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM,

excluding holidays. Civil process forms

and frequently asked questions can be

found online at the Sheriff’s Office

website, www.slosheriff.org.

552

Evictions

630

Levies

4,139

Services of

Civil Processes

12 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


CUSTODY

THE CUSTODY

DIVISION SAW

ANOTHER SHIFT

this year with our inmate population due

to Proposition 47, also known by its ballot

title: “Criminal Sentences/Misdemeanor

Penalties/Initiative Statute.” The

proposition was a referendum passed by

voters in the state of California on

November 4, 2014. The measure was

also referred to by its supporters as the

Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. It

redefined some nonviolent offenses as

misdemeanors, rather than felonies.

The measure’s effects were to convert

many nonviolent offenses, such as drug

and property offenses, from felonies to

misdemeanors. These offenses include

shoplifting, writing bad checks, and drug

possession. The measure also required

that money saved as a result of the

measure would be spent on school

truancy and dropout prevention, victim

services, mental health and drug abuse

treatment, and other programs designed

to keep offenders out of prison and jail.

The measure included exceptions for

offenses involving more than $950 and

criminals with records including violence

or sex offenses. The measure both

affects future convictions and allows for

people currently incarcerated to petition

for re-sentencing.

Many of the arrestees this past year were

released on their own recognizance

because of the reduction of a felony to a

misdemeanor. We saw an immediate

drop in our Average Daily Population

(ADP) as a result of Proposition 47. Over

time, we are anticipating the ADP will

increase as subjects are left in the

community to continue with criminal

activity until they are brought into

custody on more serious crimes or

increased addictions.

At this point, it is still too early to make a

judgement on how this legislation will

make an impact in the long-term. It is

also recognized that during the same

period when Proposition 47 was enacted,

the courts started an early disposition

court, the judges started using split

sentencing, and the District Attorney’s

Office started a Misdemeanor Diversion

Program. While all of these programs

have had impacts on the jail population, it

is difficult to sort out what impacts each

of these programs has had individually.

However, we recognize the cumulative

impact. From January 1, 2015 to

December 2, 2015, the total number of

bookings was: 10,175, and 10,180

releases. The average daily population

was 542.

The Custody Division saw several

promotions and newly hired employees

this year, as well as many staff members

who were recognized for their

outstanding dedication and

professionalism to the Sheriff’s Office.

Every few months, the Sheriff’s Office

holds General Assembly Ceremonies to

recognize these people. Sheriff

Parkinson also presents awards to

employees for incidents such as: lifesaving

awards, Medal of Valor and

exemplary service.

WOMEN’S JAIL EXPANSION

The new Women’s Jail is scheduled to

open in June 2016. The Women’s Jail

Expansion project consists of 46,000

square feet of new construction to house

and provide program space for 198

women inmates, on 1.5 acres within an

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

13


existing seven acre County Jail Facility. It

includes two housing units with 38,000

square feet to support direct supervision

of inmates. In addition, a medical and

program building with 8,000 square feet

will be constructed to provide space for

medical, dental, and mental health

services and other support programs for

the entire jail population. The existing

jail’s antiquated security electronic

system that uses unsupported

technology will be upgraded to a state of

the art security system. Building

construction of the new housing unit is at

55 to 65 percent completion.

CLASSIFICATION

The Classification Unit is made up of six

correctional deputies, one senior

correctional deputy, and one correctional

sergeant. The Classification Unit assigns

appropriate housing to inmates,

investigates jail issues, works with

outside agencies to solve cases, and

helps to control gang activity. The unit is

responsible for assigning a security

classification to each inmate after being

booked into the jail and considers various

factors when determining an inmate’s

classification and placement. The jail’s

population can fluctuate from 500 to 700

inmates per day.

During the booking and classification

process, inmates are asked a series of

questions to identify mental and physical

health conditions, substance abuse

issues, an assessment of charges

present and past, current employment

and gang affiliation, to name a few.

Classification then assesses each inmate

based on these factors as well as gender

and age, and assigns housing accordingly.

Once an inmate is housed, he or she is

IMMENSE EMPHASIS IS

PLACED ON THE ROLE OF

CLASSIFICATION TO

ENSURE THE SAFETY AND

WELL BEING OF STAFF

AND INMATES.

provided with an Inmate Rulebook,

which includes instruction on accessing

medical treatment, commissary,

telephone usage, visitation, and

opportunities on various programming

and chore responsibilities. It also includes

information on the Prison Rape

Elimination Act. The San Luis Obispo

County Sheriff’s Office has a zerotolerance

policy regarding sexual abuse

or sexual harassment. We strive to

ensure our detention facilities protect

inmates from all forms of sexual

misconduct, including harassment from

staff and other inmates.

Housing units in the jail are gender

separate and include low security

dormitories, higher security pods, and

administrative segregation pods.

Immense emphasis is placed on the role

of classification to ensure the safety and

well being of staff and inmates. The staff

assigned to the Classification Unit is a

team of hard working, dedicated

individuals who work diligently to ensure

the jail is operating safely.

Another facet of classification is the use

of the Custody Division Canine Dutch.

Senior Correctional Deputy Fischer is his

handler and routinely has Dutch conduct

random “sniffs” in all areas of the

Custody Division. Dutch is highly trained

to detect various types of drugs and will

alert Senior Correctional Deputy Fischer

once he smells an illegal substance. This

helps in maintaining and controlling

contraband, which in turn increases

officer safety. Throughout this past year,

they assisted many other agencies

including the Federal Bureau of

Investigations and federal prisons. Senior

Correctional Deputy Fischer and Dutch

train weekly with the Sheriff’s Office

Canine Unit and several law enforcement

agencies. With the addition of the

Custody Canine and the Secure Pass

Body Scanner, which detects drugs that

have been swallowed or concealed under

clothes, the amount of narcotics coming

into the facility has drastically reduced.

COURT SERVICES

TRANSPORTATION

In 2015, the Court Services

Transportation Unit transported 9,712

inmates to court. They safely completed

over 220 transports of inmates

throughout the state of California.

These transports included trips to

state hospitals, state prisons and other

county jails.

14 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


As the Custody Division has evolved over

the past few years, we have seen a need

for better ways to transport inmates to

court. As a result, we recently added a

new 19-passenger van. This is the first

van we have had that has three separate

compartments to transport inmates to

court. This allows us to make fewer trips

to and from the courthouse, improving

overall efficiency and safety while

reducing fuel usage.

JAIL PROGRAMS UNIT

In 2015, the Jail Programs Unit continued

to expand inmate programs and

opportunities to address risk factors

affecting recidivism. In-custody

substance abuse treatment and mental

health services were expanded to

include more direct services and

individual mentoring. This year, particular

focus was placed on employment

preparation and vocational training for

successful reentry into our community.

The Jail Programs Unit collaborated with

America’s Job Center of San Luis Obispo

to bring employment skills workshops to

inmates at the Honor Farm facilities.

Inmates who attended these events

learned workplace skills such as

communication, teamwork, and problemsolving.

They also learned the elements

of having a good work ethic such as

consistency, taking responsibility, and

completing assignments on time.

In February of this year, the Jail Programs

Unit partnered with Plumbers and

Pipefitters Local Union No. 403,

America’s Job Center of California, and

Cuesta College to begin a welding

apprenticeship program for selected

Honor Farm inmates. After an intensive

screening and selection process, three

candidates were selected to participate

in the 16-week pre-apprenticeship

training class. All three candidates

completed the class and subsequently

obtained employment. Due to the initial

success of this program, it was offered

again in November. Two more inmates

entered the apprenticeship training, and

are once again hopeful of their prospect

for earning a living and contributing to

society. The Jail Programs Unit also

collaborated with the Breaking Bread

Bakery to create a unique vocational

training opportunity that allows an inmate

to have hands-on experience with

creating exceptional baked goods,

ordering supplies and interacting with

the public.

Another barrier to successful reentry is

the lack of any identification upon release

from custody. Released inmates with no

ID are often unable to access services,

much less obtain employment. This can

easily contribute to repeated arrests and

homelessness. Additionally, inmates

who are leaving the county jail and

entering into short or long term

residential substance abuse treatment

programs must have some form of ID in

order to enter treatment. In 2015, the

Sheriff’s Office implemented the

Temporary Identification Card program.

Qualified inmates may submit a request

to the Jail Programs Unit to obtain a

temporary photo ID card that will serve

until they’re able to obtain permanent

identification such as a state ID, driver’s

license, or Social Security card.

Reducing recidivism and improving

reentry outcomes require that county

partners and stakeholders work together

to address the challenges of rehabilitating

offenders, both while incarcerated and

upon release. In 2015, the Jail Programs

Unit initiated the Jail to Community (J2C)

reentry case management collaborative.

J2C is based upon the premise that

offender reentry must not only involve

the jail, but other community agencies

and organizations as well. Considering

that many of the inmates are already

involved with multiple social service

agencies, or are eligible for services, the

Jail Program Unit works with community

partners to facilitate in-reach and postrelease

planning.

Another program initiated this year was

“Books Behind Bars,” a joint effort

between the Sheriff’s Office and the San

Luis Obispo County Library. This project

began as the vision of one of our

correctional deputies who catalogued an

impressive book collection at the

Women’s Honor Farm facility. The

program then became a reality with the

help of San Luis Obispo Library staff,

who conduct a secure one-for-one book

exchange throughout the facility. In the

coming year this program will be

expanded to include services such as

literacy training and reading circles.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

15


RIME LAB

268

Cases for

Evidence Analysis

1,000

Breath Alcohol Tests

800

Blood Samples

THE SHERIFF’S

OFFICE CRIME

LABORATORY

personnel are responsible for

processing evidence and responding to

crime scenes in cases occurring within

the county. The lab also conducts

analyses on controlled substances and

analyzes biological samples for driving

under the influence (DUI) cases. The

CAL-ID program for the county is

housed in the Crime Lab and manages

identification and biometric programs. It

also operates the county’s Automated

Fingerprint Identification System.

In 2015, the Forensic Alcohol

Laboratory provided services for 11

different law enforcement agencies

throughout San Luis Obispo County.

The laboratory was responsible for

maintaining the department’s 40

Draeger Alcotest 7510 breath alcohol

instruments, which are in use at 16

different locations in the county. During

2015, almost 1,000 evidential breath

alcohol tests were conducted using the

department’s breath instruments.

In addition, the Forensic Alcohol

Laboratory analyzed approximately

800 blood samples for alcohol content.

Nearly 20 percent of those blood

samples were sent on to Central Valley

Toxicology for other analyses.

The Chemistry/Toxicology Lab

provides services for police

departments throughout the county.

This section of the Crime Laboratory

also provides services to the California

Men’s Colony, San Luis Obispo County

Probation, San Luis Obispo County

Suspected Abuse Response Team and

all of the Sheriff’s Office patrol stations.

During 2015, San Luis Obispo Police

Department was also added as a

customer. Services provided to all of

these agencies included the testing of

pills, powders, crystals, liquids and

leafs for the presence of controlled

substances and urine drugs of abuse

analysis. The chemistry section of the

Lab analyzed over 3,000 suspected

controlled substance samples and the

toxicology section analyzed close to

800 urine samples.

16 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


The Crime Lab received more than 268

cases for evidence analysis. These

processes included biological collection,

electrostatic detection of indented

writing, hair and fiber collection and

comparisons, tool mark comparisons,

ballistic analysis, serial number

restoration, as well as tire and footwear

impression comparisons and trace

evidence analysis (168 cases from

outside agencies, 100 from the Sheriff’s

Office). Most cases contained multiple

items that required evaluation. The

examination of an individual item of

evidence may necessitate multiple

types of processing. For example, one

firearm may require DNA collection,

gunshot residue collection, blood

search and photography, fingerprint

process, serial number restoration, and

ballistic comparisons. More than 530

individual items were forensically

processed. An additional 137 latent

fingerprint cases were submitted,

resulting in more than 8,600 fingerprint

examinations.

Two forensic specialists provided

assistance at crime scenes on 69

occasions during the year. These

scenes ranged from search warrant

services, narcotic investigations and

burglaries, to animal cruelty, sexual

assault, human trafficking, robberies,

equivocal deaths, vehicle manslaughter

and homicides. In addition, new leads

on cold case investigations were

forensically examined.

Courtroom testimony remains an

important component of the Crime

Laboratory’s processes. While not

every case requires courtroom time,

some cases use expert testimony to

provide the judge or jury with

information gleaned from evidence

examinations.

In 2015, the CAL-ID program began

implementation of the replacement of

some obsolete and end-of-life ID Lab

technology infrastructure. Upgrades

were also completed for all fingerprint

livescan systems in the county, and

training was provided in the proper use

of livescan systems to 44 members

representing eight different law

enforcement agencies. The Cal-ID

program also hosted a weeklong

advanced training course for latent

fingerprint examiners, hosting students

from as far as Colorado.

The Cal-ID program undertook several

critical steps to acquire mobile ID

capability for the county, which will

equip law enforcement, corrections and

coroner personnel with tools to rapidly

identify individuals in the field by

fingerprints. This will enhance

investigative capability, expedite the

identification of deceased persons, and

facilitate the arrest of wanted subjects.

New Cal-ID initiatives in progress

include providing cameras capable of

capturing microscopic evidence, and

acquiring new technology solutions to

increase efficiency in analyzing

fingerprint evidence.

In the coming year, the dedicated staff

of the Crime Lab will explore additional

measures and techniques to improve

services while avoiding backlogs in

processing requests.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

17


ETECTIVES

THE SHERIFF’S

OFFICE

DETECTIVE

DIVISION

is responsible for the investigation of

criminal cases that go above and beyond

the scope and resources of the Patrol

Division. This includes all misdemeanor

and felony crimes for both local and state

laws where other agencies do not have

the primary investigative responsibility.

These cases may require a large amount

of resources for an extended period of

time. They may need investigators with

specialized training, knowledge and

equipment. Detectives are able to focus

on these investigations without the

interruptions of handling calls for service

as a patrol deputy.

Detectives in the Detective Division are

assigned to a specific area of

investigations. General crime detectives

are responsible for investigating crimes

against persons and property. The sexual

assault detectives are responsible for

crimes that are sexual in nature, child

molestations, child pornography, nonfinancial

elder abuse, and sexual

registrants. The Crime Lab, forensic

specialists, and the Cal-ID coordinator

provide technical evidence collection and

analysis to all agencies in the county. In

addition to criminal investigations, the

Detective Division also conducts

follow-up investigations for all missing

persons, runaway juveniles, and other

cases as required by law or as assigned.

Among the many cases investigated in

2015, the Detective Division successfully

investigated four homicides, a large scale

child abuse case that involved outside

area law enforcement officers, a child

molestation case involving a well-known

public figure as the suspect, two large

embezzlement cases, and a large

commercial burglary ring involving

foreign nationals from the Los Angeles

area. Additionally, detectives assisted the

Coroner’s Office with in-custody death

investigations. There are other cases that

are not “major investigations” but still

require detective resources, such as

critical or at-risk missing persons,

runaway juveniles, and suspicious death

investigations. New cases requiring

detective follow up are constantly

coming into the division on a daily basis.

While carrying their case load, detectives

must also appear in court to testify on

investigations which have been submitted

to the District Attorney’s Office and

filed in court. Some cases make it

through the court process in a relatively

short amount of time, while others may

take years. The following are only two

examples of the many cases in which

detectives were called to conduct an

investigation and appear in court to testify.

CASE #1

On March 14, 2015 Sheriff’s deputies

were dispatched to a Paso Robles

residence regarding a male gunshot

victim lying in the driveway. Deputies

were on scene within a very short time

and began rendering first aid, while also

cordoning off the crime scene for the

arrival of detectives. Detectives and

forensic specialists responded to the

scene and began processing evidence

and conducting interviews. Detectives

interviewed the parties at the residence

18 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


and determined the suspect had

intentionally shot the victim. This was

corroborated through an eyewitness.

The investigation determined that an

argument had occurred in the garage

between the suspect and his wife.

When the victim went to intervene he

was subsequently shot several times by

the suspect. The investigation to date

has consumed hundreds of combined

hours within the Detective Bureau. With

the help of the forensic specialists,

Crime Laboratory and Coroner’s Office,

sufficient evidence and probable cause

was developed and compiled in order to

file a complaint of murder against the

suspect. The suspect bailed out of jail

and while awaiting his trial, he and two

other individuals committed another

attempted murder in an adjoining county.

He was arrested in that case as well. The

suspect was found guilty of seconddegree

murder in the local case and was

sentenced to 40 years to life by a jury of

his peers. He was transferred to the

custody of the California Department of

Corrections and Rehabilitation where he

remains in their custody to serve

out his time.

CASE # 2

On May 28, 2015 deputies were

assigned a suspected child abuse report,

which identified a victim from the Los

Angeles area who had attended a

weeklong “bootcamp” at Camp San Luis

Obispo. This “bootcamp,” run by two

Southern California law enforcement

agencies, has utilized the Camp SLO

facilities for several years. The law

enforcement agencies rented the space

from the camp and provided their own

instructors for the weeklong program.

The camp was designed to instill

leadership qualities and discipline in inner

city and troubled youth via tactics utilized

in military style bootcamps. During the

weeklong camp, several students were

physically struck according to the

deputy’s initial investigation. Detectives

were advised of the investigation and

proceeded to follow up on the allegations.

As the investigation proceeded, it was

determined that the children were

subjected to physical abuse, emotional

abuse and in some cases, neglect.

Detectives worked with the Southern

California agencies to facilitate the

investigation into the criminal acts

perpetrated by their officers. Detectives

travelled to Southern California on

numerous occasions to interview victims,

witnesses, and suspects. The

investigation led to a search warrant for

one of the agencies and two law

enforcement officers’ residences.

Detectives have spent in excess of 853

hours on this case. Sufficient evidence

and probable cause was developed and

compiled in order to file a complaint

against the suspects. Ultimately, Ramey

Warrants were issued for the three law

enforcement officers identified as

suspects. They were subsequently

arrested, posted bail and remain free

while they await trial. They are presumed

innocent until proven guilty.

These cases showcase the ability of our

detectives to take a case and, through

cooperative efforts, solve it in a relatively

short time. These cases could not be

compiled without the assistance of the

Crime Lab, Coroner’s Office, and all the

men and women who comprise the

Detective Bureau.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

19


EXUAL

SSAULT UNIT

THE SEXUAL

ASSAULT UNIT

consists of three investigators and is

responsible for investigating cases of

physical and sexual abuse, extreme

cases of domestic violence and nonfiduciary

elder abuse within the

unincorporated area of the county. The

Unit also assists outside agencies in

their investigations. The investigation of

physical and sexual abuse cases are

highly specialized and require expert

training as mandated by the California

Penal Code. Investigators also provide

training to mandated reporters of child

abuse, community groups and military.

The sexual assault investigators handle

an average of more than 200 cases per

year as they relate to sexual abuse, elder

abuse and child pornography. Individual

cases can take several months to fully

investigate and can last up to a year in

the court process.

In 2015, investigators:

• Assisted in child forensic

interviews, multiple homicides

and other investigations outside

of sexual assault

• Assisted in search warrant

preparation and service

• Conducted CVSA examinations

in criminal and background

investigations

• Worked with crime lab forensic

technicians in analyzing pieces of

evidence as they pertained to

sexual assault

• Worked with computer forensic

technicians in analyzing

electronic/computer-based

evidence as it related to child

pornography cases

Also last year, investigators received

advanced training in human trafficking

investigations and will be working in

conjunction with Santa Barbara and

Ventura counties in the formation of a tricounties

task force. This year, a high

profile case regarding human trafficking

was investigated by the Sexual Assault

Unit and prosecuted by the District

Attorney Office. The hard work and

dedication by the Sexual Assault Unit

led to the suspect being found guilty and

given a long term prison sentence.

In addition to their caseload, training the

community and educational outreach

have become a priority. These

specialized trainings have assisted RISE

(Respect / Inspire / Support / Empower)

advocates who provide support for

victims of sexual abuse and domestic

violence, SART (Sexual Assault

Response Team) Nurses, Rotary Club

and other non-profit organizations. The

Sexual Assault Unit also assists the

Sheriff’s Office as it relates to initial child

or adult sexual assault investigations.

As part of the outreach process in 2015,

the Sexual Assault Unit attended SART

Advisory Board meetings and various

public awareness events like Walk-A-

Mile in Her Shoes, a public benefit for

victims of sexual assault.

The unit will continue providing thorough

investigations as they relate to these

crimes and advocate for victims and

their families in the coming year.

20 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


SAFE TEAM

SEXUAL

ASSAULT FELONY

ENFORCEMENT

(SAFE) team members are responsible

for verifying the residency of all

registered sex offenders within the

Sheriff’s jurisdiction and enforcing the

appropriate codes when those

registration laws have been violated.

The SAFE Team receives information

regarding violations of sex offender registration

laws from several sources including:

• Tips received directly from the

public or through the California

Megan’s Law website, www.

meganslaw.ca.gov.

• Electronic comparisons of every

registered sex offender booked

into the San Luis Obispo County

Jail, regardless of charge. This

ensures that registrants are current

and in compliance with

registration requirements.

• Periodic and unannounced visits,

“compliance checks,” to all registrants

to achieve the following:

o Verify that the registered address

is valid and that the registrant

actually resides within that address.

o Determine if the registrant has

moved without giving notice to

the Sheriff’s Office.

o Advise the registrant of any new

changes in the law.

o Ascertain if the registrant or their

property has been the subject of a

crime due to their being a registrant.

o Enforce the appropriate

probation and parole conditions.

In 2015, the SAFE Team accomplished:

• 300 compliance checks

• 21 possible sex offender registration

violations (19 filed with the

District Attorney’s Office)

• Two registered sex offender

investigations

• Eight search warrants

• Seven investigations of

Internet crimes against children

(three people arrested, three

charges filed)

• Sex registration training for

department trainees

• Forensic exams for more than 100

cellular telephones, 35 memory

cards and 25 thumb drives

• Imaging of 10 external hard drives

We have noticed a steady increase in

registered sex offenders released into

the community that register with the

San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office.

Throughout 2015, the Sheriff’s Office

averaged registering approximately 300

sex offenders, more than half of the 535

registered sex offenders that live throughout

the county.

Efforts are made to interview all new

registrants that come to our agency.

During this interview, we discuss the

registrant’s requirements with them and

answer questions. Sex offenders who are

newly released from prison are visited by

members of the SAFE Team and

reminded of their registration

responsibilities and requirements.

SAFE Team members provide immediate

response to complaints, inquiries, and information

regarding registered sex offenders in

the community. We provide community

notifications of sexually violent predators

(SVPs) and high-risk sex offenders when

warranted. This is done through media

releases or by going door-to-door and passing

out informational flyers. Sex offenders

who have warrants for their arrest are

posted on the Sheriff’s Office website as

well as on their local Crime Stoppers website.

SAFE Team members also work closely

with victim/witness advocates through the

District Attorney’s Office. The team called

on to do in-service training for our rape prevention

centers and local school districts,

as well as give presentations to community

service organizations when requested.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

21


ORTH STATION

THE SHERIFF’S

NORTH STATION

The Sheriff’s North Station handled

approximately 22,000 calls for service

and self- initiated activities in 2015.

Despite an increasing workload the deputies

of the Sheriff’s North Station have

continued to maintain excellent

response times and engage in high quality

enforcement of State and Local

Laws. In keeping with past experience,

property crimes, gang related activity

and drug offenses continue to generate

a majority of our calls for service.

To combat the growing number of gang

related problems, North Station Deputies

organized a directed patrol

operation utilizing members of the station

and the Sheriff’s Gang Task Force,

as well as San Luis Obispo County Probation

Officers and California State

Parole Agents. This multi-agency operation

targeted documented gang

members and drug offenders in the

Shandon and San Miguel communities.

The operation resulted in nine arrests for

a variety of charges, including warrants,

violations of probation and possession

of illegal contraband.

North Station Deputies also responded

to several homicides in 2015. In

response to one of these homicides,

which occurred in Templeton, deputies

arrived on scene just minutes after the

fatal shooting. They quickly took the

suspect into custody, secured the

scene and gathered witness statements

prior to the arrival of Sheriff’s

Detective Division Investigators. Additionally,

North Station Deputies and

Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail

members successfully took into custody

a homicide suspect in rural Paso

Robles this past winter. This suspect

had been involved in a daylong stand off

after she had shot at members of the

Special Enforcement Detail and refused

to surrender for over 10 hours.

Rural Crime Deputies, with the assistance

of patrol personnel, broke a

burglary ring that was focusing on the

theft of equipment and vehicles from

many wineries and ranches in the North

County. Through outstanding crime

scene and follow-up investigation,

suspects were identified and arrested

and a large quantity of property was

recovered and returned to its rightful

owners.

The Sheriff has expanded the Resident

Deputy Program in the North Station

area of responsibility, adding a second

Resident Deputy assigned to Heritage

Ranch/Oak Shores to join the existing

Resident Deputy assigned to Creston/

California Valley. These positions help

reduce response times and place deputies

in areas that, in the past, would

rarely see a patrol car.

The deputies of the Sheriff’s North Station

remain committed to the Sheriff’s

Office Mission and serving the citizens

of our North County communities.

SOUTH STATION

South Patrol Division covers 850 square

miles with a population of approximately

40,000 people living in the communities

of Oceano, Nipomo, unincorporated

Arroyo Grande, Los Berros, New

Cuyama, Huasna Valley, Blacklake-

Callender and The Woodlands. The area

22 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


SOUTH STATION

extends from Pismo Beach to the Santa

Barbara County line, and from the Pacific

Ocean to the Kern County line.

The patrol station for this area is located

at 1681 Front Street in Oceano and is

currently staffed with a commander,

two sergeants, four senior deputies, 20

sheriff deputies and two station clerks.

At the end of 2015, the South Station

welcomed K-9 Deputy Gonzo and his

handler Deputy Mark Souza. Gonzo is a

german shepard and has been trained in

narcotics detection, protection duties,

and tracking. Gonzo is one of six K-9

deputies deployed within the Sheriff’s

Office, originally paid for through

narcotics asset forfeiture funds.

Similar to 2014, homeless camps have

continued to impact the communities of

Oceano and Nipomo. Utilizing

community resources specializing in

homeless outreach support and mental

health services, transient persons in

both communities continue to be

offered relocating and other assistance.

Transient encampments and serious

environmental concerns were abated in

partnership with impacted property

owners. County Jail trustee laborers

restored the impacted areas to their

pristine pre-encampment condition at

minimal public cost.

In 2015 the Sheriff’s South Station

changed locations of the Nipomo Report

Writing room. The building that had

been the Report room for the past

several years became inadequate for the

needs of Deputies working the Nipomo

area so the Nipomo Report room was

relocated to a more modern building in

the center of town. This has enabled the

South County Patrol Deputies to

continue to provide excellent service to

the Nipomo area and allows Nipomo

residents a place to meet with Deputies

working the Nipomo area when needed.

In 2015, the Sheriff’s Office continued

to strengthen South County community

partnerships through the creation of

additional Neighborhood Watch and

continuing Rural Crime programs. Lucia

Mar Unified School District students in

the unincorporated areas completed the

third year of G.R.E.A.T (Gang Resistance

Education and Training) curriculum,

which teaches students about the

dangers associated with criminal street

gang participation.

The Sheriff’s Office completed the 2015

calendar year having logged over 21,600

law enforcement and medical aid calls

within the area of responsibility

attributed to the South Patrol Division.

From those calls and field initiated

contacts, south county deputies were

involved in more than 198 drug

enforcement arrests, 26 driving under

the influence (DUI) arrests, and more

than 847 total arrests.

198

Drug Enforcement

Arrests

26

DUI Arrests

847

Total Arrests

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

23


OAST STATION

THE COAST

PATROL

DIVISION

provides law enforcement service for all

unincorporated areas on the coast from

Avila Beach to the Monterey County line,

west of the Santa Lucia mountain range.

This area encompasses the communities

of San Simeon, Cambria, Cayucos, Los

Osos, Baywood Park, Avila Beach, and

the unincorporated area of San Luis

Obispo. Coast Station deputies also

provide assistance as requested to the

municipal police departments of Morro

Bay and San Luis Obispo, as well as to

the Cuesta College and Cal Poly

University police departments.

The patrol station is located at 2099 10th

Street in Los Osos, and is currently

staffed by one commander, three

sergeants, four senior deputies, 22

deputy sheriffs, and two legal clerks.

2015 provided many challenges to patrol

deputies assigned to the coastal division;

among the major events the deputies

handled were the Amgen Tour of

California finish in Avila Beach and

the annual Cayucos Fourth of

July celebration.

INMATES COLLECTED

APPROXIMATELY 240 CUBIC

YARDS OF WASTE FROM

THE CREEK, RESTORING IT

TO A PRISTINE STATE.

Transient encampments continued to

present a challenge in 2015 as coastal

communities faced new threats from

encampments in the form of fire danger

and environmental pollution.

In June, the Sheriff’s Office was notified

of an illegal encampment on public land

that was the source of a fire. Deputies

conducted surveys of the creeks and

surrounding land, and located numerous

illegal encampments that posed a fire

danger to Cambria. Deputies posted

notices to vacate the encampments and

then made frequent follow up visits to

ensure the areas were cleared. Through

a cooperative agreement between the

Land Conservancy, the Cambria

Community Service District and the

Sheriff’s Office, deputies took inmate

work crews from the county jail and

cleaned up the abandoned homeless

encampments.

In July, a large illegal encampment in San

Luis Creek was reported by the farmer

who cultivated an adjacent plot of land.

Deputies made a survey of the area and

found numerous illegal camps with

widespread evidence that transients

were using the creek itself as a sanitation

system. Furthermore, they had

attempted to dispose of trash by burning

it, which had caused several fires in

nearby trees. Deputies served the

occupants of the camps with notices to

vacate and provided information on the

social services available to them. The

farmer agreed to pay for six large roll off

containers, and over the course of four

days, inmates collected approximately

240 cubic yards of waste from the creek,

restoring it to a pristine state. The

Sheriff’s Office is continuing to monitor

24 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


the creeks and is working with the

Department of Fish and Wildlife to keep

illegal campers out of the protected habitat.

Coast deputies responded to several

high profile calls in 2015, one of them

being an attempted kidnapping on the

Ontario Ridge Trail. The female victim

was walking the trail when she passed a

man who grabbed her and attempted to

drag her into the bushes. The victim

broke free and ran toward the Pirate’s

Cove parking lot where she summoned

help. Later, a Sheriff’s deputy on patrol

saw a man on the nearby Shell Beach

Bluff Trail who matched the description

of the suspect. The deputy followed the

man up the trail, stopped him and took

him into custody. Following an

investigation by Sheriff’s detectives, the

suspect was charged with one count of

attempted kidnapping.

During a separate call for service,

deputies responded to a report of a

woman being attacked by her roommate

with an axe. The victim suffered wounds

from the attack, but managed to escape

the residence and run to a neighbor’s

house for help. As deputies arrived they

heard shots fired inside the home. The

deputies secured the area, evacuated

the victim and then searched for the

suspect, who was located in the

backyard of the home, dead from a

self-inflicted gunshot wound.

COAST DEPUTIES

RESPONDED TO SEVERAL

HIGH CALLS IN 2015, ONE OF

THEM BEING AN ATTEMPTED

KIDNAPPING ON THE

OCEANO RIDGE TRAIL

Deputies also responded to a shots fired

call where they learned that a suspect,

arguing with his girlfriend, made threats

against her parents, which they

overheard. The parents became fearful

and retrieved a shotgun for protection.

When the father went to check on his

daughter the suspect advanced toward

him, armed with a hammer. The father

fired one warning shot into the air, but

the suspect continued his advance while

simultaneously beating on cars parked

on the street. Deputies were able to

de-escalate the situation and arrest the

suspect for assault with a deadly

weapon and for making criminal threats.

The Coast Station handled a rash of

trailhead vehicle burglaries in 2015.

While patrolling the Bob Jones trailhead,

deputies contacted a man sitting in a

vehicle around midnight. The deputies

saw drug paraphernalia in plain sight and

searched the car, which yielded several

small bags containing

methamphetamine and a large number

of high-end electronics equipment

including laptop computers, tablets, and

camera equipment. The suspect was

arrested for transporting or selling

methamphetamine and the electronics

were seized for observation to

determine if they were stolen property.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

25


ATCH

OMMANDER

THE WATCH

COMMANDER’S

OFFICE

is located in the Emergency Operations

Center directly adjacent to the Sheriff’s

Dispatch Center. Sheriff’s sergeants

man the office 24 hours per day.

Sheriff’s commanders staff the office

during the evening hours to increase the

field supervision of patrol deputies. The

Watch Commander’s Office is the

single point of contact for all county

departments and services after

business hours, on weekends and

on holidays.

The Watch Commander’s Office has

the principal responsibility of overseeing

dispatch services and patrol operations

on a daily basis. The office also serves

as the point of contact for the entire

county with the Federal National

Warning System (NAWAS) and the

California State Warning Center, which

provide communications to our county

in the event of a natural disaster or

terrorist attack. The watch commander

also handles all local notifications during

critical incidents and natural disasters,

including but not limited to the county’s

Bomb Task Force, Sheriff’s Special

Enforcement Detail, Search and Rescue,

Dive Team, Aero Squadron, and the

Sheriff’s Detective Division.

THE WATCH COMMANDER’S

OFFICE IS THE SINGLE

POINT OF CONTACT

FOR ALL COUNTY

DEPARTMENTS AND

SERVICES AFTER BUSINESS

HOURS, ON WEEKENDS

AND ON HOLIDAYS.

The Watch Commander’s Office is the

single point of contact for all county

departments and services after

business hours, on weekends and

on holidays.

The Watch Commander’s Office is the

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant’s

primary law enforcement point of

contact during any unusual events or

critical incidents occurring at the plant.

During an emergency, the watch

commander is authorized to activate the

County Emergency Alert System (EAS)

including Reverse 9-1-1, area sirens, and

EAS messages on commercial radio

and television.

26 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


DISPATCH

THE SHERIFF’S

DISPATCH

CENTER

is a Primary Public Safety Answering

Point responsible for all 9-1-1 calls in the

county, Arroyo Grande and Morro Bay,

as well as communication and dispersal

of information between the public, law

enforcement, paramedics and

numerous county and state

departments. The Dispatch Center is

also responsible for receiving calls for

service from the public and dispatching

law enforcement, probation,

ambulances, EMS helicopters and other

agency personnel to the respective

calls, which contributes to the several

thousand incoming and outgoing calls

handled by the Sheriff’s Dispatch

Center each year.

The Sheriff’s Dispatch Center is staffed

with EMD (Emergency Medical

Dispatch) certified dispatchers 24 hours

a day, seven days a week. The Sheriff’s

Dispatch Center has the responsibility

of activating the Reverse 9-1-1 system

in times of emergency. Within minutes,

this system can notify hundreds of

residences by telephone with a voice

recording stating the emergency

involved and what action (if any) should

be taken. The system’s database is

updated monthly using current records

from the 9-1-1 database. The Reverse

9-1-1 system has been activated nine

times this past year for emergency

notifications in numerous areas of the

county, relating to the Cuesta Grade

Fire, the Santa Margarita Fire, the Farroll

Avenue Fire in Arroyo Grande, and for

critical missing individuals and safety

issues like down powerlines.

Technologically, the Computer Aided

Dispatch (CAD) mobile and mapping

program is a Tritech system. The Tritech

software gives dispatchers the ability to

create incidents and direct the closest,

most appropriate emergency personnel

to calls for service. The 9-1-1 system is

an AIRBUS Vesta VoIP 9-1-1 phone

system; the system was installed to

handle the next generation of 9-1-1.

In 2015, the Sheriff’s Dispatch Center

answered 46,808 9-1-1 phone calls. The

calls were answered in ten seconds or

less over 99.7 percent of the time; the

California State standard is 90 percent.

The Dispatch Center handled over

212,397 phone calls and created

127,364 incidents for service. The

Dispatch Center created and dispatched

approximately 26,689 medical calls

for service.

In addition to their daily duties,

dispatchers are also involved in

community outreach. The dispatchers

attend special events and the county

fair, handing out information including

the importance of 9-1-1 and when this

number should be used. The children

get to meet Red E. Fox, the 9-1-1 for

Kids mascot.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

27


ANINE UNIT

379

Deployments

690

Searches

111

Arrests

61

Assisted Other Agencies

31

Apprehensions

1

Apprehension Bite


1,305

Grams of Cocaine

4,979

Grams of Marijuana

2,390

Grams of Methamphetamine

$11,270

Positive U.S. Currency

426

Grams of Heroin

$65,862

Negative U.S. Currency


ANINE UNIT

THE SHERIFF’S

OFFICE CANINE

UNIT

was established in January 2001 with

its first Narcotics Detection Canine,

Jake. Jake worked through 2009 until

he passed away from cancer, leaving a

lasting impression.

THE CANINE MISSION

STATEMENT:

The mission of the San Luis Obispo

County Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit is to

support department operations by

providing the expertise necessary to

effectively search for suspects, missing

persons, narcotics and evidence, while

enhancing officer safety and providing

outstanding service to the community.

In January 2010, the Sheriff’s Office

purchased our second Narcotics

Detection Canine, Jack. Jack is

assigned to Senior Deputy Barger at the

Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit.

The Sheriff’s Office expanded the

Canine Program in December 2011 by

adding four cross-trained patrol dogs.

These dogs can detect narcotics,

protect their handlers, apprehend

suspects, and track and locate

missing persons.

Handler Deputy Mark Souza and Canine

Gonzo and Handler Deputy Bryan Love

and Canine Hondo are assigned to

North Station. Handler Deputy John

Franklin and Canine Jacco are assigned

to South Station. Deputy Peet and

Canine DJ are assigned to Coast Station.

Handler Senior Correctional Deputy

Josh Fischer and Canine Dutch are

assigned to the Custody Division.

Canines Gonzo, Jacco, Hondo, DJ,

Dutch and Jack were certified by the

California Narcotics Canine association

as 100 percent proficient at detecting

the odors of cocaine, methamphetamine,

heroin, opium and marijuana.

Canines Gonzo, Jacco, Hondo and DJ

were also certified by Police Officer

Standards and Training and the California

Narcotics Canine Association. These

certifications encompassed obedience,

apprehension and handler protection.

The canines have been deployed for five

years and are doing a great job for the

Sheriff’s Office and the community. To

improve the efficiency of the Canine

Unit we are giving the canine deputies

the ability to input their canine stats into

the patrol car computers, limiting the

amount of time spent in the patrol

station. The canine teams are

challenged with situational scenarios to

test their case-law knowledge and

decision-making ability.

Handler Josh Peet and Bryan Love

attended the Los Angeles Sheriff’s

Department Special Enforcement

Bureau training, which included canine/

SWAT team integration, tactical area

searching, tactical building searching,

and arrest team tactics. All of the patrol

canine teams are now properly trained

and integrated into the Sheriff’s Special

Enforcement Detail (SED).

Handler Josh Peet and Mark Souza also

attended advanced canine training at

Gold Coast K-9.

All of the Sheriff’s canine patrol teams

are equipped with new ballistic helmets

and radio headsets consistent with the

SED teams.

30 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


SED

GTF

THE SHERIFF’S SPECIAL

ENFORCEMENT DETAIL

(SED) is a highly trained and specially equipped tactical

team designed to resolve critical incidents. These can

include hostage situations, barricaded suspects, armed

suicidal subjects, and high-risk warrant service.

This year the team added two deputy positions, a team sergeant,

three tactical negotiators, and a cadre of tactical

dispatchers. Sheriff’s canines have also begun training

with the SED.

The team was formed in the 1970s in response to the civil

unrest occurring at that time. In 2003, the Atascadero

Police Department partnered with the team to deal with

the increasing threat of terrorism. This year, SED was

deployed more than a dozen times for high-risk arrest and

search warrants, barricaded subjects, attempted

homicides, and homicides. The team met every

challenge successfully.

The SED team trains 20 hours per month, attending basic

and advanced tactical courses. The tactical equipment

supplied to the team includes weapons, less lethal

munitions and armored rescue vehicles. Most critical incidents

are resolved through negotiations rather than with force.

AS WE REFLECT ON 2015

for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Gang Task Force

(GTF), we reminisce on the achievements that propelled us

toward our ongoing objective to dismantle and disrupt local

gang activity by way of enforcement, prosecution and education.

Last year, the Gang Task Force investigated crimes

involving gang violence, such as an incident that occurred in

Nipomo where members of a criminal street gang

assaulted a motorist. Utilizing the Special Enforcement

Detail (SED), the Gang Task Force served search and arrest

warrants on these subjects and arrested each of them. All

were charged with gang enhancements and their cases are

pending. The Gang Task force also assisted criminal detectives

with murder cases in 2015 and participated in 25 gang

presentations to law enforcement and the public. Investigations

included the arrest and prosecution of a drive-by

shooting suspect, gang related stabbings, and gang related

illegal drug sale cases. The Gang Task Force apprehended

dangerous criminals that presented a threat to public and

officer safety, and helped identify persons who participated

in criminal street gangs throughout San Luis Obispo County.

The SED continues to train with a focus on terrorism and

current tactical issues, providing the citizens of San Luis

Obispo County one of the best tactical teams in the state.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

31


ARCOTICS UNIT

.70

Pounds of Heroin

12.9

Pounds of Cocaine

5.7

Pounds of

Methamphetamine

THE SAN LUIS

OBISPO COUNTY

SHERIFF’S

OFFICE

maintains the Narcotics Unit consisting

of 12 investigators supervised by a sergeant.

In 2015, the Drug Enforcement

Agency assigned an investigator to the

Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit.

The most prevalent narcotics available in

the county are methamphetamine,

cocaine and heroin. The unit employs a

wide range of investigative techniques

to combat the problem. Some of the

common techniques are surveillance,

use of informants, controlled purchases

and wiretaps. In cases involving largescale

illegal drug sales where the

proceeds can be located, asset

forfeiture may be utilized.

The California Legislature is currently

amending the law as it pertains to

marijuana cultivation and possession,

giving local jurisdictions more clearly

defined protocol when addressing either

issue. The recent drought curtailed

much of the large outdoor illegal

cultivation. However, this past season

showed an upward spike in that activity.

The Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit maintains a

Clandestine Laboratory Team trained

and certified by the state of California.

Federal and state law require

investigators who work with hazardous

materials (HAZMAT), such as those

found in clandestine drug laboratories

(clan labs), to complete a total of 80

hours of instruction.

FEDERAL AND STATE LAW

REQUIRE INVESTIGATORS

WHO WORK WITH

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TO

COMPLETE A TOTAL OF 80

HOURS OF INSTRUCTION.

They learn how to safely process a

clandestine laboratory site for evidence

as part of their investigation. They also

learn to ensure their compliance with

the various environmental and safety

regulations that apply to clan lab seizure

and dismantling. These investigators

must then receive ongoing training in

this field to maintain their certification.

Clan labs are most often associated with

methamphetamine manufacturing.

32 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


In the interest of protecting children who

are exposed to drugs, the Sheriff’s

Office participates in the California

Multi-Jurisdictional Methamphetamine

Enforcement Team (Cal-MMET)

Program. The Cal-MMET grant funds

two Sheriff’s narcotics investigators

who receive specialized training in the

field of Drug Endangered Children (DEC)

investigations. Sheriff’s investigators

work closely with the District Attorney’s

Office and the Department of Social

Services to keep children safe and

prosecute those who would expose

them to the dangers of illicit drugs.

Additionally, the unit has also responded

to ongoing maritime smuggling

operations involving Panga boats. Over

the past two years, San Luis Obispo

County has consistently had one of the

highest numbers of confirmed Panga

boats in the state.

In 2015, the following seizure totals

were made as the result of over 85

investigations by Sheriff’s narcotics

investigators.

Heroin

.70 lbs.

Cocaine

12.9 lbs.

Methamphetamine 5.7 lbs.

Processed marijuana 3,369 lbs.

Marijuana plants 49,679

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

33


OMB TASK FORCE

THE SAN LUIS

OBISPO COUNTY

BOMB TASK

FORCE (BTF)

was created in 1981, at a time when

explosive and bomb-related incidents

were increasing within San Luis Obispo

County. The need for a specialized team

with unique equipment and 24-hour

response capabilities was realized.

All law enforcement agencies within the

county committed to the BTF and

began responding to calls for service in

1982. Funding resources currently come

from San Luis Obispo County,

incorporated cities and California

Polytechnic State University.

Each team member is a certified bomb

technician and has completed a thorough

background check with the Federal

Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Basic

training consists of six weeks at a FBI

Hazardous Devices School. Training is

ongoing, and each bomb technician is a

member of the International Association

of Bomb Technicians and Investigators.

The BTF is accredited by the FBI Bomb

Data Center in Washington D.C. and is

certified as a fully operational bomb

squad, capable of rendering safe and

disposing of improvised explosive

devices, military ordnance and

commercially manufactured explosives.

STRUCTURE OF THE

BOMB TASK FORCE

The BTF has three members and is

commanded by a Sheriff’s Office senior

deputy and a task force manager.

The task force is governed by a board of

directors consisting of the Sheriff, the

chief(s) of police of each municipal

police agency within the county and the

chief of police for California Polytechnic

State University.

TASK FORCE CAPABILITIES

The task force is fully equipped to

respond to all bomb or explosive-related

incidents within San Luis Obispo

County, and upon a mutual aid request,

to areas outside the county.

The BTF works in conjunction with

various state and federal agencies

including the California Highway Patrol,

State Parks and Recreation Department,

FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,

Firearms and Explosives, United States

Postal Inspectors, and Department of

Homeland Security.

The task force works with the Santa

Barbara County Sheriff’s Department

Bomb Squad and the 30th Civil Engineer

Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Disposal

Team at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

32

Explosive Devices or

Bomb-Related Calls

34 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


HONOR

GUARD

RESPONSE PROCEDURES

The BTF has the primary jurisdictional responsibility to

all explosive and bomb-related incidents within San

Luis Obispo County. A team member is continuously

on call and the task force is available 24 hours a day by

calling the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office at

(805) 781-4550 (non-emergency line). Emergency

situations may dictate a 9-1-1 call through the local law

enforcement agency of jurisdiction.

2015 CALLS FOR SERVICE

In 2015, the BTF responded to 32 explosive devices or

bomb-related calls throughout the county. Some of the

calls included WWII, Korean or Vietnam era military

ordnance, suspicious packages, suspected explosive

materials, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), illegal

explosive pyrotechnics, and hoax devices.

The BTF provided public demonstrations during

Sheriff’s Family Day at the Ranch, Cops ‘n’ Kids Day,

Law Enforcement Memorial Night at Farmer’s Market,

and at the Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy, SLO High

School Career Day, Grizzly Academy and the San Luis

Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Summer Youth Camps.

THIS IS THE SECOND

full year that the Sheriff’s Honor Guard has served the

office and community. The team is made up of 14 members

of the Sheriff’s Office who volunteered for this

collateral assignment. Members train eight hours every

two months to maintain their skills, and also meet in

advance of an event to ensure they are properly prepared

for any assignment.

This past year, the Sheriff’s Honor Guard has attended

funerals for peace officers killed in the line of duty, the

State Of California’s Peace Officer’s Memorial in Sacramento,

the San Luis Obispo County Peace Officer’s

Memorial, Honor Flights for veterans, September 11

memorial functions, community college graduations and

police academy graduation.

The devotion and professionalism shown by members of

the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office has made this unit an

outstanding part of the organization.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

35


URAL

RIMES UNIT

400

Cases

30

Search Warrants

THE MISSION OF

THE SAN LUIS

OBISPO COUNTY

Rural Crimes Unit (RCU) is to enforce

laws and provide investigative services

focused on theft and property damage

in the agriculture and rural industries.

The RCU provides current crime

prevention techniques and strategies to

the farmers and ranchers of San Luis

Obispo County.

One RCU deputy is assigned to each

patrol station within the Sheriff’s Office

jurisdiction. In addition to specific

training, deputies are members of the

California Rural Crime Prevention Task

Force and the Central Coast Rural Crime

Task Force. Deputies attend meetings

and training on a regular basis and host

the quarterly California Rural Crime

Prevention Task Force (CRCPTF)

meeting once per year in San Luis

Obispo County.

Frequent meetings are held with the

stakeholders of the San Luis Obispo

County rural community. These

stakeholders include the SLO County

Farm Bureau, Cattlewomen and

Cattlemen’s Associations, and the Farm

Bureau Women’s Groups. These

meetings present the opportunity to

share information regarding crime

trends. It also provides the opportunity

to make crime prevention

recommendations, such as the

formation of a “ranch watch” group or

completing a ranch/farm security

survey.

In 2015, the RCU investigated

approximately 400 cases. These cases

included vandalism of property and

equipment, theft of farm and

agricultural equipment, animal neglect,

and killing of livestock. The RCU

executed more than 30 search warrants

related to rural crimes.

Many of the RCU investigations led to

arrest and prosecution of the offenders.

One investigation of tool thefts from

ranches led to the recovery of over

$4,000 worth of stolen property linked

to multiple residential burglaries that

occurred in the city of San Luis Obispo.

36 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


The investigation led to the subsequent

arrest and prosecution of the suspect.

Other investigations included theft of

commodities from Hearst Ranch and an

animal cruelty case related to

cockfighting. The cockfighting case led

to the seizure of more than 50 fighting

birds and tools, and ultimately the

conviction of the suspect.

The RCU finalized an investigation

involving a widespread Southern

California criminal group. The suspects

were linked to multiple thefts occurring

in counties throughout California,

Arizona and Nevada. During the

investigation, more than $300,000

worth of property was recovered.

The RCU took the lead in the abatement

of the San Luis Obispo Creek area near

South Higuera Street. Farmers reported

a large transient population in the area,

resulting in possible crop damage.

Multiple arrests were made during the

operation along with the removal of

more than 20,000 pounds of trash and

debris from the areas surrounding the

creek bed.

Community outreach and education are

fundamental components of the RCU.

Throughout the year, the RCU provided

presentations to the Cattlewomen

Association and the Sheriff’s Citizen

Academy. In addition, the RCU spent 12

days at the California Mid State Fair and

participated in the Sheriff’s Family Day

at the Ranch and the Cops ‘n’ Kids Field

Day. Additionally, the RCU educated the

public on the various products produced

by the farming and ranch community as

well as the economic importance it

provides to San Luis Obispo County.

In the coming year, the Sheriff’s RCU is

looking forward to enhanced training,

utilizing new technologies and building

partnerships to deliver effective and

professional law enforcement services.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

37


ARINE

NFORCEMENT

NIT

THE MARINE

ENFORCEMENT

UNIT (MEU)

consists of six deputies, one sergeant

and one commander. The MEU

continues to provide enforcement at

Lake Nacimiento and Lake Lopez,

working closely with rangers from both

San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties.

With an eye on education and boating

safety, deputies contacted dozens of

boaters each day they patrolled the

county’s lakes.

In addition to our local lakes, the

coastline of San Luis Obispo extends

south from Big Sur to the Santa Maria

River, just north of Point Sal. Contained

within these 90 miles of coastline is the

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

near Avila Beach. The MEU is now

equipped to provide consistent

enforcement patrols in the waters off

the San Luis Obispo coastline, with the

addition of the newest vessel in the

fleet, a 27’ Defender Class patrol boat

built by SAFE Boats International of

Bremerton, Washington.

Because of the continuing smuggling

threat facing coastal communities,

Sheriff Parkinson sought federal grant

money to purchase this fully equipped

vessel to conduct inshore and offshore

patrols as part of our routine antimaritime

smuggling patrols. The cost

for this fully equipped patrol vessel,

which was $342,812.82, was paid for

entirely with federal grant money to

increase protection of the coastal

waters off San Luis Obispo County.

Members of the MEU travelled to

Washington State to conduct sea trials

in early January and the vessel was

delivered to the Sheriff’s Office just a

few weeks later.

The Defender Class boat has conducted

patrol operations for approximately 150

hours this year, including operations as

far as 50 miles off the coast and 25

miles north of the county line. In those

two cases, the MEU assisted federal,

state and local authorities in the

interdiction of two Panga boats. Panga

boat smuggling activity along the San

Luis Obispo County coast continues to

present a challenge to law enforcement.

However, the MEU is now better

equipped to work with the Sheriff’s

Office Dive Team, narcotics detectives

and our state and federal partners in

detecting and safely removing Panga

boats from county beaches. Doing so

significantly reduces the man-hours

needed for the disposal of Panga boats

and minimizes any adverse

environmental impact.

THE PURPOSE OF MEU

REACHES BEYOND

ENFORCEMENT PATROL,

AS THEY ASSIST WITH

RESCUES WHEN NEEDED.

The purpose of MEU reaches beyond

enforcement patrol, as they assist with

rescues when needed. In August 2015,

while patrolling on the water at Lopez

Lake, Deputy Matthew Shields and a

county park ranger were summoned by

two people who were in distress. The

personal watercraft they had been

riding had overturned and they indicated

that a third person, a 50-year-old female,

was trapped underneath the water.

Deputy Shields removed his gun belt

38 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


and immediately jumped into the water

to save the woman. Deputy Shields

tried to roll the watercraft over but to no

avail, so he swam underneath trying to

locate the woman. After several

attempts, he located the woman and

tried to pull her out. Her life vest was

caught on something under the water.

Deputy Shields freed the woman and

with the help of several others nearby

was able to get the victim into the patrol

boat. It’s estimated the woman was

underwater between 90 seconds and

three minutes. The woman was

conscious but not alert. Deputy Shields,

who was formerly trained as an EMT

and was also an ocean lifeguard in

college, placed the woman on her side

in the recovery position. He assessed

her condition and found that she was

breathing. The victim was taken to the

boat launch ramp where additional

county park rangers were waiting to

provide medical aid. She was

transported by ambulance to a local

hospital and recovered from her ordeal.

Another similar case occurred in

November when the Sheriff’s Office

received a call about an overturned

kayak in the waters off Montana de Oro

State Park. The Sheriff’s Office

Defender Class Boat was nearby on a

training mission with members of the

MEU. San Luis Obispo County

Supervisor Frank Mecham and his

legislative assistant Vicki Shelby

Fogleman were also on board the boat

as observers. Two fishermen in the area

discovered a male subject floating in the

water. They pulled the victim out of the

water and then radioed for assistance.

The crew on the boat responded to the

area as well as the Coast Guard and

Morro Bay Harbor Patrol. They

transferred the victim to the boat,

monitored his condition and transported

him to Morro Bay Fire paramedics

waiting on shore. The 72-year-old victim

had been kayaking alone when it

overturned. The man was cold and

fatigued and suffering from hypothermia,

but also recovered from his experience.

The MEU also provides vessel

operations in support of the Sheriff’s

Office Dive Team and the Special

Enforcement Detail. Additionally, the

MEU provided vessel support for the

United States Coast Guard, assisting in

the performance of vessel safety

inspections in the waters off Morro Bay.

With the addition of the Defender Class

patrol boat, the M/V Rob Bryn, the longserving

25’ Almar patrol boat, was retired

from Sheriff’s Office service and

transferred to San Luis Obispo County

Parks where she will continue to faithfully

serve the citizens of San Luis Obispo

County on the waters of Lopez Lake.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

39


ICYCLE PATROL

THE BICYCLE

PATROL IS A

SPECIALTY

TEAM

comprised of deputies who are available

to augment patrol and fill a niche

between foot and vehicle patrol. The

Bicycle Patrol Team is well suited for

large events including parades, festivals,

races and other special events. Deputies

on bicycles can cover a larger area than a

deputy on foot and can navigate

crowded areas. The bicycle patrol

deputy can get to a call for service faster

than the foot patrol or patrol car deputy.

THE BICYCLE PATROL

DEPUTY CAN GET TO A CALL

FOR SERVICE FASTER THAN

THE FOOT PATROL OR

PATROL CAR DEPUTY.

By using bicycle patrol deputies, the

public can approach and speak with a

deputy, enhancing positive community

relationships.

The Bicycle Patrol Team trains together

as a team twice a year. Training builds

on basic bicycle riding skills and

develops patrol-specific riding skills.

We had a unique training opportunity

early this year when the owners of

Ravine Water Park in Paso Robles

allowed the team to train in their facility,

which was closed for the season. The

training included a serpentine course to

develop and test riding skills. In this

exercise, riders must weave in and out

of the cone pattern while maintaining

balance. In an emergency braking

exercise, deputies rides full speed into

a t-intersection until the instructor gives

the right or left turn signal, at which

time the deputy must apply emergency

brakes and make the turn without

crashing. In Avila Beach training, team

members had the chance to ride

through town, on the promenade, and

along the Bob Jones Trail. It also

provided practice with going up

and down stairs.

The Bicycle Patrol Team was used for

several events in 2015. The 4th of July

Independence Day celebration in

Cayucos was the team’s biggest event.

Another event highlight was the Amgen

Tour of California in Avila Beach. The

Bicycle Patrol Team was present to

provide bicycle patrol on the Bob Jones

Trail, parking lots, public streets,

downtown, Lifestyle Festival, and finish

line. Team members enjoyed watching

the professional racers ride through

with so much speed and energy, even

after their lengthy rides.

In 2015, the team tested a new Trek 29”

wheel patrol bicycle. The overwhelming

consensus was that it is a better patrol

bicycle to meet our needs. We also

tested a new LED emergency light

system, which is brighter, and has a

lighter low profile design with longer run

time. Pending budgetary constraints,

we will replace two bicycles a year until

we have replaced our current fleet.

The team will continue with our

regularly scheduled training in the

coming year in addition to a special

training with Morro Bay Police

Department bicycle patrol officers to

prepare for the 2016 Amgen race.

40 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


SCHOOL

RESOURCE

DEPUTIES

THE SCHOOL

RESOURCE

OFFICER

PROGRAM

ensures safety and promotes positive

relationships on school campuses and

at school and community events. These

events include Cops ‘n’ Kids Day, 24

Hour Relay Challenge, Sheriff’s Family

Day at the Ranch, Days of the Dons,

The California Mid-State Fair, and many

more. The primary role of the School

Resource Officers (SROs) is education,

intervention and prevention. The SROs

also act as a resource for students, staff,

parents and the community.

The SROs currently provide a visible and

positive law enforcement presence on

more than 40 school campuses

throughout San Luis Obispo County.

SROs assist school staff in educating

kindergarten through 12th-grade

students on prevention of drug, alcohol

and tobacco use through programs like

G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education

and Training), Teen Survival Skills and

Project Alert. Additionally, SROs are

actively involved in truancy intervention

and the Juvenile Diversion Program.

During the 2014–2015 school year, the

G.R.E.A.T. program curriculum was

taught in the Coastal, North and South

County. Hundreds of elementary

students graduated from the program.

In 2015, the San Luis Obispo County

Juvenile Probation Department

partnered with the Sheriff’s Office and

San Luis Obispo County Drug and

Alcohol Services “Friday Night Live”

Team to plan and run the three San Luis

Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Youth

Summer Camps. The three camps were

in Arroyo Grande at Mesa Middle

School, Cayucos Elementary School

and Templeton High School.

During these week long camps,

students participated in fun events like

tie-dying team t-shirts, tug-a-war and a

carpet square game. They experienced

three assembly events featuring Bucket

Busters (local group of teenagers who

make music using plastic buckets), an

adult dance group from Los Angeles

and a life size board game. Finally,

students attended Law Enforcement

Day where the Sheriff’s Office and

other law enforcement agencies display

their specialty units for students to learn

about and experience firsthand.

All three camps were a huge success,

and were funded through donations

from the community, allowing all 316

students to attend for free.

All Sheriff’s Office SROs partnered with

San Luis Obispo County Drug and

Alcohol Services “Friday Night Live”

Team and San Luis Obispo County

Probation Juvenile Division Officers to

plan a BBQ for all the students who

attended the camps. The Sheriff’s

Office is in the planning stages for the

2016 summer camp.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

41


ROPERTY ROOM

THE PROPERTY

ROOM IS

STAFFED

by three property officers, two full-time

employees and one part-time employee.

Our newest full-time property officer

joined in May 2015 and has already

shown to be a great benefit to our office.

The part-time position is dedicated to

picking up property at the Sheriff’s three

patrol stations throughout the county

and destroying property that is no longer

needed to be held as evidence.

Operation Medicine Cabinet came to a

close for us in October 2015, leaving the

task of collecting unused prescription

medication to the local pharmacies.

Since 2010, the Sheriff’s Property

Office worked together with Integrated

Waste Management and several of the

local police departments to collect and

destroy more than 23,000 pounds of

medications. These expired or unused

medications were safely destroyed

rather than potentially ending up on the

street, in the trash or flushed down

the toilet.

Construction has been completed at the

old property room, leaving us a small

area retained for long-term storage.

Additional shelving was installed in our

firearm vault, allowing space for storage

of 165 more handguns.

We continue to develop new ways of

improving our organization and

efficiency. This will be a continued

effort in years to come but we have

shown great progress throughout 2015.

42 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


CRIME

PREVENTION

A FUNCTION

OF THE

OPERATIONS

DIVISION,

the Crime Prevention and Public

Information Unit is staffed by two crime

prevention specialists and a public

information officer. The crime

prevention specialists are each

assigned to a specific area and crosstrained

to support the entire

organization.

The rural crime specialist coordinates

with the three rural crime deputies

assigned to North, Coast and South

Patrol Stations. The specialist presents

crime prevention information and

follow-up support to the ranching and

agricultural communities, Farm and

Ranch Watch programs and the Owner

Applied Number Program. The

specialist represents the Sheriff at local

cattlemen and women groups,

California Mid-State Fair, and Farm

Bureau. This specialist also assists in

maintaining the department’s Facebook

page and Twitter account and provides

support to the public information officer.

The crime prevention specialist

maintains all the Neighborhood Watch

programs in the unincorporated areas of

the county, supporting and maintaining

more than 30 established groups and

training others. The position is also

responsible for the annual Citizens

Academy and Sheriff’s Auxiliary

Volunteer Patrol Academy, children’s

programs, security surveys for home

and business, and public displays at

community events. They also handle

the Crime Prevention Through

Environmental Design review of new

developments and construction.

The public information officer (PIO) is

the primary liaison with local, national

and international media for any news

items that directly relate to the Sheriff’s

Office. Responsibilities include writing

and distributing press releases,

generating story ideas, and acting as

the primary spokesperson for the

Sheriff’s Office. The PIO is also

responsible for the design and content

of the Sheriff’s Office website,

www.slosheriff.org.

The PIO also coordinates social media

efforts on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office

including Facebook, Twitter and

YouTube. In an effort to communicate

more effectively with the community

we serve, we greatly expanded our

social media presence in 2015.

For example, when we first began to

post to Facebook, our audience reach

for one post was 75 people. Compare

that to this past October, when a single

post reached almost 70,000 people. In

November of 2015, the Sheriff’s Office

developed a small studio that gave us

the ability to live stream breaking news

events and host news conferences or

media interviews over the Internet.

Other PIO responsibilities include

developing public service

announcements, developing support

services for the media and assisting in

scheduling speakers from the Sheriff’s

executive staff for service clubs and

special event presentations.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

43


EARCH

ND RESCUE

THE SAN LUIS

OBISPO COUNTY

SHERIFF’S

OFFICE

Search and Rescue (SLOSAR) Team

consists of volunteer members from

our community who are trained and

certified in:

• Emergency Medical Responder

(EMR)

• Health Care Provider CPR

• Incident Command System (ICS)

• Communications

• Extensive search techniques and

procedures

• Rope rescue skills

• Mapping

• Compass and Global Positioning

System (GPS)

• Wilderness tracking and survival

All Members are certified by National

Association of Search and Rescue

(NASAR) as either SAR Technician 2 or 3.

THE COST SAVED BY SAN

LUIS OBISPO COUNTY FOR

A PROFESSIONAL SEARCH

AND RESCUE VOLUNTEER

TEAM IS APPROXIMATELY

$2,000 PER HOUR.

SLOSAR is one of very few county SAR

units that have their own California

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Continuing Education Provider Program.

This license allows SLOSAR trained

EMS staff to re-certify Emergency

Medical Technicians (EMTs) through the

state and evaluate skills at the state and

national level. SLOSAR has an Out of

County Incident Management Team

that can be deployed to another county

and provide assistance or guidance on

the management of that search.

All new members to SLOSAR are

probationary for 9-14 months during

which they are trained by experienced

SLOSAR team members and are

expected to gain proficiency in all of the

skills described above. Many SLOSAR

members have acquired advanced skills

in search theory, management,

operations, logistics management,

advanced GPS computer mapping and

advanced technical rescue. Some

members have created trainings that

have been recognized nationwide and

others are developing trainings that will

enhance the skill levels of their

teammates.

SLOSAR currently has 55 members.

Most members, although all proficient

in ground searching, have chosen to be

part of a specialty team within the

SLOSAR Team. The specialty teams

within SLOSAR include:

• Ground search teams

(urban and rural)

• 4x4 and ATV (quad) teams

• Communications /

dispatching team

• Mountain Bike Team

(urban and rural)

• Technical Rope Rescue Team

44 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


(high and low angle)

• K9 Team (area searching,

trailing and cadaver)

• Medical Team (25+ members

rated at EMT or higher)

• Tracking Team

• Urban Search and Rescue

(USAR) Disaster Team (2016)

• “Project Lifesaver” Team

The SLOSAR Team’s training and

expertise allows them to support the

Sheriff’s Office by participating in crime

scene searches and equipment support.

Some of the specialty equipment and

vehicles available and supported by

SLOSAR are:

• 26’ communication-command

vehicle

• Detailed (topo) county maps

and computer mapping

(Terrain Navigator Pro)

• Generators and light towers

• 40’ medical trailer

• Command trailers

• Crew/rehab trailer

• ATV / Quads

• California Office of Emergency

Services (Cal OES)

Communications Mobile

Interoperability Gateway Unit

(MIGU)

• Mountain bikes

• Humvee

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

SLOSAR members are very involved

with our community. Throughout the

year they participate in approximately 15

events each year including:

• Medical stand-by and first aid

stations at special events such as

adventure races

• Community events such as

Sheriff’s Day at the Ranch, Cops

‘n’ Kids Day, and the San Luis

Obispo Christmas Parade.

SEARCH MISSIONS

In 2015, SLOSAR received 15 call outs

for searches including seven missing

person searches, three mutual aid

requests, two “Project Lifesaver”

searches and four calls to assist other

agencies within our county.

The cost saved by San Luis Obispo

County for a professional search and

rescue volunteer team is approximately

$2,000 per hour. The cost saved by San

Luis Obispo County for all volunteer

time, which includes missions, training,

meetings and special events, is

estimated at $1.4 million per year.

CONTINUING TO GROW

SLOSAR is continually growing and

expanding their expertise in the realm of

search and rescue. Currently in the

works is the development of an Urban

Search and Rescue Team (to be

deployed during a disaster) and a “Type

I” Search Team that would be qualified

to search for extended periods of time,

at any elevation and in any environment.

Each of these teams has the potential to

be deployed for searches or natural

disasters throughout California upon the

request of Cal OES.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

45


AVP

THE SHERIFF’S

AUXILIARY

VOLUNTEER

PATROL (SAVP)

was established to assist the San Luis

Obispo County Sheriff’s Office in

meeting its law enforcement mission.

Citizen volunteers trained in a variety of

law enforcement topics, such as

observation skills, radio procedures and

first-aid, and providing supplemental

patrol in our neighborhoods and

business districts.

These volunteers contribute more than

14,000 hours of service per year

providing various services. They act as

additional “eyes and ears” in an effort to

identify crime problems and increase

public safety. Aside from patrolling the

streets, auxiliary patrol members

perform more than 300 vacation

checks annually.

SAVP members regularly assist the

Crime Prevention Unit in preparing

materials for public displays and events

to enhance crime prevention education,

as well as attending those events. They

assist with the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy

annual graduation, which also provides

a chance for recruitment.

THESE VOLUNTEERS

CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN

14,000 HOURS OF SERVICE

PER YEAR PROVIDING

VARIOUS SERVICES.

Under the direction of the SAVP graffiti

abatement coordinator, SAVP members

participate in the removal of graffiti or

“tagging” incidences throughout the

entire county. The SAVP has spent

approximately 300 hours on these

endeavors in this past year and around

4,000 hours since the inception of

the program.

SAVP members regularly assume new

duties and assignments as requested.

They have continued their efforts with

the “Project Lifesaver” Program,

resulting in over 200 hours of service

this past year. Not only do they change

the batteries each month for those who

wear these devices, but they spend

time visiting with them, enabling their

family members to have a break.

These volunteers contribute more than

14,000 hours of service per year

providing various services.

Annually, this dedicated group travels

over 75,000 miles throughout the

county, completing these various tasks

and requests. SAVP members have also

volunteered their time to complete

nearly 700 hours of various types of

training to enhance their skills.

SAVP is a partnership between law

enforcement and the public, which

serves to increase the impact that the

Sheriff’s Office has in preserving our high

quality of life in San Luis Obispo County.

46 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


SHERIFF’S POSSE

2015 WAS AN

ACTIVE YEAR

for the Sheriff’s Posse. The 13 regular

members and five active honorary members

volunteered a total of 741 hours. A

list of the events the Posse participated

in can be found below.

The unit also provided training to search

and rescue probationary members to

ensure that both units can work together

when the Posse is called to assist.

BOARD MEMBERS

Captain

1st LT

2nd LT

Training Office

2nd LT Sec/

Treasurer

Past Captain

HOURS

Andy Fetyko

Vicki Janssen

Charlotte Manos

Lyle Thomas

Dee Hazelton

Ceremonial 274.00

Patrol 273.50

Search and Rescue 28.00

Meetings/Misc. Hours 165.50

Total Hours 741.00

CEREMONIAL EVENTS

Safety Day, Shandon Elementary

Sheriff’s Town Hall Meeting,

San Miguel

Sagebrush Days Parade,

San Miguel

Sheriff’s Town Hall Meeting,

Avila Beach

Sheriff’s Town Hall Meeting, Los Osos

Arroyo Grande/Grover Beach Chamber

of Commerce Lunch, Arroyo Grande

Jr. Ranger Camp, San Luis Obispo

GREAT Camp, Nipomo

Independence Day Parade, Templeton

International Torch Run,

San Luis Obispo

GREAT Camp, Cayucos

Sheriff’s Town Hall Meeting,

Heritage Ranch

GREAT Camp, San Miguel

Pinedorado Parade, Cambria

Sheriff’s Day at the Ranch,

San Luis Obispo

Harvest Festival Parade, Arroyo Grande

Pioneer Day Parade, Paso Robles

Colony Days Parade, Atascadero

Citizens Academy Graduation,

San Luis Obispo

Cops ‘n’ Kids Field Day, Arroyo Grande

PATROL EVENTS

Cal Poly Rodeo, San Luis Obispo

Templeton Park 4th of July, Templeton

Mid State Fair, Paso Robles

Creston Rodeo

SAR EVENTS

SAR Probationary Member Orientation

ORD, Turkey Flats

AWARDS FOR THE YEAR

Ceremonial Top Hand

Lowell McDonnell

Patrol Top Hand

Kasey Tremble

35.50 Hours

71.00 Hours

Honorary Member of the Year

Bill Parsonage

29.50 Hours

Member of the Year

Kasey Tremble

71.00 Hours

New Member of the Year

Patty Keller

50.00 Hours

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

47


ERO SQUADRON

2015 WAS AN

ACTIVE YEAR

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s

Aero Squadron is an all-volunteer organization

composed of FAA-licensed pilots

and non-pilot trained observers to provide

airborne search, rescue,

surveillance and specialized transportation

functions.

Member-pilots utilize their privately

owned aircraft, currently 14 fixed-wing

models, for mission support operations.

Aircraft owners are reimbursed for aviation

fuel and oil only used in conjunction

with an assigned mission.

A key asset in the Aero Squadron’s

inventory is a 2006 Ford F-150 support

vehicle outfitted with appropriate equipment

to support squadron operations

including UHF, VHF and aircraft-band

VHF transceivers for communication

with other county, state and federal assets

such as our SLOSAR and posse ground

search teams. All Aero Squadron active

mission pilots are also furnished with

public service-band VHF and UHF transceivers

for their observer’s communication

with ground search and support teams.

MISSIONS

One of the Aero Squadron’s original missions

was to provide airborne search,

location and rescue-support for survivors

of overdue and missing aircraft

along the coastal range and remote

inland areas. Numerous aircraft and

crash scenes have been located over

the years including the PSA airliner

crash west of Templeton in the 1980s.

More commonly, the Aero Squadron is

called upon to assist ground search and

rescue teams searching for missing persons.

Missing persons typically include

hikers, bicyclers, dirt bikers, ATV enthusiasts,

lost children and elderly people

- especially including those with mental

and emotional challenges. The squadron

has also been involved in the

location and recovery of personal

remains of those who have taken

their own lives.

The Aero Squadron also provides an

important airborne communication relay

platform for ground search and law

enforcement teams operating within the

county’s mountainous terrain and steep

valleys, which might otherwise block

line-of-sight VHF radio reception. Other

Aero Squadron missions include personnel,

vehicle and vessel tracking as part

of narcotics surveillance.

Currently, higher performance Aero

Squadron aircraft provide the Sheriff

and other county personnel with a

transportation asset throughout the

state of California for business

meeting attendance.

The Aero Squadron also exhibits its aircraft

and ground support vehicle at

various local airshows, the annual Law

Enforcement Night at the San Luis

Obispo Farmer’s Market in May and

Sheriff’s Family Day at the

Ranch in September.

CURRENT ASSETS (AS OF

DECEMBER 2015 MEMBER-

SHIP LEVEL)

Active members: 28

(pilots and observers)

Licensed pilots: 21

Member-owned aircraft:

9 Fixed-Wing and 1 Helicopter

Estimated current market value

of Aero Squadron aircraft

= $3,445,000.

48 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


2015 AERO

SQUADRON

OPERATIONS

2015 AERO SQUADRON

SEARCH AND RESCUE SUP-

PORT OPERATIONS

08/09/2015: Search for Three Missing

Juvenile Females in Vicinity of

San Simeon

Mission Description: The Aero Squadron

was contacted at 1800 to search for

three overdue juvenile females who

reportedly drove from Atascadero to the

coast to view the elephant seals. They

were to then drive south to Santa Maria

but were reported overdue. The Aero

Squadron’s newest asset, an R66 turbine-powered

helicopter, was

dispatched along with an observer/pilot

at 1810. A search was conducted along

the coast but concluded due to impending

nightfall. At 2151 we were advised

that the three subjects had returned to

Atascadero safely, reporting their vehicle

had broken down.

Total flight time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Total man-hours: 5

2015 AERO SQUADRON

TRANSPORTATION FLIGHTS

08/27/2015: Transportation Flight to

Sacramento for Deputy Interview

Mission Description: The Aero Squadron

was contacted with a request to

provide transportation for a deputy to

Sacramento for a law enforcementrelated

interview. What normally would

have required over ten hours of driving

was accomplished in about 6.5 hours,

including meeting time.

Total flight time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Total man-hours: 8

09/20/2015: Flight to San Diego to

Retrieve Dive Team Member

Mission Description: We were contacted

to provide a return ride to San

Luis Obispo for a deputy sheriff who is

a member of the Sheriff’s Dive Team.

The diver had ascended too quickly during

a training dive off Diablo Canyon

Nuclear Power Plant and developed

nitrogen narcosis, commonly known as

“the bends.” He was immediately airevacuated

to the University of California

Scripps hyperbaric (high pressure)

decompression facility north of San

Diego, which was the nearest available

chamber for this operation. The diver

then spent the remainder of that day

and most of the night being recompressed

to a higher air pressure and

slowly decompressed to sea level pressure

to allow the nitrogen in his system

to naturally aspire. At 0820 on the morning

of September 20, an Aero Squadron

pilot-member departed Santa Maria

along with another member pilot as

copilot and flew his pressurized singleengine

turbine Cessna 210 to San Diego

to retrieve the recovering dive team

member. On the return flight, a lower

cabin pressure altitude was maintained

to assist in the successful decompression.

They arrived back at San Luis

Obispo airport at 1215 and subsequently

returned to Santa Maria after

delivering their passenger.

Total flight time: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Total man-hours: 16 hours

12/10/2015: Ground Transportation

from Sacramento for SLOSAR member

Mission Description: On December 8,

the Aero Squadron was requested to

retrieve a member of the San Luis

Obispo Sheriff’s Search and Rescue

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

49


(SLOSAR) team from Sacramento. The

SLOSAR member was driving the

team’s multi-use communications vehicle

to a specialized facility in the capital

for service. Unfortunately, instrument

weather conditions were forecast for

that date, and the non-availability of aircraft

precluded our flight support.

Coincidentally, an Aero Squadron member

had driven to Sacramento on

business earlier in the week and

returned the SLOSAR member to the

county on the appointed day, sparing

the use of a separate retrieval vehicle.

Total flight time: 0 hours

Total man-hours: 7 hours

2015 AERO SQUADRON

TRAINING OPERATIONS

The Aero Squadron conducted two

flight training exercises during 2015.

October: Fall Operational

Readiness Drill

On October 24, the annual Fall Joint

Operational Readiness Drill was conducted

with SLOSAR and the mounted

Posse. Scenarios involved the location

and rescue of three pre-located individuals.

The Aero Squadron set up its Air

Operations base using its ground support

Unit 1798 adjacent to SLOSAR’s

communications van. In addition, we set

up a helicopter landing zone adjacent to

AirOps to land our member-owned R66

helicopter, which was supporting airborne

search operations with two of our

fixed wing aircraft. One of these aircraft

was designated High Bird and flew a

racetrack pattern at or above 6,500 feet

altitude for communications relay functions

over the mountainous terrain. The

Aero Squadron’s AirOps staff communicated

with SLOSAR remotely on one of

the VHF channels as did our three

aircraft once airborne. Although we

were successful in relaying communications

to ground searchers, we did not

initially find the three subjects who were

well concealed under brush.

Toward the conclusion of the exercise,

our helicopter flew two SLOSAR Project

Lifesaver crew members to test a

radio Direction Finding (DF) unit. This

small unit is worn by individuals with

diminished mental faculties such as

Alzheimer’s or dementia in order to

quickly provide location information

should they wander away from the

safety of their residences or caregivers.

Earlier in the day, one of our search subjects

had been wearing one of the

wristbands and purposely left it in the

field for relocation as part of the exercise.

We decided to test the DF unit in

the air from inside the helicopter. Not

long after takeoff, the DF unit provided

signal and direction to target, which led

to a very quick location of the wristband.

Total flight time: 7 hours

Total man-hours: 56 hours,

including planning

December: Fixed Wing Flight Location

of Canine GPS and Project

Lifesaver Transmitters

This joint exercise was conducted out of

San Luis Obispo Airport with members

of the Sheriff’s ground search and rescue

team (SLOSAR). The purpose was

to demonstrate the effectiveness of

locating ground subject-borne GPS and

radio frequency transmitters from Aero

Squadron fixed wing aircraft.

The GPS transmitter unit we tracked is

incorporated into a collar worn by canine

units during field operations. A hand-held

receiver unit remotely locates and tracks

canines in the field when well-away from

their handlers. For our test, a canine was

wearing the collar somewhere in the

Oceano Dunes complex accompanied by

its handler. Our search aircraft crew was

briefed and while taxiing for takeoff,

received sufficient signal from the transmitter

about four miles away. The aircraft

had a direction to fly and precisely located

the canine within about five to ten minutes

after departure. This test was wildly successful.

To prove its effectiveness, the

aircraft continued to fly south to Santa

Ynez and still had sufficient location signal

there at an altitude of 8,500 ft.

The other aspect was a test of the Project

Lifesaver DF unit in a fixed wing aircraft

used to locate subjects wearing the wristband

on the ground. In one instance, a

wristband was purposely placed within a

residence. In another test, the wristband

was worn by a subject driving a vehicle

north from San Luis Obispo into the area

of Santa Margarita and Atascadero. In

both instances, our aircraft were able to

provide accurate latitude/longitude approximate

location coordinates.

28

Active Members

21

Licensed Pilots

$3.4M

Estimated Market Value

of Aero Squadron Aircraft

50 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


EXPLORERS

EXPLORER

POST 781 IS

COMPRISED OF

young men and women between the

ages of 14 and 21 who are interested in

discovering more about law

enforcement and a possible career in

this profession. Explorer Post 781

currently maintains a roster of 13

members and is officially chartered

through the Boy Scouts of America.

Four advisors lend their expertise in

training the post members under the

supervision of a Sheriff’s sergeant.

Explorers gain experience through

various community activities and public

service events throughout the year.

These include, but are not limited to,

assisting at the Veteran’s Day and

Memorial Day services at the Los Osos

Valley Memorial Cemetery, Cops ‘n’

Kids Day in Arroyo Grande, and

G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education

and Training) at various venues. Other

activities include working at the

California Mid-State Fair, Sheriff’s Day

at the Ranch and providing traffic

control services for the annual Paso

Robles Christmas parade. Post

members attend the annual Law

Enforcement Memorial Night activities

at Farmers’ Market in San Luis Obispo

and provide youth leadership and small

group training sessions at the Gang

Resistance Education Program, as held

in three locations throughout the county.

Explorers may also be seen

volunteering with the Alcoholic

Beverage Control Agency and the

County of San Luis Obispo Tobacco

Program. They partner with deputy

teams for foot patrol at the 4th of July

Fireworks Show in Cayucos, and

participate in several patrol unit ridea-longs

throughout the year. Many

explorers are also bilingual, providing

the Sheriff’s Office with valuable

interpreting services.

Weekly meetings are held on Thursday

evenings. Explorers receive scenariobased

training and discussions on law

enforcement duties such as handling

domestic violence calls, suspicious

subject contact, vehicle traffic stops,

report taking, oral interviews, and

firearms handling. They conduct

building searches, apply fingerprinting

techniques, handcuffing techniques and

suspect pat-downs, engage in active

shooter scenarios, hostage negotiations,

D.U.I. sobriety examinations, and

receive an introduction to canine

handling techniques.

Furthermore, the explorers are

familiarized with radio codes and

transmissions thereof, penal codes,

vehicle codes and case law. Explorers

are expected to maintain high levels of

moral standards and discipline –

characteristics that will carry on in their

personal lives and, should they so

choose, in their law enforcement careers.

During the past year, the Explorer Post

competed in the Central Coast Law

Enforcement Competition in Tulare,

where they displayed professionalism

and determination. Competing against

over 600 other explorers, they were

successful in winning several awards.

This year, the Explorer Post looks

forward to competing in similar

competitions throughout the state.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

51


IVE TEAM

THE SHERIFF’S

UNDERWATER

SEARCH AND

RECOVER TEAM,

commonly referred to as the “Dive

Team,” had another busy year in 2015

with trainings, conferences and

presentations. The team currently

consists of 24 members, one

commander, one sergeant, six deputy

sheriffs, one correctional deputy, and 15

civilian volunteers.

In March, Dive Team members

displayed equipment and answered

questions from inquisitive students at

Shandon Junior High School.

Dive team members also participated in

the Sheriff’s Gang Resistance and

Education Training Program graduation

by putting on an equipment

presentation for kids at Dana

Elementary, Cayucos Elementary and

Lillian Larsen Elementary.

In addition to the many schools they tour,

the Dive Team also has extensive displays

at SLO Farmer’s Market, Cops ‘n’ Kids

Day, Sheriff’s Family Day at the Ranch,

and many other community events.

TRAINING

Training in 2015 started in January with

a lecture on protocols for handling

hazardous material.

February’s training session occurred at

Spooner’s Cove in Montano de Oro.

Slam training is an annual training

whereby divers are required to enter the

ocean from the shore through very

rough surface conditions and navigate

around rocky surf beaten terrain. This

not only tests the diver’s physical skills

but also challenges him or her mentally

in order to deal with possible panicstricken

persons who need rescuing.

DIVERS HAD TO LOCATE A

SUBMERGED TARGET AT

ABOUT 50 FEET OF DEPTH

IN BLACK WATER WITH

VISIBILITY OF LESS

THAN ONE FOOT.

In March, team members took part in

the annual Diver Education Conference.

Presentations ranged from divemedicine

to blue water diving.

April’s training session was at Target

Rock in Morro Bay. Members practiced

their swift-water rigging techniques as

well as mock rescues of at-risk persons

in the water. In addition, the Sheriff’s

Office’s new vessel, “Defender,” was

part of the training. Divers practiced

entering and exiting the water to and

from the vessel, and familiarized

themselves with the boat’s equipment.

In May of this year, the Dive Team’s

annual equipment inspection, and

physical agilities test took place at Lake

Nacimiento. Divers also made dives in

the lake with full face masks and

surface supplied air to get ready for the

lake’s summer season.

June’s training also took place at Lake

Nacimiento, where divers had to locate

a submerged target at about 50 feet of

depth in black water with visibility of

less than one foot.

The diver was on an umbilical cord being

supplied air from the surface. The

target’s last seen point was marked only

52 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


y a GPS coordinate that was taken by a

crew member aboard the Sheriff’s

Office vessel “Christopher Meadows.”

The target was located and retrieved.

During the month of July, training took

place at Hartford Pier. Diver team

members spent their training day

performing underwater search patterns,

searching for evidence, and practicing

injured diver rescue.

DIVERS MADE A NIGHT

DIVE AT COLEMAN BEACH,

AND HAD TO NAVIGATE

UNDERWATER TO A

PRE-DETERMINED POINT

ON THE SEA FLOOR.

August’s training again took place at

Hartford Pier. Divers practiced black out

operations, meaning the diver’s mask is

completely blacked out and he or she

must perform hand coordination

exercises on the bottom. Another

training was scheduled in August to

assist the Special Enforcement Detail

team in their drown-proof training and

tactical assaults from a vessel onto

shore. Atascadero High School pool and

Lake Lopez were used for these trainings.

The month of September saw the Dive

Team converge at Diablo Nuclear Power

Plant. The annual deep dive qualification

took place approximately 200 yards off

the break wall where divers had to

navigate to the seawater intake structure.

October’s training was carried out at

headquarters. Divers practiced swift

water rigging and took inventory

of equipment.

November’s training was at the Morro

Bay T Pier. New Dive Team member

skills were assessed and they were

introduced to dry suit diving. Divers

made a night dive at Coleman Beach,

and had to navigate underwater to a

pre-determined point on the sea floor.

December’s meeting was used to

review the year’s activities, vote on

team positions and write the team’s

schedule for 2015. A lecture was also

given on handling compressed gas and

OSHA’s requirements for storage and

transport of high pressure cylinders.

LEAD THE WAY ANNUAL REPORT 2015

53


WARDS

2015 AWARD

RECIPIENTS

COMMENDATION

Hascall, Brian

Nichols, Jeff

COMMANDER

SERGEANT

Franklin, Jonathan DEPUTY SHERIFF

LIFESAVING

Mollenkopf, Brian

Paterson, Alistair

Shields, Matthew

DEPUTY SHERIFF

SHERIFF’S

CORRECTIONAL

DEPUTY

DEPUTY SHERIFF

FORENSIC EXCELLENCE

Shields, Matthew DEPUTY SHERIFF

Sternjacob, Kyle

DEPUTY SHERIFF

Joynt, Jeff

SHERIFF’S

FORENSIC

SPECIALIST

Weimer, Luke

DEPUTY SHERIFF

DEDICATED SERVICE

Cullen, Clayton

Damian, Andrea

DISPATCHER

DISPATCHER

Maloney, Katie

DEPARTMENT

AUTOMATION

SPECIALIST III

Heuer, Amy

Rowe, Nikki

Allen, Lori

Joynt, Jeff

DISPATCHER

DISPATCHER

SHERIFF’S

CORRECTIONAL

DEPUTY

SHERIFF’S

FORENSIC

SPECIALIST

Sampson, Nathan DEPARTMENT

AUTOMATION

SPECIALIST III

Ward, Paul

Murray, Lisa

DEPARTMENT

AUTOMATION

SPECIALIST II

DEPARTMENT

PERSONNEL

TECHNICIAN

54 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE


CONTACT

INFORMATION

Watch Commander’s Desk:

(805) 781-4553

General Business Line (Dispatch):

(805) 781-4550

Main Jail Information:

(805) 781-4600

North Patrol Station:

(805) 434-4290

Coast Patrol Station:

(805) 528-6083

South Patrol Station:

(805) 473-7100

FOR ALL EMERGENCIES

PLEASE DIAL 911

SLO SHERIFF’S OFFICE

1585 Kansas Avenue

San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

www.slosheriff.org


SLO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

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