Lapel Cameras Sought for Calif. Deputies After Death

Supervisors unanimously supported spending an estimated $250,000 to add lapel cameras to the uniforms of the Sonoma County's roughly 250 patrol deputies.

Other measures included a planned slate of town hall meetings; support for state legislation to more closely regulate the look of BB, pellet and airsoft guns; work to explore starting a program to buy back firearms, replica weapons and toy guns; and a boost in spending for small businesses and infrastructure in disadvantaged areas.

In the case of the park proposed in Lopez's memory, it could have the same location as one planned for the neighborhood since the early 1980s, nearly 20 years before Lopez was born. The park was stalled due to a number of factors wrapped up in the county planning process, and more recently, the housing market downturn.

"This community should have had a park decades ago," Carrillo said.

He announced that he had held informal talks with the property owner, real estate agent and former Santa Rosa planning commissioner David Poulsen. Later, Carrillo said the county was not yet in negotiations, but said that Poulsen seemed open to the possibility of a park on the parcel at Moorland and West Robles avenues.

"I do believe he (Poulsen) has the community's best interests in mind," Carrillo said.

Poulsen has not returned previous calls for comment. The county is set to report back on the park plans in two months.

Many of the proposals aired Tuesday were first sketched out at the board's Nov. 5 meeting. Perhaps the most significant and concrete at this point was the county-chartered community task force that will study and recommend a model for independent citizen oversight of law enforcement.

The aim is for the resulting entity to have authority countywide, be it a citizen panel or independent auditor or some hybrid approach. Supervisors acknowledged that goal is ambitious as countywide agreements on libraries, waste management and even a ban on plastic bags have proved fractious of late.

The 21-member task force will be composed of 15 appointees selected by supervisors, three appointees selected by the Sheriff's Office, one by the District Attorney's Office and two by Santa Rosa Mayor Scott Bartley.

Supervisors promised a panel diverse in age, ethnicity, professional background and geographic representation of the county.

One speaker Tuesday urged the county to not limit the task force's exploration of police review bodies to the four predominant oversight models now in existence.

"Please encourage the task force to cast a wide net for models to emulate," said Jim Duffy, a Rohnert Park resident.

The panel is also to study options for wider "community policing" measures, which emphasize closer day-to-day contact with residents, and whether the elected role of sheriff should be separate from that of coroner. In Sonoma County, the two are joined under the same office.

Supervisors are set to return next Tuesday with their selections for the task force. It will convene in January, with a report due back in March on law enforcement oversight.

Copyright 2013 - The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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