Sheriff Donny Youngblood says he’s looking to the new year with optimism, despite the failure of a one cent sales tax to pay deputies better wages and hire more of them. The Sheriff’s Office is ready to start it’s latest training academy, but there are just 13 people enrolled. “We’re trying to be innovative and to do more with less, which you can only do for so long. Recruitment and retention are real issues for us.” Youngblood hopes to work with new Governor Gavin Newsom on fine tuning Senate Bill 54, which restricts the kind of information that law enforcement can share with immigration agents, an issue he believes could get more dangerous criminals off the streets. The SO has also hired a full time public information officer, Angela Monroe, who’s been a news anchor in several markets. The post was previously covered by deputies who rotated the duty, and were often unavailable to the public or the media. Monroe will be active on social media and other outreach, in a bid to make the department more transparent.

Suzanne Grant