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Mendocino Sheriff Matt Kendall on Funding Law Enforcement: ‘We Pay Now or We Pay Later’

The following is a message from Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall posted on the MCSO Facebook page:

Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall [Picture from the MCSO Facebook page]

A message from the Sheriff:

I wanted to reach out to our residents in Mendocino County regarding several conversations which have occurred between the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

There has been much discussion regarding the budget and efficiencies which will help us to continue serving the public. We are all in agreement that we must be efficient in our duties in order to serve our communities.

There is a limit to this before it begins having an impact on the service which the public demands and deserves.

We are in discussions regarding several things including the Sheriff’s IT department, vehicle replacements and other items which are extremely critical to the operations of the Sheriff’s Office.

The reason these items are important are because ultimately, they allow us to identify, investigate and suppress crime in Mendocino County.

The impacts of crime are far reaching and continue to be an expense to our communities. These expenses are often a drain on the entire system, from drug abuse which we see as a major factor in psychological well-being and a direct contributor to crimes including burglaries, assaults and crimes against persons.

All of these take a toll on not only our residents, they create a huge cost for all county departments.

The expense is not only monetary however often there is the cost of life. We also want to see prevention of crime by patrolling and being within the community.

Like I have said before, we pay now or we pay later, later always comes with interest.

We are continuing to investigate and solve crimes. When we solve crimes we are preventing future crimes while working with our District Attorney to hold the offender accountable. These offenders are arrested prior to committing further crimes.

Our deputies are continuing to serve our communities and have a high clearance rate of on felony calls including burglaries, and assaults.

The reason for this is because our deputies are connected to the communities. This connection begins with trust and understanding. This trust is cultivated by being in the communities with you, working with you and often keeping information confidential.

I receive several calls and emails every day from community members who wish to remain anonymous. We often receive information on various crimes because the community trusts us to keep their anonymity. I can assure you retaining the trust of the community is a high priority for me.

We have engaged in several life saving activities, some of which were people who had overdosed on drugs. In many of these cases, our deputies were able to arrive at the scene safely and administer NARCAN or other life-saving measures.

We have been able to complete these duties because we are able to patrol our communities and remain in partnership with the community members.

During the 2017 wildfire event, a Sheriff’s Sergeant was patrolling in Potter Valley when the initial fire began. Due to his location and ability to communicate from a radio unit, he was able to begin the alert and warning to residents while calling out additional personnel for evacuations.

We have no way to quantify the lives which were saved because this sergeant was patrolling in a small community, in the middle of the night.

These are just a couple of reasons why we must continue moving forward with the equipment and personnel and support staff needed to serve our communities. As we move forward we will all continue looking at efficiencies and keep the spending to what is actually needed.

Please understand there is a balance between where we are efficient VS where we become deficient.

I am confident we will strike this balance and continue to serve as we have sworn to do.

Thank you,

Sheriff Matt Kendall

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