The following is a statement issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall on the agency’s Facebook page:
As we continue through this year we are continuing to see a rise in violent crime in Mendocino County. Much of this is due to the illegal marijuana trade in our county while some is simply due to human nature.
To put this into perspective, we have had 10 marijuana-related arrests for armed robbery, 2 kidnappings and the burglary of a home for marijuana and cash in which a child was home during the crime. This child was able to hide in the residence after suspects kicked in the door. We also had a murder which was not related to the illegal marijuana industry. This all occurred in a 12 day time frame. The frightening portion of this is I realize our season for violence is still to come.
Normally Mendocino County sees a marked increase in violence including home invasion robbery, assault and murder during and shortly after marijuana harvest season.
This increase in workload over a 12 day period due to violent crime is what our Detective Bureau would expect to see over a one year time period. All of these investigations are taking valuable time and energy away from cases that we also need to be working, such as homicides, missing persons, crimes against children, as well as our duties with the fires and standard calls for service.
Many of these investigations have suspects who are not from our area and take our detectives out of the county or out of state. This causes a dramatic increase in the price of investigating these crimes.
Daily calls for service have not slowed down, however, we have seen a large decrease in self-initiated activities as there simply isn’t time between calls to initiate investigations. Therefore we are experiencing less proactive approaches to crime. We are experiencing several issues with the physical, spiritual and mental health of our communities. Our suicide rate is continuing to climb as are the number of overdoses within the County.
As you know from my previous posts, The Sheriff’s Office needs more deputies to handle the increase in crime. Our Board of Supervisors have agreed to help the Sheriff’s Office receive more funding to hire more deputies, but being only reactive is not a permanent solution. We need to make changes at a higher level.
I’m currently working with the members of our Board of Supervisors to join me in contacting our state representatives to make some changes. Much of the increase in marijuana-related crimes come from legislation at the state level. Decisions made at the state level are made, of course, for the entire state, but the negative impact of those decisions hit Northern California the hardest.
22 of our Northern rural counties comprise less than 5% of the vote for the state. I fear the decisions which are being made in the urban areas will continue to cause our residents to be victims of poor policies and legislation which only effects a small portion of the state. That small portion is *all of us*.
The many hundreds of comments you’ve made on this page just in the last month or so tells me you stand with me. You want to see our communities safer again. So I’m asking for your help. We need to reach the people at the state level that make decisions that make life much harder for us here. We have Supervisors who are committed to public safety by helping the Sheriff’s Office receive funding for more deputies, but we can’t stop there.
Our Board of Supervisors are dedicated people. Together we will begin carrying this message to the officials at the state level. If this is a direction you think we should take, please go to https://mendocinosheriff.com/sheriffs-support-team, fill out that form with your message, even something as simple as Yes! so I know we’re in agreement. If you want to send this message to your Supervisor as well, but don’t know how to reach them, leave your message at https://mendocinosheriff.com/sheriffs-support-team and I’ll make sure they know you’re with us in making Mendocino County safer. Let us know you want all of us to take action, to talk with our state policy and lawmakers to make a positive difference in our quality of life. This is a big undertaking and I want to make sure this is a direction we can all move in together.
Sheriff Matt Kendall. #StrongerTogether