WatchSonoma Watch
New law reduces holds placed on immigrants

A new state law that seeks to limit cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents may be having a significant impact in Sonoma County.

D.A., rival spar over pace of Lopez review

Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch and her main political rival sparred Friday over her handling of the investigation into the shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez.

Supervisors pick appointees to law enforcement task force

Sonoma County supervisors took further steps Tuesday in their response to the Andy Lopez shooting, naming most of their appointees to a community task force that will study models for future citizen oversight of local law enforcement.

Supervisors support memorial park for Andy Lopez, lapel cameras for deputies

Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday sought to map out their response to the Andy Lopez shooting with a robust plan of action, endorsing work on a memorial park in the Santa Rosa boy’s neighborhood and more than a dozen other proposals aimed at repairing trust in local government and law enforcement.

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas won’t fight proposed state law on immigration cooperation

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas, a strong opponent of a state bill that would limit cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials, said this week that he would not oppose the new law if Gov. Jerry Brown signs it.

Immigration advocates want fewer deportations from local jails

Concerned that opponents will block or gut a federal immigration bill in the Congress, Sonoma County immigration advocates are now marshaling efforts to pass a bill in Sacramento that would reduce deportations of people held in local jails.

Sonoma County sheriff offers middle ground on guns

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas told gun rights supporters Tuesday night that he favors a middle ground with respect to restricting guns, even as he acknowledged that the state’s current assault weapons law has on one occasion left his staff baffled.

New wheels for county law enforcement

The sun is setting on the iconic police cruiser, Ford’s Crown Victoria, and its first slick replacement has hit Sonoma County streets. A sheriff’s deputy is now cruising the north county beat behind the wheel of a prototype Police Interceptor, Ford’s 2013 model based on the four-door Taurus with a battery of improvements from engine to aesthetics.

Sheriff: Influx of state prisoners making Sonoma County jail more violent

The diversion of state prisoners to county supervision has changed the culture in Sonoma County’s jail, making it more violent, while forcing the early release of petty criminals, Sheriff Steve Freitas said Wednesday.
Attacks on correctional deputies have increased 72 percent since the dramatic shift was instituted 12 months ago and fights between inmates are increasing, he said. However, he said he could not immediately provide specific data on the specific numbers of such incidents.
At the same time, the influx of more serious felons serving longer sentences has required the jail to release those convicted of lesser offenses on electronic home confinement, Freitas said.
Over nine months ending in September, the jail released 231 people eligible for detention alternatives who were serving time for such offenses as drunken driving, drug use and theft, Freitas said.

Santa Rosa prayer vigil urges limits on agencies’ immigration cooperation

More than 100 people gathered in front of the Sonoma County Jail in Santa Rosa on Thursday afternoon for a prayer vigil to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a legislation limiting local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents.

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