County Votes to Establish Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Safety

On a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-0, with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas abstaining, to establish a “Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Safety” to explore innovative solutions to criminal justice challenges resulting from statewide reforms.

“Working together, this vital commission will help us achieve our goal of delivering meaningful treatment programs as well as enhancing public safety,” said Supervisor Barger.  “This is not just about the tragedy of losing Officer Boyer or Sergeant Owen, it’s also about the many young lives lost due to drug addiction who are not receiving the help they need and deserve.”

“This is not a referendum on voter-approved statewide criminal justice reforms,” said Supervisor Hahn. “This will be a conversation about the mechanics of making the reforms we do have work better and improving outcomes for both formerly incarcerated individuals and public safety.”

The motion builds on a previous motion unanimously approved by the Board on February 21, 2017 which was also authored by Supervisors Barger and Hahn.  The February motion requested a report on the murder of Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer by a “Post Released Supervised Person,” including an historical analysis of the gunman’s involvement with the state parole system, his probation supervision, as well as recommendations for policies and procedures to help identify risk factors and ensure the highest level of public safety.

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